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Indesign Interactive pdf. Dropdown menu not working in browsers

Community Beginner ,
Feb 16, 2021 Feb 16, 2021

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Hello! I'm having problems with an interactive menu, that shows and hides a dropdown menu whith more buttons to go to diferent subsections in a pdf. The client asked for interactive pdf format that works in acrobat/reader and also in Chrome and other browsers.

I firts created the main menu, with few buttons. Added events that show a dropdown menu when mouseover. In this dropdown menu I added more buttons that sends you to sections when click.

I made it work correctly in Acrobat (with a little glitch sometimes), but when trying t open with Chrome the hidden menu is detected when mouse over itself instead when mouse over the programed button for this event.

Am I doing something wrong or is just this format and complex dropdown menu not compatible with browsers?

The only problem is that the client saw an interactive pdf working ok this way and asked for it.

Thank you very much.

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Bug, Feature request, How to, Publish online

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Community Beginner , Mar 08, 2021 Mar 08, 2021
Thank you everyone with help and solutions. • We finally opted for Publish Online method (for browsers) + an interactive pdf (exclusive for Acrobat/Reader). The client insisted on having this second way, using the publish online as first contact with user. • The pdf has a complex menu with 2 dropdown menus. I was able to make it work correctly in acrobat, using hover in desktop and click in mobile, to show and hide it. It gave me a lot of trouble to make it work fine, using master pages for thre...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 16, 2021 Feb 16, 2021

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You said:

"The client asked for interactive pdf format that works in acrobat/reader and also in Chrome and other browsers."

 

Hi Irene,

don't think this is possible at all. Not if any sorts of buttons are involved.

You could be lucky with hyperlinks that are working throughout but that's it.

 

Hm. Where exactly (what device and what PDF reader) did the client saw an interactive PDF this way?
Do you have access to that PDF and are you able to test it through all browsers and PDF readers?

 

Regards,
Uwe Laubender

( ACP )

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 16, 2021 Feb 16, 2021

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I'm sorry, but as I tell everyone else, what you want is a pipedream. You might just as well stop trying now.

Why would anyone want anything like this to run in a browser, anyway. What you're describing would be easy with a web page.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 16, 2021 Feb 16, 2021

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you are not doing anything wrong. its just doest not work, correct, you found the limitation. If you want things to work in the web, than work with a web format, html.  

 

what the client asked for does not exist, they were not educated on the features/limitations of the .pdf format before making that request to you. thats all. go  educate them. 🙂

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 16, 2021 Feb 16, 2021

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By nature the PDF format is universal and many software programs use and recognize it.

The problem is that many of these software do not recognize all the specifications of the PDF format, aka ISO 32000 standard, and ignore more or less of them depending on the budget allocated to the developers.

 

By definition web browsers are not PDF reader software, any more than Acrobat Reader or F*x*t Reader or… are web browsers, they do not or badly recognize the "advanced" functions of the PDF format.

 

I know it won't be easy to explain to your client, I do this every day, or almost 😉

 

There are two complementary ways to get around these problems, copy and paste the URL of these tutorials in French into Google Translate to find out everything

- https://www.abracadabrapdf.net/ressources-et-tutos/js-et-formulaires-ressources/forcer-utilisation-p...

- https://www.abracadabrapdf.net/ressources-et-tutos/creation/forcer-telechargement-pdf/

 

And above all: PDF format is ideal for transmitting and modifying documents offline, otherwise you should definitely prefer HTML5 and online documents.

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 17, 2021 Feb 17, 2021

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Thank you everyone for all the answers.

I agree the interactive pdf format is not the best one for this case. We offered them an HTML website but they wanted pdf. Making a lot of tests I have get to this point:

- If I want a full working interactive pdf, the best is Adobe's "publish Online" metod. The only bad thing is that Adobe dosn't let you use your own server.

- I have get to the point were I can make an interactive pdf, with the needed dropdown menu, working properly in Acrobat. I found that not using master pages makes it more estable.

- I also founded the problem for chrome: I needed that the menu button that releases the dropdown menu would stay in hover (selected) when moving from it. I did a trick using a "ghost" button that showed when hover the dropdown menu buttons. This worked in acrobat but not in Chrome. Putting a button on top of another button seems to crash.

 

As I told you and after reading all the coments, tutorials, post in the ineternet.... I think this is not an estable full compatible format. The only problem is that I have a pdf made with Adobe InDesign CC 2015 (Windows) that is working in chrome and Acrobt the way I want. I send it attached.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 17, 2021 Feb 17, 2021

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Hi Irene,

just opened your PDF in my Firefox browser on Windows 10. It's a mixed pleasure:

Some of the navigation items work, some do not. Tab "Deal Highlights" with sub-navigation does not work at all.

And they look differently if they work compared to Adobe Reader or Acrobat Pro on Windows 10 where all navigation items principally work. However even there: with "Projects" on page 14 one can see optical issues with the hover states if you are very fast.

 

So I do not think, this particular PDF is an argument for doing this kind of work with a PDF.

 

Regards,
Uwe Laubender

( ACP )

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 17, 2021 Feb 17, 2021

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The client asked for interactive pdf format that works in acrobat/reader and also in Chrome and other browsers.

 

No browser is 100% compliant with the PDF specificationn.

Translation: you won't get many of your interactive features to work within a browser.  This is a browser shortcoming, not anything you did or the PDF file itself.

 

In order to have full interactivity in a PDF -- whether buttons and menus like your file, or accessibility features -- the user will have to download the PDF to their device and open it in a real PDF-reading program, such as Adobe Acrobat Reader or Acrobat.

 

Educate your customer and help them adjust their expectations.

 

Bevi Chagnon | Designer & Technologist for Accessible InDesign + PDFs |
Books & Classes | PubCom

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 18, 2021 Feb 18, 2021

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" If I want a full working interactive pdf, the best is Adobe's "publish Online" metod. The only bad thing is that Adobe dosn't let you use your own server."

 

You can use the free Export FXL HTML script available on this page: http://www.gilbertconsulting.com/resources-scripts.html

It will export ePub or PublishOnline files and folders on your computer, so you will be able to upload them on any server.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 18, 2021 Feb 18, 2021

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It's a real pity to see that web browsers that claim to be able to display PDF documents are not able to handle a simple rollover...

 

On the other hand, Firefox has the elegance of pointing out that it does not manage the form functions of the PDF format and of prompting you to open the PDF in "real" PDF reader software.

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 08, 2021 Mar 08, 2021

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Thank you everyone with help and solutions.

 

• We finally opted for Publish Online method (for browsers) + an interactive pdf (exclusive for Acrobat/Reader). The client insisted on having this second way, using the publish online as first contact with user.

 

• The pdf has a complex menu with 2 dropdown menus. I was able to make it work correctly in acrobat, using hover in desktop and click in mobile, to show and hide it. It gave me a lot of trouble to make it work fine, using master pages for three kinds of menu and layers for the right apearance. I found this tool in general really delicate and complicated. I don't understand why the haven't optimized an easy way to make a dropdown menu. 

 

• I would really apreciate an option for making groups of buttons (to be able to show/hide a group instead of one by one), or being able put buttons inside other buttons.

 

Thanks!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 08, 2021 Mar 08, 2021

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Regarding buttons in an Interactive PDF, you can have a word or words or an image (such as a button shape) as a document hyperlink to say another page in the document, or to an external website. Some devices, for example, iPads, don't have rollover capability – only click – you should avoid multi-action buttons like On Click, On Roll Over, etc.  Multi-state object (MSO) don’t work at all in Interactive PDFs.

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 10, 2021 Mar 10, 2021

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We tried with hyperlinks inside the dropdown menu, but we needed a mechanism to hide and show it. Que tried to put hyperklinks inside a button that hides and show, but they did not work when click.

The doble command of click and roll-over have worked fine in publish online and in interactive pdf (only in acrobat/reader). In desktop we use the rollover and in mobile the click.

Thank you!

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 09, 2021 Mar 09, 2021

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"• I would really apreciate an option for making groups of buttons (to be able to show/hide a group instead of one by one), or being able put buttons inside other buttons."

 

You are looking for the "Field naming convention".

Name your fields like this (the dot really matters):

field.0

field.1

field.2

etc.

 

They you can show/hide hundreds of fields using one line of Javascript

this.getField("field").display = display.hidden;

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