Graphic Design & Branding tutorial: Create interactive PDFs

12. Choose File > Adobe PDF Presets > Smallest File Size. Name your PDF file, then have a look at the settings in the Export panel. For maximum reliability it’s worth setting the Compatibility to PDF 1.6 (Acrobat 7) in the General tab. In the Compression tab, choose to downsample to an appropriate resolution. A good compromise between quality and file size is 150dpi.

13. Return to the General tab and make sure the Interactive Elements box is ticked. Underneath this option, there’s a dropdown menu that allows you to override the settings you established for embedding assets. To be certain everything is embedded for offline playback, choose Embed All. When you’re done, click the Export button.

14. Test your PDF in Adobe Reader or Acrobat Professional. Other PDF reading software, including Apple Preview, may not render the more complex content correctly, so ensure that you’ve tested your interactive file in the native viewer. In next month’s issue we’re going to learn how to create buttons with rollover effects, and how to use them to navigate around the document and play and pause the video.

Who: Illustrator and graphic designer Sam Hampton-Smith is based in Scotland. He’s a regular author of articles and tutorials for the graphic and web design press, an aspiring musician and lover of good food. He also loves everything related to typography.
Software: Adobe InDesign CS3/CS4
Time to complete: 4 hours

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