How To Create An Interactive PDF

What separates a good presentation from the bad one is the multimedia inside it. To enhance your content and provide value to your readers, you can add videos, pictures and even music in your document.

Most presentations and documents are dull as they contain only simple text, few boring images and little to no multimedia content. If you want to improve the reading experience and grab the viewer’s eye, then there’s no better way than adding media files.

We already know how to do this using Microsoft Office, but what about PDF files? Even though it was made mainly for viewing purposes, the standard for e-documents has evolved over the years and now it offers a variety of customization options. Thanks to Adobe’s Indesign, now you can create a variety of multimedia elements that can be easily implemented within your PDF document.

What is Adobe InDesign

Adobe Indesign is a state-of-art software that provides you with a reliable solution for the creation of books, flyers, presentations, posters and etc.

It is available as a full application and as a standalone one. For $19.99 a month, you can subscribe for Adobe Creative Cloud. There’s a 30-day trial version available for starters.

Creating Interactive PDFs

First, you can start with a new document from scratch or import an existing file and edit it. PDF files that require edit can be converted in a format suitable for InDesign.

After the file is opened, you have to prepare the document for multimedia elements. For the purpose, click on the drop-down menu next to the search box and choose “Interactive to PDF” setting. Now, you will see a variety of new tools in the bottom right corner of the application.

Adding Hyperlinks

While hyperlinks are available in every PDF editor, the software allows you to link any element. For example, text can be linked through highlighting, even images and titles can link to a specific destination.

Select the element you want, select the Hyperlinks button in the right column and add New Hyperlink. From there, you can add the destination URL. In case you don’t want to link to a URL, there’s a variety of options in the drop-down menu “Link To”.

If you’d like to make your content more interactive, you can interlink pages within the document. There’s a Shared Destination option that allows you to reuse a URL quickly. You can even link to an uploaded file, which might be quite useful.

Videos & Media

Do you want to make an impression? Then videos and multimedia elements are mandatory! If you want to provide viewers with something unique, then you to make it memorable.

The easiest way to make it interactive is by adding multimedia. For the purpose, click Media: Place a video or audio file. Then, drop the uploaded file on the page and resize if you need to.

You can decide whether you want the file to start when the page loads or allow users to play it. Furthermore, you can put a static image that will be displayed on the page.

Saving Interactive Files

After the work is finished, the most important part is to save the finalized product properly. Click File > Export and choose Adobe PDF (interactive) from the format menu.

A new box will appear, that will allow you to make page transitions interactive as well. Under “Page Transitions”, select “include all” next to “Forms and Media”.

Test the options and export the PDF when you’re happy with your choices. When it’s ready, share the document on a few different devices and ensure it works perfectly.

In case that you need to edit your document quickly or convert it, then you can use the free services of Soda PDF available online on their website.


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