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InDesign Interactive Objects as PDF Form Applications

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Justin (2018) lamented the loss of some interactive objects that can be created in InDesign and exported to an interactive PDF. The losses do not mean interactive PDFs are a dying or dead breed. A PDF form application that uses JavaScript and the Acrobat/JavaScript API is an interactive feature still available in PDF and supported by Adobe Acrobat. It can be used to replace some lost interactive objects and more.

It is possible to create interactive objects in InDesign and to export them as PDF form applications. If you require an interactive object in an interactive PDF but it is unavailable then it may be worthwhile to include software development in your workflow to give your InDesign user the ability to create the interactive object in InDesign and export it as a PDF form application. With a PDF form application that use JavaScript and the Acrobat/JavaScript API it is possible to combine unique visual graphics with innovative interactive features for novel user experiences. The interactive PDF version of “InDesign Interactive Objects as PDF Form Applications” includes examples of PDF form applications.

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InDesign Interactive Objects as PDF Form Applications

  1. 1. InDesign Interactive Objects as PDF Form Applications A Reply to the Blog “Interactive PDF is dead—here’s what you can create from InDesign that’s even better” By John Frederick Chionglo jfchionglo@yahoo.ca • Brgy. Sta. Teresita, Quezon City, Philippines • 1114 Justin (2018) lamented the loss of some interactive objects that can be created in InDesign and exported to an interactive PDF. The losses do not mean interactive PDFs are a dying or dead breed. A PDF form application that uses JavaScript and the Acrobat/JavaScript API is an interactive feature still available in PDF and supported by Adobe Acrobat. It can be used to replace some lost interactive objects and more. It is possible to create interactive objects in InDesign and to export them as PDF form applications. Three examples of interactive objects as PDF form applications are presented to illustrate the capabilities of PDF form applications: Simon’s Cat, a typical animation using Field Animation (Figure 1), three survey questions with four-option checkboxes (Figure 2), and a synchronized animation of daily ice cover in the Great Lakes for 1973 and 2002 (Figure 3). Figure 1 Simon’s Cat, an animation using Field Animation (Cartoon Hangover) Figure 2 Three Survey Questions with Four-Option Checkboxes Figure 3 Synchronized Animation of the Great Lakes Ice Cover for 1973 [Canadian Ice Service] and 2002 [National Ice Center] (Great Lakes Environmental Research Center) If you require an interactive object in an interactive PDF but it is unavailable then it may be worthwhile to include software development in your workflow to give your InDesign user the ability to create the interactive object in InDesign and export it as a PDF form application. With a PDF form application that use JavaScript and the Acrobat/JavaScript API it is possible to combine unique visual graphics with innovative interactive features for novel user experiences. References Cartoon Hangover (n.d.). Evers seen Simon’s Cat Meet Simon and his Feline? [Animated GIF]. Retrieved on Aug. 29, 2018 from http://hangover.cartoonhangover.com/post/81704396487/ever-seen-simons-cat-meet-simon-and-his-feline. Chionglo, J. F. (2016). Animation Control for Visual Inspection: A Preview of Field Animation, a Field-based Animation Control. Available at https://www.academia.edu/30391274/Animation_Control_for_Visual_Inspection_A_Preview_of_FieldAnimation_a_Field- based_Animation_Control. Chionglo, J. F. (2014). Net Elements and Annotations for Computer Programming: Computations and Interactions in PDF. Available at https://www.academia.edu/26906314/Net_Elements_and_Annotations_for_Computer_Programming_Computations_and_Interactions _in_PDF. Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (n.d.). Daily Ice Cover Time Series [2002 NIC Daily Images]. NOAA Great Lakes Ice Atlas. Retrieved on Oct. 25, 2018 from https://www.glerl.noaa.gov/data/ice/atlas/cdrom/daily_ice_cover/daily_images/2002nic-image.zip. Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (n.d.). Daily Ice Cover Time Series [1973 CIS Daily Images]. NOAA Great Lakes Ice Atlas. Retrieved on Oct. 25, 2018 from https://www.glerl.noaa.gov/data/ice/atlas/cdrom/daily_ice_cover/daily_images/1973cis-image.zip. Justin (2018). Interactive PDF is dead—here's what you can create from InDesign that's even better. Retrieved on Oct. 21, 2018 from https://ajarproductions.com/blog/2018/03/26/interactive-pdf-is-dead-heres-what-you-can-create-from-indesign-thats-even-better/. Oct. 26, 2018 Page 1 of 2 • Do you like working with InDesign to create interactive PDFs? • Would you wait for the arrival or the return of InDesign interactive objects for interactive PDFs? • Would you develop software to make InDesign interactive objects available to your InDesign users?
  2. 2. Postscript Notes Please use a PDF reader (such as Adobe Acrobat) that supports JavaScript and the Acrobat/JavaScript API for Figure 1, Figure 2 and Figure 3. Authoring/Software Development Tools Microsoft Word® 2013, Microsoft PowerPoint ® 2013, Adobe Acrobat® XI Pro, Microsoft Notepad. Field Animation™ wizard (Chionglo, 2016). About the Author John Frederick Chionglo develops JavaScript programs that use the Acrobat/JavaScript API for PDF form applications. The programs may be used at various levels or contexts such as field, page, document, folder, action wizard or batch and console. The types of PDF form applications he creates include forms for data entry and evaluation; and forms with dynamic and interactive diagrams for learning, reporting, software prototyping, simulation and analysis, and presentation. He also develops VBA scripts and JScript.NET programs to facilitate the application of Net Elements and Annotations and to facilitate the development of PDF form applications via Adobe Acrobat’s inter-application communication (IAC) API; the scripts and programs may be used with applications such as Word and PowerPoint. He conducts research and development in the application of Petri Nets (Net Elements and Annotations in particular) to computer programming. He is a member of several social networking sites such as Academia.edu, Researchgate.net, LinkedIn.com and Slideshare.net. To find more of his works, search the Internet for PDF documents or images using the keywords “Acrobat”, “JavaScript” and (“Petri Nets” or “Petri Net”). Oct. 26, 2018 Page 2 of 2

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