Create an Interactive PDF with Animations in 1 Step
When you export an InDesign layout with animation, InDesign does not transfer those animations into an interactive PDF automatically. One way to do this is to export an animation to a SWF, then place it back into InDesign before exporting to a PDF. In two pervious posts (post 1 & post 2) I wrote about a few workarounds for this problem.
Up until a few weeks ago this double export method (I like to call it double baking your potato) was the only way I knew how to create a PDF with animation. However, I was lucky enough to be at a conference with Chris Converse where he demoed a way to create an interactive PDF with animations from InDesign that I had never thought of before.
Convert to a PDF with Acrobat
- Export your entire InDesign layout as a SWF file (File > Export> SWF)
- Open up Acrobat Pro and go to file > Create PDF
Acrobat 9 or Acrobat X
The last two versions Acrobat Pro are able to create a PDF from a SWF file, but the newest version may work better. I did a few tests myself and I wasn't able to notice a difference, however you will get probably a better conversion with Acrobat X since it uses Flash player 10.1 vs. Acrobat 9 which uses Flash player 9.
The PDF is only 1 page
When you are converting a SWF into a PDF, the entire PDF will end up being only 1 page even if your InDesign document has multiple pages. This means that you won't be able to use the acrobat interface to move in-between pages. Therefore it is important to build in a navigation system inside InDesign to let your users move between the pages of your document. Even though this may seem like an inconvenience, this SWF to PDF conversion is a lot smoother than previous methods.