Creating Custom Navigation Thumbnails for Publish Online
In this month’s Publish Online Project of the Month, we featured the Cyberfolio of Michel Allio, which is a super example of how to create a cool interactive showcase of your work using just InDesign.
One of the most interesting features of the Cyberfolio was how the page navigation thumbnails were different from the actual page designs. They were simple and clear, just showing the subject of the page on a color-coded background instead of a reduced version of the entire spread.
This is very useful because some pages might be too busy or look too much like other pages to be instantly recognizable when reduced to a small thumbnail size. But page thumbnails are generated automatically with Publish Online, so how did Michel achieve this trick? I admit it totally stumped me and I had to ask him how he did it.
It turns out the key is to use animation. Start by creating your simplified page thumbnail design on top of the rest of the page objects. It will probably help to isolate the thumbnails on their own layer.
Then apply an animation to the thumbnail design. Remove the default trigger event (On Page Load) and don’t apply any new trigger event.
An animation without a trigger event will never play. Then you just have to select the option Hide Until Animated.
The animated object will stay hidden while it waits for an event that never happens. So it will never appear on the main page in Publish Online. You can confirm this by previewing the page in the EPUB Interactivity Preview Panel.
But since the thumbnail design is visible on the page in InDesign, it is included when the navigation thumbnails are generated for Publish Online.
How cool is that?