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InStep: Creating Video Controls

This article appeared in Issue 76 of InDesign Magazine.

Adding video and audio controls in InDesign offers unique options when exporting to interactive formats.

Too often, designers get pigeonholed into thinking about InDesign as a print-only application. But if the most recent releases of InDesign have taught us anything, it’s that InDesign is capable of far more than that. With its ability to output to digital publishing formats such as interactive PDF, EPUB, and DPS, we have more publishing options than ever before. And with those options come opportunities for including all sorts of fun modern gadgets that Mr. Gutenberg himself never dreamed of! Video and audio controls are just a few of the interactive features that you can add in InDesign, but they’re arguably the ones that can have the most impact, as well as the most support across the different interactive formats.

For this article, we’ll be outputting to the Fixed Layout EPUB format (FXL). FXL offers some powerful features and good compatibility across supported devices and EPUB readers including Kobo, iBooks for iOS and Mac, and Readium for Chrome.

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Chad Chelius is an Adobe Certified Instructor, Author, and Consultant in the Philadelphia area and works with clients to improve their creative workflows using Adobe products. He's also the author of several courses on He specializes in PDF accessibility using Adobe InDesign and is a regular speaker at The InDesign Conference and PePcon.
  • George Gruel says:

    Thank you for this as I’m in the process of making an interactive ebook. LAWYERS GUNS & PHOTOS – Photographs and tales of my adventures with Warren Zevon. I’m using audio files only, not video. The only problem I’m having is that when I have more than one “clickable” audio file on a page, if the viewer/user clicks on another audio clip before the first one is done playing, they both play. Is there a way (setting) on the audio files to make one stop playing when the second one is clicked on. I can post a preview page online to show what I’m talking about.

  • Carolyn Casey says:

    We’re having problems exporting multimedia InDesign files to PDF. We are using MP4s, and it crashes Acrobat. I’ve spoken to Adobe, and they are fixing it, but there’s no indication when the fix will be released.

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