So I'll have to create a few presentations and I'm not sure what software I want to use. I distinctly dislike the Microsoft Office programs; I have used LibreOffice Impress before, but it wasn't my cup of tea as well. I refuse to use Prezi for ... religous reasons, I guess °^°

I wanted to try using InDesign for my presentations. I think it should be possible to achieve presentation-like interactive PDFs with it. Do you think this is a viable option?

I'm also looking for a way to have distinct elements of one page to be hidden first and be revealed on pressing the navigational buttons (like in a Powerpoint Presentation), so that I can e.g. press the right arrow key to move on to the next page, press it again three times to reveal 3 hidden objects in succesion, and then press it again to move on to the page after that. Is this possible in InDesign? If so, how do I do that?

1 Answer 1


InDesign is a great tool for creating presentations in Acrobat, and it's used that way quite a bit. Page transitions are baked right in (when you export to Interactive PDF).

The kind of transition you're asking about are done easily enough just by setting up consecutive pages and transitioning from one to the other. To the viewer, the items will simply appear (instantly or slowly as in a cross-fade).

There's a lot more that you can experiment with as far as animations are concerned. If you have mouse-and-keyboard control of your presentation, you can also set up buttons or hot spots on a page that will reveal or hide other page items on rollover or click.

Looking to the future, fixed-layout ePub has a ton of potential for presentations, viewed full-screen in a browser. InDesign has matured into a full-fledged and highly capable authoring tool for FX ePub with the October release of CC 2014.

  • Thank you! Should I rather export as epub than as pdf? What benefits does the epub format have in this regard?
    – MoritzLost
    Commented Nov 20, 2014 at 22:04
  • 2
    For ease of use, I'd suggest Interactive PDF unless you need elaborate animations right away. There's less involved in creating a PDF, so it's the simpler way to go. Commented Nov 21, 2014 at 1:51

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