I would like to use InDesign to create a very simple interactive PDF in which a sound file is playing while a couple of elements appear over time. Is something like that possible within an interactive PDF?

So far I have only been able to place fully animated sequences in the form of a .mp4 or .flv file inside InDesign and export it as an interactive PDF. But the animation I need is incredibly simple (objects merely have to appear after time) and I would like to try solving this inside InDesign rather than creating an animation with After Effects and placing it into the PDF as a video. Plus this usually leads to the quality of the video of the animation being very, very poor when I export the PDF and open it.

4 Answers 4


Animation tools were added into InDesign a while back, so hopefully they are available in whichever version you are using.

Go to the Window\Interactive\Animation. From this animation menu, you are able to add many simple animation options, including the type of animation you are hoping to create.

Make sure when you export your InDesign document to PDF, that you use the Interactive PDF export option, otherwise your PDF will not have the animations included within it.


The kind of motion animation you want are NOT supported in PDF. They are meant to be generated in a Flash format, meaning you need to export your doc in SWF. This is probably not what you want. More info about animation tool here: https://helpx.adobe.com/indesign/using/animation.html

See example below:

enter image description here


Here is an example animated PDF with PDF download, but it doesn't seem to be working for me on Mac in Chrome or in Preview unfortunately, maybe b/c it needs to be a SWF.


It is possible to create a simple animation with sound in InDesign and export it as a PDF form application that use JavaScript and the Acrobat/JavaScript API, an interactive PDF. One way to make this happen requires the development and deployment of three pieces of software before the InDesign user can create it.

For further details o how this can be done and a couple of examples please following the link to this PDF document.

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