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How to Make Interactive Turning Pages in PDF Files

While the menu bar in Adobe Reader allows you to click arrows to turn pages in a PDF document, you can also place navigation buttons on the document pages themselves. The button controls in Adobe Acrobat provide a variety of options on the looks and actions of the buttons you insert onto a page, allowing you to decide how these interactive controls best suit your document's design and purpose.

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  1. Click on the button tool in the menu bar, a small graphic of a button with "OK" on it. Your cursor becomes a shaded box. Move the box to where you want the button to appear on the page.

  2. Click once to place a standard size button on the page. Click and drag to create a button of a custom size over an area of the page.

  3. Name the button in the field name box that appears after you place the button. Click on "Show All Properties" to open the complete button menu for appearances and actions. You can open the properties menu later by double-clicking on a button with the Selection Tool, the diagonal arrow in the tool bar.

  4. Select "Hidden" for the Form Field in the General section of the properties menu if you place a button over an existing graphic or text and don't want the field itself to show. The graphic or text in that instance is the indicator to the user to click on it to turn the page. Otherwise, select "Visible."

  5. Type in an instruction or tip in the "Tooltip" menu box, such as "Click to turn the page," which will appear when the cursor hovers over the button.

  6. Select line and fill options in the "Appearance" section of the properties box. Choose font, text size and text colour if you use a label on your button.

  7. Choose "Label" or "Icon" in the "Layout" drop-down menu in the "Options" section if you wish to use text or an image for your button. You can also choose a combination.

  8. Decide on the button "behaviour" options when the button is clicked. "None" keeps the appearance the same. "Push" lets you specify appearances for Up, Down and Rollover states, such as a different icon when the cursor rolls over the button to indicate it's interactivity. "Outline" highlights the button border, and "Invert" switches the shades in the button's appearance.

  9. Select a "Mouse Up" as the "Trigger" in the "Actions" section of the Properties menu. Mouse Up is the state when you click on a button and release. Using the Mouse Up state allows a user to click on the button, but change her mind by moving the cursor off the field before releasing.

  10. Choose "Execute a Menu Item" in the Select Action drop-down menu. Click on the "Add button," and when the window opens with a choice of items, select "View>Go To>Next Page." You also can set up a second button to go to the previous page, or carry out any of the numerous menu items from the list. Click "OK."

  11. Close the properties menu, and click on the hand icon in the menu bar to preview the page and the button actions.

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About the Author

Tom Chmielewski is a longtime journalist with experience in newspapers, magazines, books, e-books and the Internet. With his company TEC Publishing, he has published magazines and an award-winning multimedia e-book, "Celebration at the Sarayi." Chmielewski's design skills include expertise in Adobe Creative Suite's InDesign and Photoshop. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Western Michigan University.

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