Home > Adobe, CS5, InDesign > InDesign Dropdown Menu with Buttons

InDesign Dropdown Menu with Buttons

InDesign CS5 is really good at exporting completing flash sites compared to CS4, which does nothing. So I thought I would make a dropdown menu in InDesign. I don’t think it’s the best tool for creating drop downs, but  it turned out okay, and is pretty simple. Here are my settings:

  • Header Button:
    • On Rollover: Show/Hide Buttons: Show Page 2/3/4 Buttons
    • On Rolloff: Show/Hide Buttons: Hide Page 2/3/4 Buttons
  • Page 2/3/4/ Button:
    • On Rollover: Show/Hide Buttons: Show Page 2/3/4 Buttons
    • On Rolloff: Show/Hide Buttons: Hide Page 2/3/4 Buttons
    • On Release: Go to Page (2/3/4)

Put that Navi on a master page and you are done. The buttons have to be butting up against each other, so there is no lapse in the activation zone, otherwise this will not work. You can download the file to play with here.

  1. Stu
    2013/03/07 at 8:04 pm

    Your file doesn’t appear to work, the menu disappears when you roll off the header button… any ideas?

    • Canvai
      2013/03/08 at 9:02 am

      Seems to work fine for me. The header button is set to show the additional buttons on rollover, and to hide them again on roll off. It’s supposed to do this. Otherwise, the drop down menu won’t disappear. For each button, you get to set the rollover/roll off visibility state for each other button, so they are essentially triggering each other anytime you are hovering over a button. What behavior were you hoping to get? It might be possible to be setup through InDesign, but honestly I think the drop down menu is a bit of a hack, I don’t think buttons were originally designed to be used like this.

  2. kittyyyy
    2013/03/24 at 7:05 am

    i really want to thank you !!!!! This helps me a lot!!!

  3. 2013/05/07 at 4:30 pm

    i’m with stu here… hover on the header and the dropdowns appear – all good so far… go to click on one of the dropdowns and they disappear because on rolloff they’re hidden…

    im creating a pdf presentation that needs a contents menu across the top



    • Canvai
      2013/05/08 at 9:01 am

      Ah, I think we just stumbled upon the missing piece of the puzzle. I originally created this for SWF output, which should work fine. For PDFs, however, this doesn’t work. The roll out hides the button faster than the roll in can make the button appear. I suppose you can change it from rollovers to clicks, but even then, the “go to page” action is also not supported in PDF output, so even if the drop down menu worked, nothing would happen after that. So in short, this won’t really work for PDFs.

      Thanks for clarifying that though, now we know!

  4. sam
    2015/01/18 at 2:02 am

    what do you call the icon beside quick apply? at the most right side?

    • Canvai
      2015/01/19 at 6:59 am

      I don’t think that particular post mentioned quick apply. The quick apply icon looks like a little lightening bolt. the little icon next to the buttons are to show that that particular frame has been converted to an interactive button.

  5. RealToast
    2016/09/14 at 11:58 am

    Came across this while looking for a similar solution with CC 2015. Thank you. I did a workaround for the roll-off issue. I placed invisible, narrow, rectangular buttons around the perimeter of the entire Header and 1, 2, and 3 buttons area, encircling the entire area. Rollover header shows 1, 2, and 3. So, Rollover Header shows 1,2,3; no other Show/Hide instruction is required for 1, 2, or 3. But, it’s impossible to roll off them without touching the invisible perimeter and consequently triggering Hide 1, 2, and 3.

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