Creating an Interactive Table of Contents

Here are two ways to create an interactive table of contents in InDesign. By interactive, I mean that by clicking on Chapter 1 or page 11, the pdf document jumps to the beginning of Chapter 1 on page 11.

The easy way
If your document is straight-forward and you are able to auto-generate a table of contents, great! This is the easiest way to create an interactive table of contents, by letting InDesign do it for you:

  1. Once you've complete the layout and style application for your document or book in InDesign, you're ready to automatically generate a table of contents. You will need to have a paragraph style applied to the chapter titles. This style will be used create the table of contents.

  2. Click on Layout > Table of Contents to bring up the Table of Contents dialog box.

  3. Add the chapter titles paragraph styles to the left box. Select an entry style for your table of contents (you can create it later if necessary and re-generate the table of contents).

  4. Still in the Table of Contents dialog box, under Options, make sure the Create PDF Bookmarks box is checked. Click OK.

  5. When exporting a pdf, under the General tab, be sure you check the boxes for Bookmarks, Hyperlinks and Interactive Elements.

The manual way
If for some reason you can't auto generate a table of contents or want to add a "go to page" command to another piece of text unrelated to the table of contents, use these steps to make your text interactive. I'm using hyperlinks because I find them simpler and easier to use than bookmarks.

  1. Open a document in InDesign.

  2. With the text tool select your point of origin text (the text you'd like a user to click to jump to another page). With this text selected, go to the Hyperlink panel fly-out menu and select New Hyperlink.

  3. In the New Hyperlink Dialog box, under the Link To: drop down box, select Page.

  4. Type in the page number you'd like to jump to, set the Appearance Type to Invisible Rectangle and click OK.

  5. Repeat steps 2-4 as needed.

  6. When exporting a pdf, under the General tab, be sure you check the boxes for Bookmarks, Hyperlinks and Interactive Elements.

Controlling a Viewer's Experience of Your PDF

Whether you'd like your pdf to be viewed in book view (two-up continuous with a cover page) or single page view or appear with the Pages Panel, you can make sure that happens every time the pdf is opened. Here's how to control a viewer's experience of your pdf:

  1. Open a pdf in Acrobat. I'm using Acrobat Pro so I'm guessing you probably need Acrobat Pro for this to work.

  2. Select File > Properties or hit Cmd-D to bring up Document Properties.

  3. Click on the Initial View tab.

  4. Now choose whether you want page only or side panels (page, bookmarks, etc) under Navigation tab drop down menu. Choose from single or two-up options under Page drop down menu. Choose from options like fit page, fit width or a zoom percentage in the Magnification drop down menu. Choose any other options as desired.

  5. Save the pdf. Close it and reopen it to confirm your initial view settings have been applied. It will now open with these view setting every time.

I Love Dust Eames Pillow

I like the simple green and white color scheme and vintage typography and graphics on this pillow. From ILoveDust on

Multiple Strokes with the Appearance Panel

Creating multi-layered strokes is easy with the Appearance panel:

  1. Open a new document in Illustrator and draw a shape. Or open a previously created document and select the shape you'd like to stroke.

  2. With your shape selected, add a stroke color, style and weight in the Stroke panel. For this example, choose Align to the Outside (third option) in the Align Stroke portion of the Stroke panel.

  3. In the Appearance panel, choose Add New Stroke from the flyout menu. Choose a stroke color, style and weight. Continue adding strokes as desired.

  4. To adjust the stacking hierarchy of a stroke in the appearance panel, select a stroke and move it up or down. The stacking hierarchy works just like layers, layering strokes on top of each other to create different effects.

  5. To copy the multiple stroke effect from one shape to another, select the original multi-stroked shape. At the top of the Appearance panel, select the thumbnail for that object. Drag that thumbnail onto the new shape to apply the Appearance panel effects.

My Work: IFAS Research Roadmap

The IFAS Research Roadmap is a 12 page newspaper-like publication that summarizes and presents a faculty-driven plan for the future of IFAS Research. I took my design cues from the word "roadmap" in the title and created a road/highway theme. I built the highway scene from 4 different photos, adjusted the color and shadows, added texture and topped it off with a highway crest for the title.