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How can I create a menu in a PDF file, similar to this one:

The menu appears when you hover over the top of the page. It works both inside the browser (using Acrobat Reader) and using a different PDF reader (I tested with Foxit Reader).

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It looks like it is done with layers, with mouse events controlling layer visibility and colors. The menu bar is likely on a master page, so is potentially visible on all pages. The author used InDesign CS4, which looks to be available on a trial download basis.

This page describes adding layers in Acrobat 9, and this page talks about master pages and layers in InDesign. I did not find an example that specifically created a menu like the one in your pdf.

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There is a giant invisible button there, most likely a rectangle with its opacity set to zero. The invisible button has been set to show a group of other buttons on rollover and hide them on rollout.

You can easily figure it out inside InDesign.

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@W_Whalley: No, it is not done with layers.

It's just...

  • ... set to open in fullscreen mode (which hides normal PDF reader menues, page info display and buttons),
  • ... and it uses simple mouse clicks on hyperlinks which take you to the linked page.

Master page used: no; InDesign used to create the PDF: yes.

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