Publishers of technology books, eBooks, and videos for creative people

Home > Articles > Design > Adobe Creative Suite

This chapter is from the book

Motion Presets

As you probably noticed while working through the previous exercises, InDesign includes an extensive assortment of motion presets to get your content moving (Figure 4.11). The presets are the same ones you'll find in Adobe Flash CS5 Professional, and you can also import any custom presets that have been created in Flash Professional. You can create custom motion presets in InDesign, save them for future use, and share them with other InDesign users or Flash designers. There's just no end to the flying, dancing, bouncing fun you can have with motion settings.

Figure 4.11

Figure 4.11 How many motion presets ship with InDesign? Feast your eyes. And restrain yourself—you don't have to use every single one in your project. The motion presets below the dividing line include special effects such as multiple stops or disappearing in smoke.

But maybe that's not enough for you. Maybe you want more.

Motion Paths

If you want to make an object move along a more interesting path than just straight up or left to right, it's surprisingly easy to do: You just have to draw the path you want the object to follow. You can use the Line tool, the Pen tool, or the Pencil tool—anything that creates a Bézier path. The path can be a simple straight line or a complicated curlicue. The stroke attributes of the line aren't important; its appearance is discarded once it's designated as a motion path.

Creating a Custom Motion Preset

In this exercise, you'll work on a child's birthday party invitation, modifying existing presets and saving them as custom presets. You will also be creating several custom motion paths and saving their settings as custom presets.

  1. Navigate to the Motion Presets folder inside the Ch_4_Exercises folder, and open InviteStart.indd. Resave the file as InviteWorking.indd in the same folder. If you want to see the finished file, open InviteDone.indd and preview it.
  2. In the Layers panel, make sure the Moon layer is selected and unlocked. Select the Line tool (linetool.jpg), and draw a diagonal line from the center of the blue moon to the upper-right corner of the page (Figure 4.12). Leave some room for the moon to grow larger as it rises.
    Figure 4.12

    Figure 4.12 Using the Line tool, start at the center of the moon, and drag up to the upper-right corner of the page. Don't go all the way to the corner; leave some room for the moon to grow larger.

  3. Now you'll convert the diagonal line to a motion path. Select both the path and the moon, and click the Convert to Motion Path icon (makemotionpathicon.jpg) at the bottom of the Animation panel. Use the following settings:

    • Event: On Page Load
    • Duration: 2 seconds
    • Speed: Ease Out
    • Animate: From Current Appearance
    • Animate Scale: 150%
    • Visibility: Hide Until Animated

    These settings will hide the moon until it begins to rise and grow larger. If necessary, tweak the length and angle of the path—you have to allow for the increase in the diameter of the moon so it isn't cropped by the edge of the page.

  4. Lock the Moon layer, and click the visibility control by the Once in a Blue Moon layer to make it visible. Select the layer to target it.
  5. Using either the Pen or the Pencil tool, create a curved path that will bring the "Once in a Blue Moon" text in along a short counterclockwise arc (Figure 4.13). Start below the text, and end the curved path near the center of the text. You'll designate this path as a motion path after you choose the initial motion preset.
    Figure 4.13

    Figure 4.13 Create a short, counterclockwise arc to guide the blue text up to the top of the page.

  6. In the Animation panel, choose the Fade In preset as a start, and use the following settings:
    • Event: On Page Load
    • Duration: 2.5 seconds
    • Speed: From Preset
    • Animate: To Current Location
    • Animate Scale: 120%
    • Visibility: Hide Until Animated
  7. Select the arc path and the text (which have already been converted to outlines), and click the Convert to Motion Path icon at the bottom of the Animation panel.
  8. The moon should start rising, followed by the appearance of the text. Use the Timing panel to control when each component plays. Select both animations in the Timing panel, and click the Play Together link at the bottom of the panel (Figure 4.14). (Ignore the existing animation in the Timing panel; it will make its appearance later in the exercise.) Preview the animation, save the file, and keep it open.
    Figure 4.14

    Figure 4.14 Synchronize the moonrise and the blue text so they play together.

  9. Now you'll create a motion path and save it as a custom preset that you can use for other objects. Hide the Party, Once in a Blue Moon, and Moon layers. Reveal the Balloons layer, and select it to target it. With the Pen or Pencil tool, create an S-shaped path that starts at the center of the green-and-purple balloon and stops short of the top of the page (Figure 4.15). You'll probably want to tweak the path after you test the animation; you want the balloon to float upward, but not off the page. Remember that the stroke attributes of the path aren't important; it becomes invisible once it's designated as a motion path.
    Figure 4.15

    Figure 4.15 Create an S-shaped path for the green-and-purple balloon to follow as it floats upward.

  10. Select the balloon and the path, and click the Convert to Motion Path icon at the bottom of the Animation panel. Use the following settings:
    • Event: On Page Load
    • Duration: 3 seconds
    • Speed: None
    • Animate: From Current Appearance
    • Animate Scale: 100%
    • Opacity: Fade Out
  11. To save the balloon motion as a motion preset, choose Save from the Animation panel menu. Name the motion preset Balloon Float in the Save Preset dialog (Figure 4.16) and click OK.
    Figure 4.16

    Figure 4.16 Name your new motion preset.

  12. Now you'll apply the new custom motion preset to the other balloon. Select the purple-and-yellow balloon, and choose the Balloon Float preset in the Animation panel; notice that it's displayed in a separate part of the Preset pull-down menu, near the top. That's where your custom presets will appear. Examine the settings. Everything you specified for the first balloon has been stored in the preset, giving you a big head start on the second balloon. Change one thing: Set the Opacity to None, so the second balloon doesn't fade out.
  13. Preview the animation. Reposition the purple-and-yellow balloon if it flies off the left side of the page. If you wish to edit the balloon's motion path, select the balloon, then switch to the white arrow and select the motion path. Once it's selected, you can move, add, or delete anchor points to change its travel. Such edits will not alter the custom motion preset you created—the changes will apply just to this balloon's animation.
  14. It would be nice if the second balloon appeared in front of the text at the top of the invitation. In the Layers panel, turn the visibility of the Once in a Blue Moon layer back on, and unlock the layer. Select the purple-and-yellow balloon in the Balloons layer, and use the small blue target square in the Balloons layer to push the balloon up to the topmost layer (Figure 4.17).
    Figure 4.17

    Figure 4.17 Move the purple-and-yellow balloon up to the Once in a Blue Moon layer by pushing the blue target square up to the top layer.

  15. Reveal the Party layer, and select the "We Have a Party" text. In the Animation panel, choose the Fade In preset and use the following settings:
    • Event: On Page Load
    • Duration: 3.5 seconds
    • Speed: From Preset
    • Animate: From Current Appearance
    • Animate Scale: 200%
    • Opacity: Fade In
    • Visibility: Hide Until Animated
  16. Finally, reveal all layers. The text in the You're Invited layer has already been animated. All you have to do is slightly rearrange the order in the Timing panel and link most of the animations together.
  17. In the Timing panel, drag the animation to the bottom of the list. Drag and up in the timing list so they're just below (Figure 4.18). Select all of the animations except, and link them so they start together on page load. They have different durations, so they don't all finish simultaneously. Preview the animation, save the file, and keep it open.
    Figure 4.18

    Figure 4.18 Arrange the animations in the Timing panel as shown. Link all the animations except .

Exporting and Importing Motion Presets

Motion presets are not document-specific. When you save a preset, it becomes part of InDesign's arsenal for all documents. You should save the Balloon Float preset in case you ever need it again.

  1. From the Animation panel menu, choose Manage Presets. Select the Balloon Float preset at the top of the list, and then click the Save As button. You can save motion presets anywhere; they're just XML files. Navigate to the Motion Presets folder inside the Ch_4_Exercises folder, name the preset BalloonFloat.xml, and click Save. You have to save presets one at a time, so if you want to store multiple custom presets, you'll have to export them like this, one by one. Keep the Manage Presets dialog open for the next step.
  2. So you'll know how to import custom motion presets, you'll delete the Balloon Float preset and then re-import it. Select the Balloon Float preset and click the Delete button. InDesign warns you that there is no undo for this move (Figure 4.19); click OK.
    Figure 4.19

    Figure 4.19 InDesign warns you that deleting a motion preset in the Manage Presets dialog cannot be undone.

  3. Back in the Manage Presets dialog, click the Load button, navigate to the folder where you saved the BalloonFloat.xml file, select the file, and click Open. Although you must save presets one at a time, you can load multiple motion presets at once. Preview the file one last time, and tweak anything you'd like to change. You're finished with this exercise; you can close the file.

In this exercise, you played with a number of motion presets, learned how to create and use a motion path, and learned how to save and load custom motion presets. You should feel more familiar with the controls in the Animation panel and the wonderful selection of motion presets InDesign gives you. You should also be starting to get a sense of how you can combine durations and animation order in the Timing panel to make things happen when you want. And it's all pretty easy, isn't it?

Peachpit Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from Peachpit and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about Peachpit products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites; develop new products and services; conduct educational research; and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by Adobe Press. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive:

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020