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Multi-State Objects

Instead of cluttering up my bookshelf with hundreds of pictures of my family, friends, and pets, I have an electronic screen that displays all my pictures in a single picture frame. That’s what a multi-state object is like. A regular InDesign frame displays only a single image or text content. But multi-state objects are special frames that can display more than one image or text content. You can then cycle through the multi-state object in a presentation to show many different items.

To create a multi-state object:

  1. Choose Window > Interactive > Object States. This opens the Object States panel squ_a.jpg.

    squ_a.jpg The Object States panel with no states visible.

  2. Select the object that you want to convert into a multi-state object.
  3. Click the New State button squ_b.jpg. This adds a multi-state name to the object and adds a second state to the object.

squ_b.jpg The New State button in the Object States panel.

To change the name of the multi-state object:

  1. Double-click the name in the Object Name field.
  2. Type a new name.
  3. Press Return to apply the new name.

To add states to a multi-state object:

  1. Click the New State button.
  2. Repeat to add as many new states as you want squ_c.jpg.

squ_c.jpg The Object States panel with two states applied to an object.

Adding and modifying multi-states one at a time takes too much time. What you want to do is select a whole bunch of objects and convert them into a multi-state object.

To create a multi-state object from existing frames:

  1. Select all the objects that you want to use in the multi-state object squ_a.jpg.

    squ_a.jpg When multiple objects are selected, you can create multiple states in the Object States panel.

  2. Click the New State button in the Object States panel. This converts each object into a new state within a multi-state object.

Once you have a multi-state object, you can modify the object as a whole or change the contents of a particular state.

To modify the content of a state:

  1. Select the multi-state object with the Selection tool.
  2. Double-click the name of the state that you want to modify. This selects the state.
  3. Switch to the Direct Selection tool. The icon changes to indicate the content of the state has been selected squ_b.jpg.

    squ_b.jpg The icons that show the status of the multi-states of a multi-state object.

  4. Make whatever changes you want to the content of the multi-state.
  5. Click the Paste Copied Content icon in the Object States panel squ_c.jpg. The pasted content is added to the state.

squ_c.jpg You can add content to a multi-state by using the Paste Copied Content icon.

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