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

Home > Articles > Design > Adobe Creative Suite

Working with Animations in Adobe InDesign CC

Even if you’ve never created any sort of video or animation, it’s easy to apply motion effects to InDesign elements. Learn how in this excerpt from Digital Publishing with Adobe InDesign CC: Moving Beyond Print to Digital.
This chapter is from the book

It’s hard to find anyone under 65 who didn’t grow up watching cartoons on television. Kids have fun watching cartoon characters run, jump, and fly around the screen. It’s the same creating animations for presentations and displays. Images and text can magically appear and disappear on the screen. Objects can jump up and down for emphasis. Illustrations can come to life.

Even if you’ve never created any sort of video or animation, it’s easy to apply motion effects to InDesign elements. We like this better than leaving InDesign to work with Adobe Edge Animate. However, the output options for animated elements are limited. (See the sidebar “Exporting InDesign animations” on this page.)

Basic Animation Settings

Most of our favorite animations simply move a text frame or image onto a page. You can apply animations only to whole frames. You can’t have just a single paragraph, such as a bullet point, move onto the page; each bullet point in the text would have to be in its own frame. However, as you will see, there are a wealth of ways to move objects around the page.


Click to view larger image

Objects can be animated to fade into view as they move onto a page.

Applying motion presets

The easiest way to animate objects is to use the animation presets that ship with InDesign. After you have applied a preset, you can then modify the actions of the animation. The primary controls for animations are applied using the Animation panel.

To open the Animation panel, choose Window > Interactive > Animation. Select the object or group that you want to animate. The object can be on or off the page.


Click to view larger image

The Animation panel and an object with the animation icon visible.

With the object selected, choose one of the animation presets from the Preset list. This applies an animation to the object, as indicated by the animation icon displayed in the lower right of the frame.

Most of the presets are well described by their names. For example, Fade In applies the effect of the object fading into view. But the effect of a preset such as Pulse may not be immediately understood. You can preview its effect by applying the preset to the animated object. The picture of the butterfly in the Animation panel then animates according to that effect.

Naming the animation

When you apply a preset to an object, the object’s Name field fills in with a generic description of the object. An empty rectangle frame is called rectangle. A text frame is named with the first few words of text. A graphics frame contains the name of the placed image. If you work with many animated objects, you will likely want to change these generic names to something more explanatory. Select the text in the Name field and replace it with a more descriptive name.

Setting the duration and speed

The Duration field controls how long (in seconds) the animation plays. The motion presets apply a default setting that you may find too short. You can lengthen the animation by increasing this setting.

The Speed menu controls whether the animation accelerates or decelerates as it plays. Applying these settings makes the animation look more realistic. (Think of a car that starts, builds up speed, slows down, and then stops.) You can choose from the following options:

  • From Preset uses the speed control that is applied by default to the animation preset.
  • None keeps a constant speed throughout the animation. This is useful for animations that move in a single place, such as rotations.
  • Ease In starts slowly and speeds up. Think of a car starting at slow speed and accelerating. Since you don’t want the car to stop abruptly, you will most likely want the object to move off the page.
  • Ease Out starts at a constant speed and slows down at the end. This is like a car that is moving slowly down to a stop. Since you wouldn’t want the object to start up suddenly, at full speed, it is most useful when the object starts off the page, and then moves into view.
  • Ease In and Out starts slowly, remains constant for a period of time, and then slows down. This is most useful when the object is visible throughout the duration of the animation.

Playing the animation multiple times

Use the Play field to choose how many times the animation repeats. For most animations that move onto a page, you will want to set them to play only once. But for presets such as Gallop, which moves the object up and down, setting the Play field to more than 1 causes the object to jump several times.

Select Loop to repeat the animation endlessly. Setting an animation to endlessly play on a page is distracting. But that doesn’t mean you can’t loop objects such as the wheels on a car that moves across a page. The wheels should loop in that situation.

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