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Adding Actions

The ability to add actions is a powerful feature in Acrobat that lets you make your PDF interactive. For instance, by clicking a button you can go directly to a Web page on the Internet, or you can set an action to link one part of a document to another. You can add actions to links, bookmarks, form fields, media clips, and pages. You have a variety of action types from which to choose: Execute a Menu Item, Go to a Page View, Import Form Data, Open a File, Open a Web Link, Play a Sound, Play Media, Read an Article, Reset a Form, Run a JavaScript, Set Layer Visibility, Show/Hide a Field, and Submit a Form.

To create an action that opens a file

1.
In a PDF document, choose the Button tool from the Forms toolbar.

2.
Click and drag in the area in which you'd like to create a button that can open a file.

When you release the mouse button, the Button Properties dialog box appears.

3.
Enter a name, type text for a tool tip if desired, and adjust any of the common properties that you want in the General tab (Figure 11.10).

Figure 11.10. You can enter a name and a tool tip in the General tab of the Button Properties dialog box.


4.
Set the way you want the button to look in the Appearance tab.

I am creating an invisible button with no border or fill color.

5.
In the Options tab, set a layout, behavior, and state for the button.

6.
Select the Actions tab to add your action to the button.

7.
Choose a trigger for the action from the Select Trigger pop-up menu (Figure 11.11).

Figure 11.11. Choose a trigger from the Select Trigger pop-up menu in the Actions tab of the Button Properties dialog box.


I chose the Mouse Up trigger.

8.
Choose an action from the Select Action pop-up menu.

For this exercise, I chose Open a File.

9.
Click the Add button.

The Select File to Open dialog box appears.

10.
Choose the file you want to open with this action by clicking the Select button.

This launches the Specify Open Preference dialog box (Figure 11.12).

Figure 11.12. The Specify Open Preference dialog box lets you indicate how you want the file to be opened.


11.
Choose how you want the file to be opened (Window Set by User Preference, New Window, or Existing Window). Window Set by User Preference means that the file will open according to the settings on the computer of the person opening the file.

12.
Click the OK button, which takes you back to the Button Properties dialog box. Click the Close button.

Now, when you click the Hand tool over the button area, the file you've chosen will open.


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