Adding a Splash of Interactivity with PDFs

Adobe Acrobat may not be used by graphic designers as much as Photoshop or Illustrator, but it still can be a powerful tool in your belt if you know how to use it right. With a little bit of code Acrobat can give you options like toggling layer visibility and notices based on user input. Let’s look at an example, shall we?

Let’s say that you have a client that you are designing a logo for. You’ve already gone through several rounds of revisions with your client, and they have narrowed it down to a few designs and some variations on them, like color and font. Your client will probably want to see how the various options work together, like design 2 with color scheme 1 and font 3. You can easily make images for all of these options, but how can you present them in an easy to understand and visually pleasing way?

This is where Acrobat can come in to play. Using a little JavaScript you can give your client a set of radio buttons that they can use to control as many options as they want and then just display the correlating image. This lets your client fully explore their options without giving them huge, complicated matrices of images. You can even display notices based on certain selections, such as displaying “This color will not show up well on black or dark backgrounds” in a notice box if the client selects really dark colors.

If any of this has piqued your interest and you want to learn more about how to make your PDFs interactive, then there are many, many sites that can help you get there, like Go ahead, check it out, and see what you’ve been missing!

If you would like to see an example of what some of these options look like, you can check out a personal example that was recently done. Please note, this is not a professional project, but it still shows a bit of Acrobat’s power. You can take a look at it at


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