With these 5 elements you upgrade your documents

In the last article “InDesign: How to insert a link in a PDF document in just 5 easy steps“ we looked at how you can easily and quickly insert a link into your PDF document.

Today we are going to look at what a fillable and interactive PDF is and the possibilities it offers you and your customers.

For example, would you like to include professional documents as downloads on your website? Or offer fillable worksheets in your seminars? How about an online portfolio or presentation for your next webinar?

In this article I will give you an insight into what an interactive PDF is and how you can use it to make work easier for your customers and yourself.

What exactly is a PDF?

PDFs are perfect for printing, sharing documents via email, or making your portfolio or eBooks available digitally as downloads.

PDF stands for Portable Document Format: a universal exchange format for your electronic documents. This allows you to pass on and distribute a document regardless of the operating system and program. Design and layout are always retained.

You use the PDF format for your print data and as a digital version of your documents for distribution on the web. Both purposes differ in terms of the creation of the PDF. For the web or for exchange via e-mail, you need a small file size and short loading times. And: You can even make your PDF interactive.

What is an interactive PDF?

An interactive PDF file is a document in which you insert buttons and links to click, make form and text fields fillable on the computer or embed films and audios to present your product attractively.

I also use interactive PDFs for worksheets that I make available to my loyal newsletter readers for certain campaigns or as additional information – or to the participants of the mini-course (this course is already over) to process the respective daily tasks.

You offer your customers a great benefit if you provide seminar documents or questionnaires that can be filled out on the computer. You can simply send the file back to you without the hassle of printing out, filling out and scanning. And for those who still want to print it out and fill it out by hand, it works just as well. Without additional effort for you. That sounds handy, doesn’t it?

Your customers will appreciate your professionalism, because you ensure user-friendly work and also increase attention and interest in your product or service. Because an interactively designed PDF makes more than just a text with a few images.

Which program do I use to create an interactive PDF?

With Adobe InDesign: It is a powerful and versatile layout program that you use to create documents such as flyers, brochures and annual reports.

You have many options for arranging your creative ideas, text and images in the document and creating a professional layout with InDesign. It doesn’t matter whether you create one- or multi-page documents, your own page format or extensive layouts with columns and tables.

InDesign offers you various elements for interactivity in your document that you can integrate and use.

What interactive elements does InDesign offer?

Forms: With InDesign it is possible to create forms that you can fill out and later save as a PDF. In this way, you not only offer your customers and prospects a professionally designed form, you also support them in filling out the documents quickly and easily.

Hyperlinks: Hyperlinks allow you to link directly to another page in the document, to a website, to an email address, or to another document.

Bookmark: A bookmark is a shortcut that allows you to jump back and forth in your PDF document quickly and easily. You can refer to a page, text or graphics.

Buttons: Buttons as an interactive element are also a great option. Similar to a website, you use them, for example, to go to the next or previous page. You can also design the individual buttons in your corporate design.

video and audio: In addition to buttons, you can also insert videos and audios into your document. InDesign can process movie and audio files and place them where you want them in your file. This is a wonderful addition to make your offers or services even clearer with images or sound.


Interactive PDFs are very helpful for your readers and customers. You can create a wonderful experience from previously printed documents and simple text-image PDF files. And make handling your documents even easier.

And such interactive PDFs are not difficult to create at all. All you need is Adobe InDesign and some basic knowledge of how to use the program. In the next article I will show you step by step how to create fillable PDF files with InDesign.

Already using interactive PDF files? Would you like to create some for your customers? Do you have any questions? Write it to me in the comments.

And now?

Have you only used a printed version of your seminar documents or questionnaires so far and would you like to change that urgently?

Great, let me in then interactive PDF create. get now Your offer and let’s impress your customers together.

Manuela Aksu Manuela is the founder of Kreativcode and a passionate graphic designer from Munich. On her blog she shares her knowledge about graphic design and gives you useful and easy-to-implement tips that you can use immediately for your business.

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