If you would like to display a small selection of multiple cards that can be viewed just a few at time by pressing previous and next buttons, one way to create a carousel for them is with buttons and a multi-state object (MSO). 

This has many potential uses. For example, one customer sent us an example from their WordPress site that showed cards like those below which feature the "related posts" from the blog and they wanted to replicate that effect with InDesign and in5.

The Final Result

Here's what the final result might look like.

animated image of interactive carousel

Note that this is more sophisticated than simply showing 2 different states (cards 1-3, then cards 4-6) because the cards actually slide over one-at-a-time. You'll see how to create that effect in the steps that follow.

The Steps to Create the Carousel Effect

For this example, let's say you had the 6 items or "cards" like below.

all cards in a row

However, you only wanted 3 to show at a time.

Take the following to make an Multi-State Object (MSO) from the 6 cards:

  1. Group the contents of each of the card (Object > Group).
  2. Copy cards 1, 2, and 3 and paste them onto a new layer.
  3. Copy cards 2, 3, and 4 and paste them onto a new layer.
  4. Copy cards 3, 4, and 5 and paste them onto a new layer.
  5. Copy cards 4, 5, and 6 and paste them onto a new layer.
  6. Group the cards on each of these new layers.
  7. Select these 4 groups, and align their centers to the page.
  8. In the Object States panel (Window > Interactive > Object States), click the + button at the bottom of the panel to convert selection to multi-state object.
    Object States panel
  9. Make a button for either side of the MSO. 
  10. Select the left arrow element and convert it to a button (Window > Interactive > Buttons in Forms).
  11. Use the On Release or Tap event and add a Go To Previous State action with the name of the MSO set for the left arrow button.
    Buttons and Forms panel
  12. Select the right arrow element and convert it to a button (Window > Interactive > Buttons in Forms).
  13. Use the On Release or Tap event and add a Go To Next State action with the name of MSO set for the right arrow button.

Each of the cards (or elements within the cards) themselves could be buttons with a Go To URL action (or other document actions).

If you'd like to autoplay the states as a Slideshow, select your MSO and open in5 > Interactive Widgets > Slideshow, choose the autoplay option, and set the time between state changes.

How to Create True Sliding Transitions in your Carousel

It's possible to add On State Load animations for your cards using InDesign's Animation panel, such as a fade in for elements inside of a state (though there's no way to do an "out" transition for a state). If you want a truly seamless slider effect—that cannot beaccomplished using Object States technique above. However, you can create sliding transitions another way.

To do so, you'll want to create 2 InDesign/in5 documents. One is the container document, and the other is the carousel itself. The carousel document can be exported as a Slider format using in5. You can use the default navigation arrows from in5, build your own using Next and Previous Page Actions, or omit navigation entirely.

The video tutorial below shows a type of carousel that autoplays and is animated using the 2-document technique. It incorporates Presentation Mode with Enable Auto Play and Loop selected, and has smooth transitions between slides: