An interactive PDF report produced for Global Water Intelligence.

We explored a number of options for the delivery medium of this report, including ePUB and as a standalone website. However we finally chose to create an interactive PDF as it would allow for offline reading (we knew clients often read our content while flying), and wouldn’t require the installation of other apps to view. Support for interactivity in PDFs is varied and in the case of mobile, often quite limited, so it was important to only use interactive features that could be visible to all, or to offer sensible fallback solutions.

The content of the report had quite an extreme nested structure – sections, subsections, topics and pages. Clear hierarchies of headings, and careful use of colour and emphasis were key to letting the reader navigate easily. Links allowed them to move within sections, and contents pages accessible from each page let them move to other sections. External links connected the report to relevant information in the online database included with this report.

To produce the report, master pages with default links were created in InDesign. A script then generated the sections and pages, based on a defined structure in an Excel spreadsheet, as well as inserting the links.