DIY tips from our PADS4 designer Jasper
You probably already know PADS4 offers a great variety of functionalities. These functions often have their specific spectrum of options, which can be a bit overwhelming at times. Therefore, I will help you to find out more on these functionalities. Starting with how you can create an interactive PADS4 presentation!
As a long-term PADS4 designer, I have been working with most of these functions extensively. That’s exactly why I would like to share some of my insights on what’s the best way to do things in PADS4, all from the perspective of a graphic designer.
In this article, I will explain how you can easily implement interactive functionalities in the design you create in our PADS4 Designer.
When I start working on a brand new design, I always start with making a first mock-up in Photoshop. From this mock-up, I cut out the parts I need separately, and I save those as images in my content library. These include background images, icon images, and all other images you can think of. When designing for a touchscreen, these can also include button images. Within PADS4, there are three ways of using buttons.
1. Using the standard button
To see the standard PADS4 button, you simply select the ‘interactive button’ element from the toolbar on the left side, and drag the button onto your canvas. When you right-click on it and go to ‘interactive button properties’, you can change the colors at the ‘button style options’. It’s useful when you need a quick button, but design-wise it does not always match what you have in mind.
2. Using an image as a button
When you drag the standard PADS4 button onto the canvas, and you open the ‘properties’ menu, there is a tab on the left that says ‘content (image)’. Here you can set an image which you can use as a button. The image now appears on top of the button. If you only want to see the button, you can set the ‘button color’ and ‘focus button color’ to transparent at the ‘button style options’ tab. It’s an option that works, but it can take quite some time to cut out all your separate button designs in Photoshop and put them into your PADS4 design.
From left to right; our standard button, an image used as a button, and the 'invisible' button
3. The “invisible” button
With the standard PADS4 button on your canvas, you can go to the ‘properties’ menu. At the ‘button style’ tab on the left side, you set the ‘button color’ and ‘focus button color’ to transparent, to create a completely transparent button, making it invisible!
But why would you want an invisible button?
For me personally, the ‘invisible button’ is the most used one. By using invisible buttons, you do not have to cut them all out of the design separately, which saves a lot of time. I simply leave the buttons in the background image, export it from Photoshop, and place it in PADS4. In PADS4, I now only need to put my ‘invisible buttons’ over the buttons in the background of my mock-up design. There is only one thing you should not forget: add the navigation properties at the ‘interactivity tab’ of your interactive button.
The ‘invisible interactive button’ is also useful when your content begins with a ‘Touch the screen to start’ page. Change the size of the button to the size of your canvas, simple as that!