How to create a text document with animations

August 31, 2015 at 00:28:25
Specs: Windows 7
I'm trying to create what for all intents and purposes is an e-book that includes some animated figures, and I'm trying to figure out the best way to do this.

It will be a very long text document (circa 80,000 words), which will need to have consistent styles, automated numbering systems for headings, figures, etc, and a means of handling references, such as what you see with EndNote and similar programs. The animations are currently gif images, and they will need to loop when displayed in the document. The final product would be saved as a pdf, which I understand is capable of displaying animations?

Does anyone know if it is possible to get Word 2010 to handle animations, and if so, how? I know it's capable of all the other requirements, although it's a bit dodgy and prone to corruption with long documents, so I'll use sub-documents and a good backup system to get around this.

Alternatively, does anyone know of a good text editor that would meet all the above requirements?

Thanks in advance for your advice.

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August 31, 2015 at 03:58:26
To the best of my knowledge, you can NOT display animation in a Word doc.

If you save the document as a Web page, you can see the animation with a browser,
but that does not sound like what you have in mind.

Powerpoint may be an alternative, but I'm not sure.

Alternatively, does anyone know of a good text editor that would meet all the above requirements?

Here is a couple of lists:


You can probably find more using a Google search.


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August 31, 2015 at 08:00:18
Word does not support animation in gif files. It will show only the first frame of the graphic. If the file is a txt file, It won't show any graphics at all.

Does the final document have to be in pdf format?

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September 1, 2015 at 23:17:32
Thank you for your help. After a great deal of research I have found several ways to get animations into documents like this. Not all are suitable for me, but I thought I'd consolidate all the options for anyone else looking to try something similar:

- My copy of Word includes an Adobe Acrobat add-on that allows Flash videos to be inserted. If I convert the gif to mp4 or similar, then I can get an animation into my document. In the Word document this displays as a black rectangle, but once the document is converted to pdf and viewed in Acrobat it is possible to play these videos in the document. The animation does not loop though.

- The above can also be achieved through Adobe Acrobat Pro. There are a few more options when inserting the video, but looping is still not possible.

- Installing the below video widget for Acrobat can allegedly solve the looping issue, and also offers a much more attractive interface, but does rely on the end user being willing to change program defaults and install software, which is far from ideal.

- Google Documents can insert and display animated gifs just fine, and can also export documents as a pdf. However pdfs are not compatible with gifs, and will only display the first frame.

- Many ebook creation programs appear to be able to support animation but I'm yet to find one with bibliography tools, table of contents generators, and similar. (Suggestions welcome.)

- Word can produce web pages, where gifs are displayed correctly, but a lot of other things are not. Only some of these could be fixed by directly altering the html code. Others I'm not convinced can be fixed at all.

- Acrobat Pro can attach documents, which are viewed externally. Not an ideal solution, but simple to achieve. Not really viable for my purposes though.

- Adobe Acrobat Pro can allegedly use Javascript to create animations which do loop and have a nice non-obtrusive interface. This appears to achieve everything I'm after, but does involve a two step process, whereby I create the document in Word, convert to pdf, then add in the animations. A coded solution is also far from trivial, but there are tutorials out there.

- LaTeX appears to be able to produce and display animations, as well as properly format text, generate bibliographies, tables of contents, automatic figure numbering, etc, then output the result as a pdf that doesn't require anything too special to view correctly (recent versions of Acrobat Reader are fine). In short, it will do everything I'm after, so long as I'm willing to learn its code, which is not trivial. I found the following tutorial on LaTeX animations, which includes animations in a pdf:
I'm hoping a good WYSIWYG LaTeX editor should make the coding aspect a bit less daunting.

I'm going to try the LaTeX option and see how I go. If I really can't cope with the coding I at least have a number of other options to fall back on.

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