How to Create a Slideshow Caption in Adobe InDesign

In Brief...

Multi-state objects can be created with any kind of frame, including text frames. In this example, captions will be added to a multi-state object slideshow.

This feature works the same in InDesign CS5, CS6, and CC versions.


  1. In this layout, the image frame is a multi-state object and the navigation buttons have been created. (To learn more about this, see How to Create a Multi-State Object Slideshow.) A text frame with the first caption has now been added.
    Slideshow Layout With Text Frame

  2. Using the Selection Tool, click the text frame with the caption. Go to the Object States Panel and click the Convert button. Name the state "Captions".
    Text Frame and Object State Panel

  3. Notice that when a multi-state object is created, the state name is highlighted, so you can give states meaningful names. I'll rename State 2 "Funky", then go to the text frame in the layout and type in the new caption text.
    Layout With New Caption State

  4. Click the Create New State button, changing the caption in the layout each time, to add as many captions as necessary for the number of images in the slideshow. Note that you must use the Selection Tool to create new states. Here, four caption states have been created. The first state was renamed by clicking, pausing, and clicking again to highlight the text.
    Objects States Panel

  5. The caption states must now be added to the buttons. Open the Buttons and Forms Panel (Window > Interactive > Buttons and Forms) and select the Next button in the layout. The button already has one action to control the image.
    Button With One State

  6. Click the Add Action menu and select Go To Next State.
    Add Action in Buttons and Forms Panel

  7. Click the Object menu in the Buttons and Forms Panel and choose Captions.
    Buttons and Forms Panel

  8. In the layout, select the Previous button. Repeat Steps 6–7, adding the Go To Previous State action.
    Buttons and Forms Panel for Previous Button

  9. To preview the slideshow, go to the Window > Interactive > SWF Preview. Click on the buttons in the preview to test the slideshow.
    SWF Preview Panel

Author: Kate Cahill

Kate Cahill is a graphic designer, writer, and creative director who has developed content for print and web. As creative director, she has produced award-winning work for agencies focused on the pharmaceutical, and health and beauty aid industries. She has also served as production manager, with responsibility for the successful fulfillment of long-run print contracts. Kate has been delivering training for Webucator clients since 2010. Her enthusiasm for cutting-edge technology, combined with hands-on practical experience, brings an added benefit to her class. Kate teaches real-world techniques and integration of Adobe software, as well as Microsoft PowerPoint to produce a fully-developed and cohesive brand identity.