Super Easy Scrolling Frames in FXL EPUB and Publish Online

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Chad Chelius is back with what has to be one of the fastest turnarounds in script development. Last week’s scrollable-sidebar for fixed-layout EPUB3 and Publish Online is now a script.

Last week, I wrote up a post on describing a method to create scrolling frames in both Fixed-Layout EPUB and Publish Online formats. There was a lot of great feedback on this technique, both on the blog as well as twitter. Although the technique works well, it’s a bit code-heavy and requires some manual effort to produce, especially if you have several scrolling frame elements in your project. Well, there’s good news!

An Easier Way

After we found a way to create the scrolling frames in InDesign, Justin Putney of AJAR Productions sat down and whipped up an amazing extension that adds a panel in InDesign to give users a GUI (Graphical User Interface) method of creating scrolling frames in InDesign. The extension is called Universal Scrolling Frames. The real beauty for those users who are weary of anything to do with code, is that this script creates scrolling frames completely code free. The best part? He’s made it available free of charge!

How it Works

To get started, go to the Universal Scrolling Frames web page and click the I Want Scrolling Frames button. All Justin asks for is your name and e-mail address so he can keep in touch with you. After that, you can download and install the extension.


Editor’s Note: you’re reading the screen above correctly: EPUB (Reflowable & Fixed Layout). This feature does work in EPUB3 reflowable, at least in iBooks. For fun, I threw a sample EPUB into Kindle Previewer. It converted to MOBI, but without the scroll; overflow and positioning CSS properties are not supported in KF8.

Once the extension is installed, you’ll see a Universal Scrolling Frames option under the Window menu. Choosing that option will display the Universal Scrolling Frames panel.



To get started, set up your scrolling frame by creating a content frame containing the content that you want to scroll, and paste it into a container frame. For more detailed instructions, see the previous post  (the panel also provides general instructions for setting up the frame). Select the container frame, then choose the desired options in the Universal Scrolling Frames panel.


That’s pretty much it! Export to FXL or Publish Online and enjoy this awesome feature! I’d like to personally thank Justin for investing his time, skills, and knowledge to create this extension for all of us to enjoy. Great work!

Chad Chelius is an Adobe Certified Instructor, author and consultant. He teaches clients around the world how to use and make the most of Adobe software and speaks at various industry conferences. Based in the Philadelphia area, you can learn more about him here and  follow him on twitter.

43 Responses to “Super Easy Scrolling Frames in FXL EPUB and Publish Online”

  1. Ella says:

    do these not work with Id 2014.0? I can’t get them to work this way or your other way described before.

  2. Chad Chelius says:

    Probably not Ella, the animation functionality wasn’t built into FXL in ID 2014.0. That functionality wasn’t added until the October release of CC 2014. If you run the CC update, I would expect the functionality to work.

  3. Kevin Callahan says:

    Ella, here’s a follow-up note from Justin Putney (sent via the editor):

    Hi Ella,

    It depends on which format you’re trying to export to. As Chad mentioned, there were big updates to FXL EPUB and Publish Online in CC 2014.1 and 2014.2.

    The other thing to consider, if you’re using EPUB, is the reader app. It should work on most of them since it’s pure CSS, and we tested a handful, but there are a lot of variations between readers.


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    You are my hero! Thanks!

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    Is there a way to create a button to scroll up/down the frame when clicked? It would be very useful since scrolling with the mouse in the computer only zooms in and out. Thanks!

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    Wow this is brilliant THANK YOU. Is it possible to allow scrolling in both directions horizontally? For example, I have a panorama that I’ve centered on my spread, and I’d like to allow people to scroll both to the left and the right, as what’s viewable without scrolling is just the middle of the image.

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    Hi, InDesign gives errors when exporting the epub. Some pictures are not displayed in the scrollable frames. I do not know why… I have to finalise urgently an epub using the scrollable frames. Does anybody know how to fix it? Best regards, Catherine

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  38. MAx says:

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  39. Yvonne says:

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  40. Yvonne says:

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  41. Jon says:

    This is a great solution. Love the easy of execution with or without the panel, but I’ve run into a few challenges with it.

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    My second challenge is that Google Play Books does not appear to read the overflow and positioning CSS properties to allow it to scroll.

  42. Robin says:

    I noticed, that objects with animations are not visible when grouped and pasted in the container. Scrolling does work but, my content is invisible…

    Not sure if its because of the animations but I thinks this might be the problem.