For those very few who might be interested, I think I found a solution to this. :-)
It seems that in an interactive PDF, any object that is a button has hierarchy over top of non-button items, regardless of how layers are arranged in InDesign. My solution was to turn the State Outlines, which were disappearing, into a button, also giving it hierarchy I could work with. Unfortunately, for that to work, I had to add it to each button as an additional field to show and hide upon mouse over and mouse off.
Even though I was able to get this to work, additional adjustments were needed. After making the state outlines a button, the size of that button overlapped the top few text listings at the bottom causing them to be non-functioning, so I had to rearrange them to remove the overlap. (screenshot)
Adobe Staff: Is this an intended feature or a bug?
Interactive items always overlay static items.
I thought that too, but in the Preview mode, that wasn't the case.
However, the state outlines are paths with no fill, yet they are treated as solid since nothing underneath it could be accessed. The text at the bottom, for example, had to be moved just because the bounding box of those paths overlapped it and made it impossible to click the text links.
What's the order of display? I understand interactive overlays static, but on this screen shot, when mousing over a text link at the bottom, the dark shaded region appears, but is overlaying the red dots, which are also interactive buttons, and are on a top layer. The darker shaded region is the third layer from the bottom. This is a PDF screenshot also showing my InDesign layers palette. Am I crazy?
Preview mode is intended as a print preview. Its not a PDF preview. While InDesign has EPUB Interactivity Preview and SWF Preview, it's never had a PDF preview.
FWIW, I think you're using the wrong tool for this. AFAIC, beyond forms, interactive PDFs are pretty much worthless.
With that out of the way, I know there were some layering bugs in the past. What I would do, if you really want to push this is to group the dots with the dark area so they show up.
After more digging, I solved it. I used Object>Interactive>Set Tab Order. I would have never though tab order would affect top-to-bottom layering.
It's backwards, but moving all of the red dots to the lowest in tab order moved them on top in layering. Those crazy kids out at Adobe.
Bob, do you have a suggestion on a different tool to use? It has to be distributed, so that's why I went with PDF.
FXL EPUB would suit this far better.
I know what you’re thinking already but interactive PDF beyond using Acrobat or Reader on a desktop is a crapshoot so unless you can control the device and the reader, you’re going to be faced with the same issues.