All I can say is good luck, because you’re going to need it.
Trying to create interactive PDFs for mobile is not something I would envy anyone. The readers are simply not up to the task.
Welcome to the bleeding edge. The iPad and Xoom are new devices, and it will take some experimentation to find out which PDF readers will accomplish what you want.
If you create an interactive PDF the way you do for a computer, whether the interactivity works depends on the PDF reader. On an iPad, you have several choices. Among them: Adobe Reader (recently released), GoodReader, PDF Expert and iBooks.
I created a simple interactive PDF with hyperlinks to take me to a particular page, and I made a button which returned me to the first page. Here's what I found with the current versions of these readers on an iPad:
* Adobe Reader doesn't support interactivity yet. Neither the hyperlinks nor the button worked
* GoodReader worked the best. Hyperlinks worked and the button worked
* PDF Expert was second best. The hyperlinks worked and the button worked (but it lost the text on the button that said "Start Over")
* iBooks was third best. The hyperlinks worked but it doesn't support buttons.
I have absolutely no interest in getting a Motorola Xoom because it's such a loser of a tablet, and I have no idea of what runs on it. You'll have to do your own testing.
I should also add that these results are an improvement from what I found a few months ago. In particular, I think PDF Expert and GoodReader are working hard to improve their apps by adding new features.
On Android, you'll find that the PDF reader in Quick Office reads most links (URL's, email, page locations, etc.). It's got a couple of other rendering issues ... but most links in PDF seem to hold. The PDF reader in MobiSystems Office Suite 5 does not pick up the links.
I'm sitting here with a Xoom, and Quick Office doesn't let the hyperlinks or buttons work unfortunately...at least as far as I can tell. Besides checking Include All Buttons and Media, is there anything I could be missing when exporting?
Thanks for the info!
Do you know if Adobe Reader is going to support this in the future? It seems only logical that Adobe would be the first to have a reader that is fully functional with a file that their software created.
It would seem logical to many of us that Adobe Reader should be taking the lead in offering these features, but they are NOT. They are running behind other third-party developers. If you'd like to discuss this with the people who focus on readers for mobile devices, you should check out their forums: