For years we use multiple layers in Indesign for different language versions of layouts.
Alternative layouts in CS6 seemed an excellent plus for different production intents as offset or digital printing have their own restrictions or specifications.
So, after succesfully using those two alternative layouts for the same content and these two different printing intents, we duplicated a language layer (UK English) to create a new language version (USA English) of the brochure, and what happens ? The liquid layout of the second layout refers to its original parent on the UK English layer... unlike the other layers?
Is there a smart and quick way to tell this layer to look for its content at a different source/layer?
Also we are looking for a way to use "Find & Replace" only on one specific layout version. This would easen the process of formatting items or text which are not controlled by styles, and without the danger to change items which should stay unformatted on the original layout.
Example: text on offset printing is standard Pantone Grey, for digital printing this text is put in 100% black to meet the restrictions of the output device. A global "Search & Replace" is impossible, because it does not recognise a selective layout and will also change the text on the original layout for offset...
Somebody has an alternative or do we need to look for plugins to achieve this?
thx for your advice !
I think you're think ahead of what's possible.
Initially Alternate Layouts are aimed at print or Web uses where you want two or more different versions of a layout. In the current version 1 of this implementation, you can have differing page size and orientations. You can link text and graphics between alternate layouts. You can do style mapping between layouts. You can use the Smart Text Reflow feature to accomodate adding extra pages.
But there is no way to have each alternate look toward another layer. So your use case isn't possible (as far as I know, perhaps it could be scripted).
Also, each alternate layout uses the same swatches and ruler measurements so it wouldn't be possible to share both a print layout and a web layout in the same document. Another use case which is not dealt with yet.
Maybe in the next version of InDesign?
In Belgium, most publications are multilingual. In the past we also had some trouble to convince Quark that this was a main issue in Europe to combine multiple hyphenation methods in one document (we did some betatesting on several versions). This is still not solved entirely, because the dictionaries are not quite reliable. And to get all text straight, we need to implement dozens of specific paragraph styles... and a lot of manual checking.
The control by layers, or simply spoken: to be able to split the document into enclosed entities to control text and objects completely independant from other layers, would be a great option. As well for the different layouts, which need also adaptation to their target medium (colours, typefaces, line thicknesses, etc).
And when the hype of tablets will be over and settled, we will probably urge for a more modular way of making layouts: controlling text and image input apart from any layout structure.
I cannot believe that this is a difficult aim, for this has been implemented in the nineties with several other advanced typesetting systems, not really commercial on a broad scale, but focussed on a professional way of graphic design, also to split up human tasks in a production process.
Anyway, I will be looking for some plug-ins which could solve my biggest concerns, while Adobe hopefully will come with a more open architecture in Indesign.