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Grammarator2013
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Is there a quick way to make a universal change across many InDesign/PDF files?

Sep 25, 2013 6:27 AM

We are a mid-sized manufacturing firm that produces many different versions of our product. For each of our units, we produce a set of technical instructions, using Illustrator and InDesign. Within each instruction manual, there are pages unique to the individual unit, and pages that are universal (boilerplate) across all of our manuals. We export each complete instruction manual to PDF for printing and placement on our website. At present, we need to make a change to one of our universal pages that appears in every manual. Is there a way to apply the change across all of our manuals without opening each InDesign file separately, updating the link, and creating a new PDF? That process is obviously time consuming and labor intensive considering the volume of files that will need to be updated. As such, any suggestions or recommendations would be appreciated. We would like to automate the process, even if it means updating our software or changing our method of producing instruction manuals.

 
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 25, 2013 6:42 AM   in reply to Grammarator2013

    Batch convert script - http://www.kahrel.plus.com/indesign/batch_convert.html

     

    This gives the option update modified links

     

    http://www.kahrel.plus.com/indesign/images/batch_convert.png

     

     

    This of course means that all your files must be under 1 folder.

     
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    Sep 25, 2013 6:42 AM   in reply to Grammarator2013

    The first thing that comes to mind is you might not know that you can place a page (or pages) from one InDesign document in another. I'm assuming that the universal pages are laid out all the same across the manuals. You would then make a change to the universal page ID file and then it would be updated in the placed ID file. But this would mean opening each ID file and making a new change.

     

    The other thing that comes to mind is you can make just one page PDF and replace the others in the Acrobat files.

     

    However, if this is something that happens a lot, it sounds like you could use the services of a scripter who specializes in creating workflows. This would be something that you make the change in one ID document, click a button, and all the PDFs with that page update.

     

    It's well worth the money to create.

     

    Harbs who hangs out around here is one I know. I also know another, based in Vermont, who I can hook you up with. Contact me at sandee at mac dot com and I can give you his details.

     
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    Sep 25, 2013 6:44 AM   in reply to Eugene Tyson

    I don't quite understand Eugene's suggested workflow, but you should try it out since it's free.

     
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    Sep 25, 2013 8:54 AM   in reply to Sandee Cohen

    Basically - it sounds like they have Illustrator file that is common to many different inDesign files.

     

    And seems like they are placing some pages of a master document from InDesign within other InDesign documents.

     

    When they update a master document and make changes to it - they have to open and update all the modified links across all the documents.

     

    Using my method - you can select a base folder where all the InDesign files are residing.

     

    Run the script - and select "Update modified links before exporting"

     

     

    So in essence all the PDFs will be generated - and the modified link will be updated in each document.

     

    Plus all the InDesign files will update the modified documents.

     

     

    I do this a fair bit and it works for me very well.

     

    Unless I have misunderstood the problem here.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 25, 2013 9:14 AM   in reply to Grammarator2013

    There's the option to Modify and Save your documents as you export to PDF.

     

    There's also the ability to run a script.

     

    Perhaps best to contact Peter Kahrel himself on the options you need - I don't specifically have experience with this sort of thing.

     

    Unless Sandee knows someone or has other ideas?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 25, 2013 9:20 AM   in reply to Grammarator2013

    I have no idea what the price would be.

     

    What you and I think of as an easy project sometimes turns enormous.

     

    Best to contact the scripter and get a rough estimate.

     
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