5 Replies Latest reply on Sep 24, 2012 1:31 PM by Peter Spier

    Questions on using templates [CS3]

    Eric/R

      Greetings,

       

      I'm trying to figure out the best way to approach an InDesign task, and my rank-novice-level experience isn't cutting it. Normally I'd read through a gazillion help pages and do a bunch of tutorials to try and teach myself enough to answer the questions on my own - but I'm a new parent (~2 months), so don't really have the time to take my usual approach; indeed, it took me several days just to write up this question and post it. So any help is *much* appreciated!

       

      What I'm trying to do: create ~80 cards for a board game. Each will have similar layout, so creating a template file seems like the way to go. I've never worked with templates before, but doing so seems straightforward enough for things like text, or for an illustration which would be different on every card. However:

       

      • Difficulty #1: Some cards are of one type - call it type A - while others are of type B. Several graphical elements are always the same for a given type, but are different for A vs. B. I'm sure there must be a simple way to say "this file uses all items for type A, and not B", but I'm not sure if this would be best done using different templates, different master pages, setting which layers are visible on an imported photoshop file, or some other technique. (Did I mention I'm a total novice with InDesign?)

       

      • Difficulty #2: There are half a dozen graphical elements (icons), each of which may or may not appear on a given card. Using templates or master pages for all permutations of their visibility seems like a bad idea. But if I simply delete the not-shown objects from each file (assuming one can do such a thing when using templates), that makes later changes (which might involve re-adding them) difficult. In Photoshop or Illustrator - both of which I'm more familiar with than InDesign - I'd simply make the layer/object non-visible; is there an equivalently simple way to "get rid of this object, but let it be easy to bring back" in InDesign? (I've found the "nonprinting" attribute, but that doesn't seem to hide it from view while editing, which makes verifying the layout as correct rather onerous.)

       

      • Trying to look ahead #1: Eventually, I'd like to create an InDesign document which imports all of the single card files into an easily printable layout (9 cards to a page); I'm told this is possible. Is there anything I should know to avoid shooting myself in the foot / making this task unreasonably difficult? (eg: if InDesign throws tantrums when you try to import multiple documents based off the same template, I'd sure like to know that before making 80 cards based off the same template.)

       

      Many thanks to anyone who can help!

       

      --Eric

        • 1. Re: Questions on using templates [CS3]
          Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

          Actually, it sounds like you have a pretty good handle on this. In CS5 or newer you could probably use layers and the Illustrator-syle layers panel to advantage for hiding inidividual objects on some pages, but in CS3 you don't have the newer panel, and showing hiding a layer in it's entirety is a global change that affects all pages, so no an option, if I read this correctly.

           

          There's another possibility that comes to mind though, as long as yo are able to select the object(s) you want to hide, which means you'll need to override any master objects that fall inthis catergory so they move to the document pages. Ctrl (Windows)/Cmd (Mac) + Shift click an object to override. Now go to Window > Attributes to open the Attributes Pallette. Overprint is not going to help but Non-Printing will. If you turn on Overprint Preview from the View menu your guides and pasteboard will remain visible (and overprinting colors will be rendered more correctly), but non-printing objects (and regrettably non-printing text characters, if you've shown them for editing) will disappear.

           

          I would encourage you to make as many different master pages for this as you feel is reasonable. The more you have the less of this type of finagling you'll need to do.

           

          As far as the 9-up layout, are you putting the same nine cards, or nine differnt cards on a sheet? The first is easy, the second not quite as simple, but certainly doable. But I have to ask if you are sending these out for printing. If so, the printer should be taking care of that.

          • 2. Re: Questions on using templates [CS3]
            Eric/R Level 1

            Thanks so much! Good to know I'm on the right track, and the tips on quick overriding and viewing as-printed probably saved me hours of frustrated hunting-around.

             

            As far as the 9-up layout, are you putting the same nine cards, or nine differnt cards on a sheet? The first is easy, the second not quite as simple, but certainly doable. But I have to ask if you are sending these out for printing. If so, the printer should be taking care of that.

             

            Nine different cards on each sheet - it's for desktop printing. (Both for personal use so I can print all cards easily, and for making PDFs to send to remote print-and-play playtesters.)

            • 3. Re: Questions on using templates [CS3]
              Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

              I'd make the card file at the trim size, and add a bleed allowance if you need one. Export this to PDF withthe bleed, but NO MARKS.

               

              Create a new file for the 9-up pages. On the master add guides for the grid, and add trim marks where appropriate. Use File > Place... and select the PDF you just made, but show the import options. You can do this by checking the box, or hold the Shift key when you click OK. Inthe options choose either a range of pages, or "all" and set teh crop to Media (your grid needs to include area for the inidvidual bleeds on each card, if you have them, and because your PDF has no marks its media size will correspond to either the trim or bleed dimension, as required, for the cards). These options are "sticky" and are used for both PDF and .ai imports, so yo may need to go back and change them for the next project.

               

              You'll return to ID with your loaded place gun holding all of the pages you specified and you can just click away in the upper left corners of each grid cell.

               

              I should probably mention, since I didn't earlier, that there is a downside to overriding master objects. If you apply a new master, or reapply the old one for some reason, the overridden objects remain and new master objects will be replaced where missing. Also, if you make any chages to an overridden object, that attribute, such as size or position, for example, loses it's link to the master and will no longer update if the master object is edited.

              • 4. Re: Questions on using templates [CS3]
                Eric/R Level 1

                I'd make the card file at the trim size, and add a bleed allowance if you need one. Export this to PDF withthe bleed, but NO MARKS.

                 

                Ah, here's where I display my novice status:

                 

                1. So you'd suggest just one card file, rather than one file per card all using the same template?

                 

                (If relevant: it would also be useful to be able to distribute 9-up PDFs of, eg, the only the 16 cards which changed in a particular revision.)

                 

                2. I'm familiar with bleed allowance, but am guessing at what you mean by "trim size", and don't know at all what you're referring to by Marks? My experience with actual pre-press production is pretty much nil.

                 

                I should probably mention, since I didn't earlier, that there is a downside to overriding master objects. If you apply a new master, or reapply the old one for some reason, the overridden objects remain and new master objects will be replaced where missing. Also, if you make any chages to an overridden object, that attribute, such as size or position, for example, loses it's link to the master and will no longer update if the master object is edited.

                 

                Mm, that is a difficulty; if I'm understanding this correctly, if I (eg) replaced or moved one of the icons on the master page, it would change on every card for which it was visible (printable), but not on those cards where it had been overridden to be non-printing - only a problem if I have to change which icons show on which cards, but that will certainly happen from time to time.

                 

                Is there a way to tell an object "stop overriding and re-load all your information from the appropriate master object"?

                • 5. Re: Questions on using templates [CS3]
                  Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                  1) yes. A template is just a file with information in it thatyou can use to make new files that are similar. You can have as many different master pages as you like, and add your swatches for consistent color and all of the styles you'll be using for various bits of type and so on. Using styles is something you should try to make a habit. Styles allow you to define a set of aprameters to apply to multiple things, then change your mind and edit just the style defintion so everywhere it was applied will update and you don't have to search through a document to find where you used a particular format. Every template starts out with at least one document page, but there's no reason you cannot add as many pages as you like to a file based onthe template.

                   

                  Suppose you have a typical set of cards with 4 suits. You might make a template with four master pages -- one for each suit -- or you might decide that since each card is different in most ways you want only a single master.

                   

                  2) Documents should generally be set up at the finished size after cutting (the trim size), and binding. Bleeds are additional and guides for them are added by showing "more Options" in the document setup dialog.

                   

                  The overridden objects thing is mostly an annoyance rather than a problem. You can always delete extra objects, and yes, there is a "remove local overrides" command (actually two, a balnket removal and a selcted object removal). Select the page or pages you want to modify in the Pages pallette, then open the pallette's flyout menu.