7 Replies Latest reply on Feb 15, 2013 2:35 PM by Peter Spier

    Batch editing?

    HeyKate27 Level 1

      Is it possible to batch edit many different InDesign files?


      Here's a simplified example:


      I have 10 one page sheets, all the same exact layout, headings the same, footer the same, etc - except the copy for one section differs on each page.

      If I wanted to change the footer on all 10 pages, without having to go into every single one - how would I do this?


      The one real-world example the pops into my head is with CSS Stylesheets. You change the style sheet, and all the pages in a website fall into that design.

      Is something possible like this with InDesign? Changing one piece on a "master sheet" to have all other files use the same layout elements?

        • 1. Re: Batch editing?
          Michael Riordan Adobe Community Professional

          You could set up a data merge for the sheet. You make one layout, tell it where the variable is, tell it where to get the data file with the replacement copy, and it creates all 10 pages for you.


          Dat merge, that's the ticket.



          Michael Riordan


          • 2. Re: Batch editing?
            HeyKate27 Level 1

            Thanks, I haven't even touched Data Merge before - so I'll look into it!

            • 3. Re: Batch editing?
              BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

              If the footers were all on a Master page you could put them into a book

              and sync it but why, may I ask, are all of these separate InDesign



              You'd be far better off with one single document that you could change.



              • 4. Re: Batch editing?
                HeyKate27 Level 1

                They are instruction sheets for 100's of different topics and catagories and need to be in their own layouts because of our company's workflow.

                If they were all in the same document I'd know what to do, and this would be easy. The problem is that isn't an option for this particular project due to other constraints.

                • 5. Re: Batch editing?
                  John Mensinger Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  I'm in a similar situation, and here's something I've been implementing with success. For lack of a better term, I'd call it cross-document master pages. It requires some thoughtful setup, but it's stupidly simple, and so far it's working here.


                  1. Set up all common page content in a single InDesign file. Give it a name like "common master."


                  2. Place (link) common master.indd on a 'bottom' layer of the master page of each child document.


                  3. Going forward, edits to common master.indd automatically take effect via link-update as child documents are opened for editing.


                  Can be done with one page or multiple pages/common masters. When InDesign acquired the ability to Place InDesign files, powerful possibilities like this came to bear. I don't doubt it could be used in ways that have yet to be imagined.

                  • 6. Re: Batch editing?
                    HeyKate27 Level 1

                    John, this might actually work perfectly for my odd situation! Thanks for sharing

                    • 7. Re: Batch editing?
                      Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                      Yeah, I like that approach a lot better thanthe synch ing of masters in a Book, which is likely to leave you with old overridden content you don't want.