10 Replies Latest reply on Feb 21, 2013 5:13 AM by Peter Spier

    indb or Not?

    KarynRH Level 1

      Most of the publications I create in InDesign are 4-8 pages and it's easiest for me to just use a template that contains a cover page, inner pages, and a back cover all in one ID file. Occasionally, I need to make larger books (rarely more than a combined 36 pages), with a cover, inside cover, ToC, separate types of inner pages, an index, an inside back cover page, and a back page. These I make as separate files linked within an indb, continuing the tradition of the way they've been done before I got here.


      Aside from the fact that it's faster to open each of the separate sections because sometimes some of them have a lot of placed images, is there any other particular benefit to continuing to create the larger publications as a series of sections, linked to an indb file, rather than condensing all of the pages into one file? I can easily have as many master pages as I need and control the section numbering so I don't see any other benefit. Still, I create the larger publications so rarely that I may well be overlooking some positives to using the indb and a series of files.


      I ask primarily because we're about to do six or seven of these larger publications and, as rarely happens, have enough notice that I can create a new template - in fact, I'll have to update the old templates with our new logo anyway. Also, I'll be exporting them as epub in addition to pdf, which seems like it would be easier if it was all one file. As near as I can tell, none of the upcoming projects will have enough placed images that opening or saving them all as one file will be an issue.


      I have CS6, if that makes any difference.

        • 1. Re: indb or Not?
          Willi Adelberger Most Valuable Participant

          I work in many cases with book files, specially for larger publications. It is important to have always the same name in all styles and masterpages, same layers and order of them.

          If I have a logo on each page I use object styles to put it on the right position. (I put it as anchored object in a text frame)

          Synchronising gives me the chance to make changes fast in all documents.

          Exporting to epub, pdf or anything else has no disadvantage except one, that it is not possible to exports spreads accross 2 files.

          The covers have to be extra printing pdfs anyway, but it is good to synchronize styles here too because fonts and other things have to fit to the content.

          • 2. Re: indb or Not?
            KarynRH Level 1

            Thanks for the information, Willi.


            Are you aware of any reasons to create a publication as a series of indd files, linked with an indb, rather than just have all of the sections in one indd file?


            The only thing I've noticed so far is that a publication with a lot of images will open faster if it is broken down into a series of files, rather than all stuffed into one. Beyond that, I haven't come across any advantage to using a series of files, rather than just one. Does anyone know of any other reasons?


            I'm just trying to check get the facts before I decide whether or not to make this change. There may be important things I haven't noticed because I create larger publications so rarely and our audience is small.

            • 3. Re: indb or Not?
              Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

              Using a Book allows you to reuse the same content in multiple books easily (though you need to watch the pagination carefully), and it also protects you, to a degree, from file damage since only one part of the whole project is likely to be damaged at any time (but you should be doing regular versioning and backups, anyway), but there are plenty of inconveniences as well and if you use cross-references ID is known to become very unstable with cross-refs between different files.

              • 4. Re: indb or Not?
                Tom Usrey Level 3

                Will you be the only one working on the job? If more than one needs to access the job, you may want to keep it as a Book.

                • 5. Re: indb or Not?
                  KarynRH Level 1

                  Peter, thank you for those points. The file damage issue hasn't come up for me with regard to InDesign files so that wouldn't have occurred to me. I haven't been keeping versions of publications because most of them are small-ish and rarely take me more than a couple of hours, so they're converted to PDF before I close the file. I should be, though, and most especially with these larger ones, which go back to the author and editor for at least a day after I finish the layout.


                  Tom, I'll definitely be the only person working in InDesign. No one else will touch the program unless the company pays for training and the company won't pay for training, so it's just me.


                  I appreciate the responses. I don't see anything overwhelming to compel me to do these as books at this point but I've got another day or so before I need to work on the templates so I'll keep an eye out. )

                  • 6. Re: indb or Not?
                    Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                    Get into the habit of backing up files you are working on to some external media (at the very least). Far better to get into a regular backup routine. You'll thank yourself the first time you have a hard drive failure or a power surge that destoys your work.

                    • 7. Re: indb or Not?
                      KarynRH Level 1

                      I have to keep all InDesign files on the network, which is backed up to an offsite server every night, but I'm going to ask about an external backup. They've certainly become cheap enough that it shouldn't be an issue. As for power surges, the building has a system to prevent that and my computer has a combination surge protector and backup battery so I have plenty of time to shut down properly if the power goes out. Still, I've experienced corrupted files before and at home, save backups on an external drive, so I'm hoping they'll approve an external backup solution of some sort. We're discouraged from saving much of anything to our PCs.

                      • 8. Re: indb or Not?
                        Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                        I would say that you're pretty well covered, but also that the largest portion of damaged files that cannot be recovered reported here also happen to be stored on a network. I'm not saying that it will happen to you, but networks are inherently less reliable for read/write operations than a local hard drive (as are external hard drives), so the more places you back up, and the more often, the better.

                        • 9. Re: indb or Not?
                          KarynRH Level 1

                          I can't say I feel well covered but I've dealt with worse. I definitely will bring this up to our IT guy and see how he feels about saving to my own hard drive as a backup.


                          Thanks for your input!

                          • 10. Re: indb or Not?
                            Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                            Remember, Books are tricky...

                            Copies of .indb files refer to the original component files and original locations. You need to make copies of everything, and in case of disaster you'll need to either create a new .indb file from the copies, or move the copies to the original locations and replace the corrupt originals.


                            If you make your copies by doing a Save As, do it twice, once to the original spot and once to the backup or your changes won't be reflected in the book.