Can you place pages from one master file into different distribution files, or does "different footprints" mean they use different page sizes which require text blocks that are different shapes? What version of InDesign do you have?
hello, we have cs5. Our manuals exactly same excep company names on user manual. The changes on maual different by time to time. same time we make changes on shapes some times description.
If you don't have to change the shape of the text frames, but only the text inside them, you can make a master document the size of the text frame and use that to edit the text. Place pages from the master documnet into your distribution files, which is where you would do the custom headers, etc.
Text in these placed pages can only be edited inside the master document (it behaves the same way a placed image would behave), so you edit that, then update the link in all of the other files.
If you need to be able to change the shapes as well I think you'll need to upgrade to CS6 so that you can have the Alternate Layout and Linked Story features.