Here's my problem:
For argument's sake, let's say I have a simple layout (one photo on a white page) I 'create alternate layout' and set the link options dialogue to 'preserve local edits' (size and shape + frame content).
It works perfectly. If I resize either the picture frame or the size of the image in the frame on the master layout, Indesign understands that I don't want these edits to reflect on the alternate layout and it leaves that version alone. My links panel verifies that no links need updating and all is right with the world.
When I add a second photo to the main layout, after the fact, then 'place and link' it to the alternate layout using the content conveyor, (so now my simple layout has 2 photos) edits to the size, shape and content of this new graphic frame on the master layout are updating on the alternate layout too, despite the fact that I've set the link options to ignore changes to the size/shape and content of frames on the master layout. (FYI - the original image still behaves correctly, presumably because it existed before the official 'create alternate layout' procedure and was therein imbued with some kind of black magic)
So have I stumbled upon a limitation of the alternate layout feature here, or am I missing something? It seems that Indesign will create a well-behaved alternate layout, as long as you don't intend to ADD anything to it after the fact – which happens to be exactly what I need to do.
I would call it a limitation and to be perfectly honest, I have not found too many uses for alternate layouts. It’s a great idea in theory but in practice, well, it needs some work.
Thanks for weighing in Bob.
It's a shame, because the alternate layouts feature is perfect for what I'm trying to accomplish. I've got a series of ads that need to run in over a dozen different publications of different sizes and it's a breeze to have a master layout of say 10 different ads and alternate layouts for all of the publications all in one doc, with the text on all of the alternates subordinate to the text in the master. Whenever I need to update the master copy of any given ad (often - thanks, boss) I can press the 'update all links' button and watch as Indesign instantly delivers this revised content to all of the alternates.
If only I could get the photos to behave the same way.