The assumption is that a document will either be used for Print or for Digital Publishing or for Web. That is determined by the Intent you choose when you created your document.
If you choose Print intent, print-based sizes are offered by default. The default unit is picas. The colors in the Swatches panel are CMYK.
If you choose Digital Publishing, tablet/smartphone sizes are offered. The default unit is pixels. The colors in the Swatches panel are RGB.
If you want to change the default units from inches to pixels for the current document, right-click on the ruler (View > Show Rulers) and choose a new default unit. If you want to set units for all future documents, set it in Preferences > Units & Increments when no document is open.
You can also set up document presets either from the New dialog, or from File > Document Presets > Define which make it easier to always include bleeds, or never include bleeds for certain document sizes.
"The assumption is that a document will either be used for Print or for Digital Publishing or for Web".
So, it is an either or proposition.
I probably have a fantasy or a grossly preconceived notion of what Alternate Layouts are all about.
But blame it on Terry White and the other "evangelists", in AdobeTV and Tutorial videos who position this feature with the very purpose of doing a Print to Web to Digital Publishing workflow. It a user *has* to chose, at the onset, the intent of a given document then, this feature, in my eyes, has limited value.
I confess I'm not knowledgeable in all of Adobe's new products, in particular those designed specifically to "port" content from one type of media to another, like from Print to Digital. It's entirely possible that Adobe already has a solution for this "problem", that many, in the print business face, day in day out. I gather that if InDesign was actually delivering on this functionality, maybe it would actually be cannibalizing Adobe's other products, that are specifically designed with this functionality in mind?
So, I won't say that this feature is broken but as far as allowing a true "purpose-independent" kind of workflow, we'll say that Alternate Layouts will allow "portability" within one kind of media or another, not accross various media types.
Thank's Steve, for your patient and kind help.
Alternate layouts are one of those features that demo really well, but in real world use, they’re not worth the bother.
I suspected so. Thank's Bob.