5 Replies Latest reply on May 13, 2015 4:27 AM by AnneMarie Concepcion

    Sharing stories across InDesign documents without retaining styles

    allstarmatt

      I work at a small company, and we reuse the same pieces of content across multiple brochures. These stories/paragraphs need to be periodically updated with new copy. I know I can export an .icml file for each story and link that file to multiple InDesign documents. This works beautifully; when one document is updated, the other documents synchronize with the new content after updating the link. Here is the problem: these different brochures use different paragraph styles for the body, headings, etc. Is it possible to synchronize ONLY the text data across these multiple documents and ignore formatting and styles? Is InCopy the right tool for this?

        • 1. Re: Sharing stories across InDesign documents without retaining styles
          Ivan Mironchuk Adobe Employee

          InCopy would work. You could also create stylesheets that have the same names, just different definitions.

          • 2. Re: Sharing stories across InDesign documents without retaining styles
            Chad Chelius Adobe Community Professional

            Unfortunately InCopy cannot do this. When you make a style change to the text, it will be written to the story and that style will be updated in all documents. The only way you could do this would be by using only InDesign. In InDesign, you can click inside of some text and choose Edit > Place and Link. This will create an additional copy of the story that can be placed in another document and only the content will be retained across the documents. Each document can have unique styling applied.

            • 3. Re: Sharing stories across InDesign documents without retaining styles
              AnneMarie Concepcion Adobe Community Professional

              Actually it would work. The trick is to use the exact same style name but define them differently in the different InDesign files. 

               

              So if Description.icml is styled with Subhead and Body, and it's placed into LayoutA.indd which also has Subhead and Body, the attributes as defined in the ID file trump those in the InCopy file.  One ID file could have Subhead and Body colored red and another one could have them defined as green. Making text changes to any one instance of the InCopy file will force all InDesign files linked to that same story to update to the new text, but the style attributes as defined by the InDesign files will remain intact.

               

              AM

              • 4. Re: Sharing stories across InDesign documents without retaining styles
                Chad Chelius Adobe Community Professional

                Wow! Thanks for proving me wrong AnneMarie! I guess I always assumed that one would continue to "win out" over the other. Thanks for setting things straight!

                • 5. Re: Sharing stories across InDesign documents without retaining styles
                  AnneMarie Concepcion Adobe Community Professional

                  Sure. It's a workflow that can work, but it it's not quite the answer to the original question.  He wants to maintain the synched text in the text links but ignore the formatting in those text links. This would let him keep the same exact wording in diff INDD files, but he could apply a Heading style to a paragraph in one INDD file, and a Subhead style to the same paragraph in a different INDD file, without an issue.

                   

                  Our solution above requires all paragraphs be tagged with the exact same style name.

                   

                  Not even ID's own Edit > Place & Link function lets you "leave the gun, keep the cannoli" ... the Link Options for the child text frames don't let you control the text itself, only the text frame's attributes.

                   

                  The closest solution I can think of would be EmSoftware's WordsFlow (or DocsFlow for that matter). So you wouldn't have a collection of InCopy stories that linked out to multiple INDD files, but instead a collection of Word docs or Google Docs. Chris Ryland's plugins do let you apply different formatting to the same linked stories in diff. INDD files, and keep the formatting intact when the editor updates the source Word or Google Doc file.

                   

                  http://emsoftware.com

                   

                  AM