12 Replies Latest reply on Jul 16, 2017 3:34 PM by Owen Linzmayer

    How to place linked text inside an existing text frame?

    Owen Linzmayer Level 1

      I have an InDesign document that I would like to appear in several other documents.

       

      If I were doing it the cut and paste way, I would click the text cursor inside the text frame, select all, and copy.

       

      Then I would switch to the second document, click the text cursor in a specific place within an existing text frame, and paste.

       

      The pasted text would flow inline with the existing content over several pages. All good.

       

      So I thought I could use Place and Link instead to keep the content in synch across several documents.

       

      When I select the content and choose Place and Link, the cursor loads with the linked content. All as expected.

       

      But when I switch to the other document, I can't place the linked content inside an existing text frame.

       

      Instead, when I click where I want the content, it flows over the existing content, as if on a different layer (see below).

       

      Any ideas how to get this to work would be greatly appreciated.

       

      Screen Shot 2017-07-15 at 7.37.07 PM.png

        • 1. Re: How to place linked text inside an existing text frame?
          Barbara Ash Adobe Community Professional

          It is a two step process. After clicking to place the text, select it with the Selection tool and cut it. Then switch to the Type tool, click an insertion point where you want the linked text, and paste.

          • 2. Re: How to place linked text inside an existing text frame?
            Owen Linzmayer Level 1

            Barbara,

             

            Thanks. I originally thought that's how to do it, but it doesn't work. Once I cut and paste the linked text frame in the child document, it's no longer linked to the parent, defeating the purpose of using the Place and Link command.

             

            Perhaps the problem lies in what InDesign is linking? I would like the content inside the threaded text frame in the parent document, not also the frame. And when I place it in the child document, I want this content to appear inline with the existing content, leaving the text before unchanged and reflowing the text that comes after the insertion point.

             

            I think this is the kind of thing that's difficult to describe but simple for someone to understand if they were sitting at the computer.

             

            Any other ideas?

            • 3. Re: How to place linked text inside an existing text frame?
              AnneMarie Concepcion Adobe Community Professional

              You said you have "an InDesign document that I would like to appear in several other documents" ... or do you mean you have a text frame that you would like to appear in several other documents? Or do you mean the contents of a text frame that you would like other documents?

               

              Assuming you meant an INDD file (perhaps it only contains a single text frame...) You can Place an INDD file into another INDD file. Click an insertion point in your text and add an empty return. Select that return and make sure it's set for Auto Leading (I often make a special paragraph style called "inline image" for this) that way, you don't end up with overlapping text. Then with your type cursor blinking in that empty paragraph, choose File > Place, and select the INDD file. It appears in the Links panel just like any other link.

               

              Note that you can't edit the text in the placed INDD file. You'd have to "edit original" to do so, which would make that update in all other files into which you've placed the same INDD file, just like editing a Photoshop file that you placed into multiple layouts.

               

              AM

              • 4. Re: How to place linked text inside an existing text frame?
                amaarora Adobe Employee

                Hi,

                That is because an inline (or anchored) text frame cannot be "placed and linked" (and vice versa).

                 

                You can also see that if you make a child frame inline(or anchor) in a parent frame, the "place and link" option is disabled for the child frame. But it is enabled for the parent frame. And that is how it should be if thought logically.

                Owen Linzmayersaid:

                And when I place it in the child document, I want this content to appear inline with the existing content, leaving the text before unchanged and reflowing the text that comes after the insertion point.

                So after you place it in a new document and then try to anchor it, you will see the linking it lost again... since after anchoring the child frame(created after linking) becomes part of a new parent (and not the frame from which it was linked earlier)... and this can be verified from the layers panel.

                 

                I hope I made my explanation clear.

                 

                You can also file a feature request for supporting linking of anchored objects at Feature Request/Bug Report Form

                 

                -Aman

                • 5. Re: How to place linked text inside an existing text frame?
                  AnneMarie Concepcion Adobe Community Professional

                  Anchored text frames cannot be linked to an external source ... a limitation of the program, I guess. Probably some deep text engine reason why it can't be done.

                   

                  If you don't want to place the INDD file, you'll have to convert it to some sort of graphic in order to both have it be both part of the main text flow and linked to the original. A PDF or an Illustrator file, perhaps. Of course, it won't be able to break pages or columns, in that case.

                   

                  It is an interesting problem you have there.

                   

                  AM

                  • 6. Re: How to place linked text inside an existing text frame?
                    Owen Linzmayer Level 1

                    AnneMarie,

                     

                    Conceptually, placing the INDD file seems to be the solution. But it doesn't work as expected.

                     

                    I have selected the carriage return at the desired insertion point in the text frame of the child document.

                     

                    When I place the INDD file, everything after the selected carriage return disappears, as if the placed content was too big to display.

                     

                    However, the content of the placed file is a table that's the same width as the text frame in the chid doc.

                    • 7. Re: How to place linked text inside an existing text frame?
                      Owen Linzmayer Level 1

                      Maybe I'm trying to use the wrong tool to solve the problem.

                       

                      Let's say I have a paragraph of text that I want to appear at the end of every document, such as a boilerplate copyright notice.

                       

                      Each document consists of multiple pages, each with a single text frame flowing from page one to the last page, in a two-column layout.

                       

                      The documents are of various lengths, and I'd like the text to appear at the very end of each document.

                       

                      What's the preferred way to accomplish this?

                      • 8. Re: How to place linked text inside an existing text frame?
                        Barbara Ash Adobe Community Professional

                         

                        "selected carriage return disappears, as if the placed content was too big to display." That is because InDesign places the whole page, not just the small piece of text. You would need to change the page size so that it fits around the text frame that you plan to place into another document.

                        Perhaps the feature was meant to be used only for stand-alone text. For example, a single text frame with copyright information.

                        What you are trying to do has been a feature of Adobe FrameMaker for as long as I can remember.

                        • 9. Re: How to place linked text inside an existing text frame?
                          Owen Linzmayer Level 1

                          I can't believe InDesign doesn't have a feature that allows for the reuse of snippets of text in multiple documents, but I'm afraid I'm getting nowhere with the various proposed solutions to this problem.

                           

                          I appreciate everyone's input, but nothing appears to work as expected or desired. Rather than waste more time on this, I'll just stick to the old cut and paste method.

                          • 10. Re: How to place linked text inside an existing text frame?
                            Laubender Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                            https://forums.adobe.com/people/Owen+Linzmayer  wrote

                            … Rather than waste more time on this, I'll just stick to the old cut and paste method.

                            Hi Owen,

                            yes. Currently that's the best you can do for now.

                             

                            The 2 rules with Linked Text (the feature, not the workflow) are as following:

                             

                            1. Whole stories only.

                            You cannot link on e.g. paragraph level or below.

                             

                            2. No anchoring of text frames with Liked Text.

                            Just plain text frames.

                             

                            A chance perhaps:

                            Rule 2 can be overcome with links to files like *.txt, *.rtf, *.doc or *.docx.

                             

                            Solution:

                            You could try to export to Tagged Text. And import of files with Tagged Text. Updating changed files would be possible. Relinking to other tagged text files would be possible. Also when working with anchored text frames.

                             

                            How will that work?

                            Select all text of a story and export that text to:

                             

                            Adobe-InDesign-Tagged-Text

                            Export options:

                             

                            Tag: Ausführlich // Sorry for my German UI, "Ausführlich" could be translated to "lengthy" or "verbose" perhaps.

                            Kodierung: Unicode // Encoding: Unicode

                             

                            TaggedText-ExportOptions.png

                             

                            That will create a "special" txt file that should not be edited with a text editor if you never worked with Tagged Text or tested a lot.

                            That txt file can be placed and linked with other InDesign documents. Formatting could be maintained, if the recieving document does not have the styles used in the source document. Not tested, but I think that formatting will adapt to existing styles of the target document if the styles exist prior placing the tagged text file. ( But test that yourself, I did not investigate that very much. )

                             

                            For that place and link workflow you have to change the placing options of text files in the InDesign Preferences so that links are created. Updating contents and formatting would be possible in a semi-automated way. You will be notified if the links are outdated. Or you could select the text in the target and place again a different tagged text file to update contents and formatting.

                             

                            I just tested this with a simple story where I formatted text using a custom paragraph style and a character style. For best results be very strict with formatting, test very carefully. The devil's in the detail, I guess…

                             

                            Regards,
                            Uwe

                            2 people found this helpful
                            • 11. Re: How to place linked text inside an existing text frame?
                              Laubender Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                              Hm…

                              Just inspected your screenshot where a table can be seen with an anchored image.
                              That may be the detail where Tagged Text could fail. I did not test this… That's up to you :-)

                               

                              Then, as last resort on this, we could work with a 3rd-party plug-in like WordsFlow by EM Software that can handle formatted text and anchored images and could do an export to *.docx files. You should be able to link the files, updating the files, relinking the files. Even without opening them in MS Word. Try this with a trial of WordsFlow.

                               

                              Regards,
                              Uwe

                              1 person found this helpful
                              • 12. Re: How to place linked text inside an existing text frame?
                                Owen Linzmayer Level 1

                                Uwe,

                                 

                                Thanks SO much for the detailed options for working around the problem to get to a solution, but the old cut and paste works well enough if it wasn't just a brain fart on my part preventing the correct use of an existing feature.