10 Replies Latest reply on Jun 13, 2011 2:35 PM by peter minneapolis

    Updating and Linking Snippets?

    Dena@WHG

      Using InDesign CS5.

       

      I cannot find a better way to update a snippet - I cannot open them in InDesign therefore I have to open a document, place the snippet, change the snippet, drag back to my snippet folder, rename the snippet and then find all the documents it was used in and replace them in every document.

       

      There has to be a better way? Anyone have any ideas?

       

      I have snippets that will be used in multiple documents. When we need to update a snippet I would have to go through this entire process every time?

       

      Also, is there any way to edit a snippet without having to place it in an InDesign document?

       

       

      Thanks for any help you can give me!

       

      Dena

        • 1. Re: Updating and Linking Snippets?
          John Hawkinson Level 5
          I cannot find a better way to update a snippet - I cannot open them in InDesign therefore I have to [1] open a document, [2] place the snippet, [3] change the snippet, [4] drag back to my snippet folder, [5] rename the snippet and then [6] find all the documents it was used in and replace them in every document.

          Well...snippet sare not designed for this kind of use, unfortunately.

           

          I've numbered your steps in your post for conveneince.

          You can reduce 4 and 5 to one step by using File > Export to export to a snippet.

           

          Snippet come as an outgrowth from Libraries (with a step-parent of IDML files). So the 1-4 steps basically mirror those steps for a Library.

          Small consolation.

           

          In particular, they are not designed to be single objects (in fact they can be many objects), so they don't fit into the InDesign object model as "something you can link to." In fact they are editable sets of multiple first-class objects.

          There has to be a better way? Anyone have any ideas?

          I have snippets that will be used in multiple documents. When we need to update a snippet I would have to go through this entire process every time?

          Well, instead of placing snippets, you could place an INDD document (perhaps containing a snippet, but why bother?). Then that would form an actual real Link that you could just update with the Update button in the links panel. The downside is that you would not be able to edit it indepdently in the document you have placed it in. But maybe that's not a downside in your case?

          Also, is there any way to edit a snippet without having to place it in an InDesign document?

           

          Your favorite text editor? Just kidding. That is, you could, but you probably wouldnt' find it user-friendly or reasonable.

          • 2. Re: Updating and Linking Snippets?
            Dena@WHG Level 1

            WOW! That is a wonderful Idea and I am implementing it now!

            You are a lifesaver!!

             

            Thanks so much.

             

            Dena

            • 3. Re: Updating and Linking Snippets?
              peter minneapolis Level 4

              Dena@WHG wrote:

               

              Using InDesign CS5.

               

              I cannot find a better way to update a snippet - I cannot open them in InDesign therefore I have to open a document, place the snippet, change the snippet, drag back to my snippet folder, rename the snippet and then find all the documents it was used in and replace them in every document.

               

              There has to be a better way? Anyone have any ideas?

               

              I have snippets that will be used in multiple documents. When we need to update a snippet I would have to go through this entire process every time?

               

              Also, is there any way to edit a snippet without having to place it in an InDesign document?

               

               

              Thanks for any help you can give me!

               

              Dena

              InDesign CS5.5's new "linked text" feature may be helpful in this situation. Searching Google for "InDesign CS5.5. linked text," without quotes, however, returns not quite spot-on references to this. Here's a link to new features in InDesign CS5.5. Scroll down the page to find linked text.

               

              HTH

               

              Regards,

               

              Peter

              _______________________

              Peter Gold

              KnowHow ProServices

                  
              • 4. Re: Updating and Linking Snippets?
                John Hawkinson Level 5

                Wouldn't it be easier to give the link instead of suggesting googling for it? It it is a lot more usable.

                 

                I'm not sure if you meant to include a link, but Linked stories (CS5.5) is the Adobe help.

                 

                I'm not sure how useful they are here -- they are only good within a single document [right?] and only for text stories. Since snippets canbe much more complicated than a single textframe, it's hard to know. But for some special cases, they sound great!

                • 5. Re: Updating and Linking Snippets?
                  Harbs. Level 6

                  Right on both counts.

                   

                  Linked stories doesn't sound like it'll be much help in this case.

                   

                  If it's stories, you can export an InCopy assignment, and place that (in multiple docs)...

                   

                  Harbs

                  • 6. Re: Updating and Linking Snippets?
                    Dena@WHG Level 1

                    Thank you for this suggestion, it sounds great, but don't think it would work for this particular situation.

                    I will definately have to remember this one for future projects :-)

                     

                    We create tests and each test is compiled using multiple items (an item is a question and 4 possible answers) from our item bank.

                    Many different tests (documents) can use the same item and when the item is updated in our item bank I need to be able to update that item and  then make sure that any test (document) that uses that item gets updated before printing.

                     

                    John's suggestion of making the item an InDesign document of it's own and then placing it in the document as a linked item is working very well.

                    This solution will let us know as soon as we open the test if any items have been modified!!!

                    Exactly what I was trying to accomplish using snippets, which I could neither edit (at least not easily) or link to a document.

                     

                    Thanks again for your suggestion!!

                     

                    Dena

                    • 7. Re: Updating and Linking Snippets?
                      John Hawkinson Level 5

                      You're welcome. I'll take my points, please, Dena?

                       

                      Incidently, I've been meaning to ask those who advocate snippets over library items: why? The mini-bridge interface feels so clunky (Flash?!), and I wasn't able to find a way to browse metadata or names or labels (beyond the file name). Libraries feel so nice and clean and quick... I guess I understand that snippets are more dynamic for multi-user situations...

                      • 8. Re: Updating and Linking Snippets?
                        Harbs. Level 6

                        John Hawkinson wrote:

                         

                        You're welcome. I'll take my points, please, Dena?

                         

                        Incidently, I've been meaning to ask those who advocate snippets over library items: why?

                        Two major reasons:

                         

                        1) Multiple users can use them simultaneously.

                        2) Libraries leave entries in the recent documents list which can tend to be annoying.

                         

                        Otherwise, library items and snippets are basically the same. In fact they ARE the same. They are both comprised of the exast same xml structure, and plopped into InDesign using the same kinds of mechanisms. For scripts, I prefer libraries, because all necessary assets is neatly preserved in a single package.

                         

                        The mini-bridge interface feels so clunky (Flash?!)

                         

                        Yup. It's done in the CS SDK...

                        • 9. Re: Updating and Linking Snippets?
                          John Hawkinson Level 5

                          Funny, neither of those apply to us, though they seem on the surface like they should.

                           

                          That is, our ID machines generally have two libraries open at all times. That works fine sinced they're locked files.

                          We don't edit them very often.

                          When we need to, we just copy the library, unlock it, edit it, and then move the old one aside and put the new one in place. Then if anyone needs the new library item they close/reopen the library, which is easy enough, esp. as the two frequently-used libraries are built into our workspaces.

                           

                          I guess it's weird that the same underlying IDML excerpt (I was going to say "snippet"...) is so colored by the user-interface issues. It seems like both interfaces could use a fair bit of help...

                           

                          As for open recent files, well, I guess it's never been an issue. I guess there are unimportant reasons for that.

                          • 10. Re: Updating and Linking Snippets?
                            peter minneapolis Level 4

                            John Hawkinson wrote:

                             

                            Wouldn't it be easier to give the link instead of suggesting googling for it? It it is a lot more usable.

                             

                            I'm not sure if you meant to include a link, but Linked stories (CS5.5) is the Adobe help.

                             

                            I'm not sure how useful they are here -- they are only good within a single document [right?] and only for text stories. Since snippets canbe much more complicated than a single textframe, it's hard to know. But for some special cases, they sound great!

                            Hi, John:

                             

                            Thanks for the heads-up. Yes, I meant to include the link I mentioned, but missed. It's:

                             

                            http://www.adobe.com/products/indesign/features.html

                             

                            The "linked text" feature is mentioned down the page a bit. There's also a nice brief video demo. The original poster has CS5, not CS5.5; if it's a frequently-needed feature, the upgrade to 5.5 may be worthwhile.

                             

                            [EDIT] I also forgot to mention that if the content chunks that need updating are single paragraphs, InDesign's cross-references may serve the need.[/EDIT]

                             

                            Interesting how the terminology changes between the marketing and the documentation, and how ambiguous both are. "Linked text" has been used for the special cases where text files are placed as links, by enabling (checking) the Preference "Create Links When Placing Text and Spreadsheets," and "linked stories" is often misused for "threaded text frames," or "threaded stories."

                             

                            Regards,

                             

                            Peter

                            _______________________

                            Peter Gold

                            KnowHow ProServices

                             

                            Message was edited by: peter at knowhowpro