5 Replies Latest reply on Aug 12, 2011 3:01 PM by John Hawkinson

    Linking Indesign content with multiple documents

    careington_cbs

      I have been wondering how to keep stock copy in one document and then place that content in other documents. Specifically, we have signup applications, brochures, postcards, proposals, flyers, etc. That is just the documents, but we also have many companies that contain all or some of those documents with specific stock copy. Our copy comes in two forms, one is long marketing form and the other is short bullet form for a particular product. We have over 100 different products that we sell individually or grouped together in a package.

       

      Basically, when I update stock copy with new language be it, legal requirements, or product updates text, or not available in this state; I want it to update all the indesign documents for each group and their applicable documents like brochures, flyers or proposals, etc.

       

      I tried using buzzwords, but the formatting requires me to go to each document, be it hundreds and reformat them again and if the internet is down, it is pretty much useless.

       

      I can not create different Indesign documents and place it because if I place text in the top right corner, it will show up in the top right corner of every document that has that content.

       

      I tried using xml, but considering the amount of time I have just to do my job, the learning curve is just to heavy.

       

      So, my question. Is, there a way to have one place for stock copy, to be placed into hundreds of different types of documents, forms, brochures, etc in different locations with those documents and be updated using the stock copy once. One edit, many revised documents without manually having to do them or search every document we every published?

       

      Thanks,

      Mr. Seeking so much help right now.

        • 1. Re: Linking Indesign content with multiple documents
          John Hawkinson Level 5

          Are you expecting all the documents to automatically update when you change the stock copy? Or is it OK (or desirable) for that to be a manual process?

           

          One approach is to export a story as InDesign Tagged Text. You can then File Place that file into a text box and preserve formatting and/or paragraph styles. You can even having the same named style formatted differently in different documents.

           

          I guess you can have automatic updates with this method, too. Just go to Preferences > File Handling > Preserve Links When Placing Text and Spreadsheet Files and enabled it before you place the file. You'll probably want to turn it off afterwards if you place other text files, though.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Linking Indesign content with multiple documents
            BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

            Use an InCopy story. Create the first set of copy. Right click the text frame and choose InCopy>Export Selection.

             

            That will export an ICML file which you can place in any other InDesign document. Update it in any document and it will automatically update the rest (you'll get the standard prompt that links have been modified).

             

            One note: in order to update the copy, you'll need to check the story out and then back in when done.

             

            Bob

            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Linking Indesign content with multiple documents
              careington_cbs Level 1

              These replies sound great. I will get to testing this out. I started to use InCopy and tagged text, but still unfamiliar with it, so I will figure out how to do it and then respond. Thank you Bob and John for your assistance.

               

              Yes, I am expecting all the documents that contain a particular stock copy to change once the original is changed. It should not change very much, but when it does it affects so many groups, so many documents and so many different types of documents like brochures and flyers, compared to proposals and such, so we have long form marketing language and short form bullet language to fit in small documents like postcards.

               

              So, having the ability to change the stock copy once, and know that every document that we created was changed would be great.

               

              Once again, thank you Bob and John for your insight. I will get familiar with InCopy and Tagged Text to see which would be ideal.

               

              Mike

              • 4. Re: Linking Indesign content with multiple documents
                careington_cbs Level 1

                Well, looks like this may work out. There are still a few things but this may solve a majority of the issues we are having.

                 

                I decided to use the Tagged Text method, because it allowed me to format the text once placed in a document. The ICML file, imported and placed great within the document, but would not allow me to make any changes to it, unless I I checked it out. Where as I did not have to do any checking out, but I was able to keep two different character styles, one in the original master copy, the other in a brochure or postcard. That allowed me flexibility as space becomes an issue and being able to change, the kerning, tracking and pt size was important.

                 

                My only real issue, is if I can relink the file with another copy content. For example, lets say we have a vendor ABC company, and had their marketing language in hundreds of documents. Well, if our company went to another vender say DEF company, then all the ABC company text needs to be removed and replaced with DEF company text.

                 

                Thanks for your help. I am going to keep testing this. I hope there is a way to print a PDF once the changes have been made, but am not sure if that requires a script, hardcoding from our IT dept or something else.

                • 5. Re: Linking Indesign content with multiple documents
                  John Hawkinson Level 5

                  Ugh. The forum just ate a long response of mine.

                   

                  I have a tendancy to forget ICML as a possibility because of some local site issues that make it not work here. But it's definitely worth thinking about. But it does expect that you will not have local edits in a document, otherwise the management gets confusing — I think.

                   

                  You can also use it's neighbor the Snippet file (IDMS). This is much more geared to page items though.

                   

                  Note that if you change tracking/kerning/point size after you place the IDTT file, then you will lose that when you re-import it, unless you use styles carefully.

                   

                  My only real issue, is if I can relink the file with another copy content. For example, lets say we have a vendor ABC company, and had their marketing language in hundreds of documents. Well, if our company went to another vender say DEF company, then all the ABC company text needs to be removed and replaced with DEF company text.

                   

                  Sorry, this is confusing. If you have a single IDTT file for ABC, and it is placed in 100 INDD files, what's the problem? You change the IDTT file, open each of the 100 files and Update Links, and you're done. What's the problem?

                   

                  Thanks for your help. I am going to keep testing this. I hope there is a way to print a PDF once the changes have been made, but am not sure if that requires a script, hardcoding from our IT dept or something else.

                   

                  Are you saying you want to automatically produce a new set of 100 PDFs when there is a change in the IDTT file? That would require a script (or an intern), but not a serious or difficult one. People have asked for and received such things in the scripting forum, so hunt around and you can probably find one already built that meets your needs, or 95% of them, plus a minor tweak.