32 Replies Latest reply on Jan 20, 2012 7:39 AM by mckayk_777

    InDesign Libraries on multiple computers?

    coley_o

      Hello. I am wondering if there is a way to sync and add to a library InDesign on two computers? If so, what is the best practice? These libraries have images as .psd's and text with multiple formats. They will also be added to continuously on two separate machines if possible. Is there a way to relink the libraries easily like in a InDesign document where you relink one and it relinks the rest? Basically, I would be adding to a library and my boss would be adding to it as well from our past work. We want one version of our work easily accessible (which would also need to link the Photoshop files).

       

      So, one library- on two machines, that can always link photoshop files as images (not grayed out boxes), be added to at any time from either machine and stays updated and current on both machines.

       

      Would two external harddrives with the same name (and file paths) work? Would something else work better?  Any tips, tricks or advice would be greatly appreciated. We're trying to get organized, we're just not exactly sure how this can work if possible. There may be a need to link to a third machine in the future too. Also, we're working on Macs if that is pertinent.

       

      Thank you,

      Nicole

        • 1. Re: InDesign Libraries on multiple computers?
          BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

          Here’s my advice:

           

           

           

          http://indesignsecrets.com/the-joy-of-snippets.php

           

           

           

          Bob

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: InDesign Libraries on multiple computers?
            Joel Cherney Adobe Community Professional & MVP
            Would two external harddrives with the same name (and file paths) work? Would something else work better?

             

             

            ...  a network? With the two-or-three machines all hitting the same networked drive? I'm suggesting this as a place to keep snippets, as linked by Bob.

             

            I can't suggest having identical external hard drives. There must be some reason why you didn't just go out and buy a NAS, right?

            • 3. Re: InDesign Libraries on multiple computers?
              coley_o Level 1

              Thank you! I will suggest that we look into that. It didn't seem like libraries would be able to be used on more than one machine. I just learned of Drop Box last week and didn't even think of that!

               

              -Nicole

              • 4. Re: InDesign Libraries on multiple computers?
                coley_o Level 1

                We do have a network and the question was posed to an IT staff member this morning. I guess we were afraid of possibly crashing the whole network. We currently share the network with many other users. We do not yet have a dedicated network for just the two of us.

                 

                External harddrives didn't seem great, but that was the only suggestion we (my boss) had so far to ensure that only he and I could modify or delete the data.

                • 5. Re: InDesign Libraries on multiple computers?
                  Joel Cherney Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  he question was posed to an IT staff member this morning.

                   

                  THat makes so much more sense, now that you've told us this.   InDesign is pretty touchy about network connectivity; I'd be more worried about what the network does to your work, than the other way around.

                   

                  External harddrives didn't seem great, but that was the only suggestion we (my boss) had so far to ensure that only he and I could modify or delete the data.

                   

                  A-ha! Another constraint! Do you need other non-you, non-boss people to be able to see that data, yet not modify or delete it?

                   

                  Honestly, I am bewildered by the fact that you put this to your IT folks and they did not immediately say "Oh hay, you need a network share that only you and the boss can modify? No problemo, coley_o." Maybe you have a really old, fragile network; I work for a nonprofit org with a chronically malfunctioning network, but even I can work on ID files over that network without huge issue. So, long story short, I think that the snippets + DropBox solution is probably your best bet (if DropBox is secure enough for you).

                  1 person found this helpful
                  • 6. Re: InDesign Libraries on multiple computers?
                    coley_o Level 1

                    Ha sorry! This concept has only been formulating for a few days, as we have been too busy to worry about archiving our work into one central location. Of course InDesign had to be troublesome regarding a network. Okay, that is good to know. Thank you.

                     

                    Yes! Constraint after constraint. No. Those that need to see it, "proof" it in printed form during rounds of corrections. My boss and I are the only two that create these items in our Graphics Department. More people will eventually be hired in the future. I have been there since summer and he has been there a year.

                     

                    I am surprised they didn't ask us to fill out an IT Request when my boss called this morning simply asking what was possible and pitching the idea. haha If a dedicated network for us isn't possible- that might be the route we have to take. (He mainly asked what was possible because he was also concerned about file sizes since we work with large Photoshop files).

                     

                    As far as DropBox is concerned, like I said, I just learned about it last week. I used it for homework when someone was helping me with it. How secure is DropBox? I know that only 2GB is free and you pay beyond that. My boss might not want to use it as we produce circulars for a company. I'm sure he'll want to keep our work as protected as possible. We want to catalog the individual (coupon) blocks as products are readvertised. Rather than reopening every ad in InDesign that we've produced in-house, we're trying to figure out the quickest and smartest way to keep the work in a dually shared location that can be updated.

                     

                    So if I was working on a page that had items we'd run before and I didn't have it in an InDesign ad file, I'd have to flag it and have him drop them into it when he took the file off of my desktop. He would then have to drag it out of the library he had on his computer or search for it in his InDesign files. Which slowed down production as I couldn't complete pages on my own. Ideally, it sounds like with these snippets I could complete a larger part of the ad on my own which would help a lot. He could do other tasks or vice versa.

                     

                    Thank you Bob and Joel for your help! (and humor)

                    -Nicole

                    • 7. Re: InDesign Libraries on multiple computers?
                      mckayk_777 Level 2

                      Indesign Library files can be accessed by two computers but only when they are read only! If you want to ad to the library you have to close both copies of it down un readonly them ad to them then make them read only again. Then you can open them up on the two computers again and keep working.

                      • 8. Re: InDesign Libraries on multiple computers?
                        BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                        Just another reason to love snippets and minibridge. J

                         

                         

                         

                        Bob

                        • 9. Re: InDesign Libraries on multiple computers?
                          coley_o Level 1

                          I emailed my boss the link this morning and he wasn't sold. He thought that it still gives you grayed out boxes? I said that I wasn't running CS5 at home, so I wasn't sure because I haven't tried it yet. He kind of put it on the backburner. Dedicated network for just us two seems far off if ever possible. As I suspected, he didn't seem thrilled with using DropBox. (Which I didn't realize it already installed on my machine at work).

                           

                          Nicole

                          • 10. Re: InDesign Libraries on multiple computers?
                            BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                            Grayed out boxes for what?

                             

                            Bob

                            • 11. Re: InDesign Libraries on multiple computers?
                              coley_o Level 1

                              He thought the images that are linked as Photoshop files would show up as grayed out boxes. (Like a library when you don't have the linked image).

                               

                              Basically, we need to catalog multiple text boxes and an image that is linked as a .psd (and fit proportionately in a square in InDesign).

                              Overall, an individual snippet would look something like this and have the following formats:

                              Some 10 pt bold and 8 pt regular text, a price with red fill and yellow stroke (no shadow) and the image, which is a .psd and almost always has a transparent background.

                              example.jpg

                              He didn't think that snippets would maintain the links for Photoshop files.

                              The cataloging will only work if we can preview what we're placing and it shows up when we place it in InDesign too. I thought Snippets would achieve that, but never having used it- I had no rebuttal.

                               

                              Thanks,

                              Nicole

                              • 12. Re: InDesign Libraries on multiple computers?
                                BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                                coley_o wrote:

                                 

                                He thought the images that are linked as Photoshop files would show up as grayed out boxes. (Like a library when you don't have the linked image).

                                He's right. Any collaborative workflow requires planning and that planning means making sure everyone involved has access to everything they need including links.

                                 

                                Bob

                                • 13. Re: InDesign Libraries on multiple computers?
                                  coley_o Level 1

                                  We were able to get a dedicated network for just the two of us. Today, we tried to implement the libraries between our machines. Our network drive now has a Collages folder and a Libraries folder. I began cataloging a library and saved it into the Libraries folder. The graphics were pointing to the Collages folder for the .psd links. I asked my boss what will happen if we both want to add to a library. For now, we are making separate libraries and dividing the work load. Overall, we want to make a master library which can be achieved by dragging and dropping from our other created libraries. So far so good!

                                   

                                  -Nicole

                                  • 14. Re: InDesign Libraries on multiple computers?
                                    John Hawkinson Level 5

                                    I would suggest that if you're going to use Snippets, calling them Libraries may generate a lot of confusion down the line, especially when you add other colleagues into the mix who are familair with InDesign libraries.

                                     

                                    (We in fact do share InDesign Library files, but only one person can change them at a time. Because they change very rarely, this is not a big deal.)

                                    • 15. Re: InDesign Libraries on multiple computers?
                                      coley_o Level 1

                                      No, for now we are using actual libraries not snippets. I figured only one would be able to change them at a certain time. Thanks!

                                      • 16. Re: InDesign Libraries on multiple computers?
                                        John Hawkinson Level 5

                                        Err...you're saying that both of you have InDesign open simultaneously and both of you have the same Library open and both of you are able to make changes to the Library?

                                         

                                        That is counter to my understanding of how it is supposed to work, and I worry that something about your environment has defeated a protective mechanism designed to provent catastrophic failure.

                                         

                                        My understanding is that if two people open a library, the first person to open the library opens it read/write, and the 2nd person opens it read-only. InDesign is supposed to enforce this mechanism automatically. If both copies of InDesign think they can write to the library, then if both machines make changes at the same time, or close enough, they may step on each other and corrupt the library.

                                         

                                        I have not tested this recently, but I would be concerned. [What sort of network is this? AFP?]

                                        • 17. Re: InDesign Libraries on multiple computers?
                                          Marijan Tompa [tomaxxi] Level 4

                                          John,

                                           

                                          You can open one library multiple times,

                                          but before that you have to make library file read-only.

                                           

                                          --

                                          Marijan (tomaxxi)

                                          • 18. Re: InDesign Libraries on multiple computers?
                                            John Hawkinson Level 5

                                            You can open one library multiple times, but before that you have to make library file read-only.

                                            Yeah, that's what we do. But it sure sounds like that's not what coley_o did. So I'm confused!

                                            • 19. Re: InDesign Libraries on multiple computers?
                                              mckayk_777 Level 2

                                              Very true bob, but the libraries i have, have 1000's of cliparts and logos in them and I can not find a way to easily export them. Wish Indesign libraries had an export feature that exported as pdf or eps and saved them as the name given in the library file.

                                               

                                              I strongly recommend snippets.

                                              • 20. Re: InDesign Libraries on multiple computers?
                                                BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                                                I would pay a visit to our friendly neighboor scripting forum and see what the gurus there can bang out for you.

                                                 

                                                Bob

                                                • 21. Re: InDesign Libraries on multiple computers?
                                                  John Hawkinson Level 5

                                                  I wrote a quick and dirty script that exported a library as snippets in September. I seem to be having some trouble digging it up [...], but I think I should be able to find it on Friday... not sure if it is useful though, since PDF is asked for, not Snippets [but why?]

                                                  • 22. Re: InDesign Libraries on multiple computers?
                                                    mckayk_777 Level 2

                                                    PDF EPS SNIPPET i just want to get them out of the library files for easier access for all in the office

                                                    • 23. Re: InDesign Libraries on multiple computers?
                                                      John Hawkinson Level 5

                                                      I'm still wondering what's up with coley_o's system … oh I see, I didn't read carefully. They are using multiple libraries? Huh. Why not use snippets then? I wonder if there is a tool for merging libraries...doesn't look like there's an Asset.move() scripting method, though I suppose you could do it the same way I do the other part...

                                                       

                                                      I wrote a quick and dirty script that exported a library as snippets in September. I seem to be having some trouble digging it up [...], but I think I should be able to find it on Friday... not sure if it is useful though, since PDF is asked for, not Snippets [but why?]

                                                      Sigh. I thought I had it sitting on a laptop that was powered off in a corner (never do that!), but it turns out I had it online all along, I was just inept. Though it might have been faster to rewrite it ;-). Save as libraryToSnippet.jsx in your Scripts Panel folder. Not tested since September.

                                                       

                                                       

                                                      function() {
                                                      var
                                                        d = app.activeDocument,
                                                        libname = prompt("Enter a library name PRECISELY, with .indl","filename.indl","Select a library"),
                                                        asset;
                                                      
                                                      var folder = Folder.selectDialog("Choose a folder for snippets of "+libname);
                                                      if (!folder) { return 0; }
                                                      
                                                      var
                                                        assets = app.libraries.item(libname).assets;
                                                      
                                                      for (i=0; i<assets.length; i++) {
                                                           asset=assets[i];
                                                           newname = asset.name.replace(/\//g, "-");
                                                         items = asset.placeAsset(d);
                                                         afile = new File(folder.fsName+"/"+newname+".idms");
                                                         if (items.length === 1) {
                                                           items[0].exportFile(ExportFormat.INDESIGN_SNIPPET, afile);
                                                         } else {
                                                              g = d.groups.add(items);
                                                              g.exportFile(ExportFormat.INDESIGN_SNIPPET, afile);
                                                          }
                                                        app.select(items);  app.cut(); // Why did I do this?
                                                       }
                                                      
                                                      })();
                                                      
                                                      • 24. Re: InDesign Libraries on multiple computers?
                                                        mckayk_777 Level 2

                                                        @ John

                                                         

                                                        The script does not seem to want to work Extendscript has a problem with the last line and if i delete that it then has a problem with the first line

                                                        Is there items in the code i need to change to local names

                                                         

                                                        am on a PowerPC at home trying to do this in CS4

                                                         

                                                        Merry Christmas

                                                        • 25. Re: InDesign Libraries on multiple computers?
                                                          John Hawkinson Level 5

                                                          Oops. There should be a left parenthesis "(" in front of the first line. That is, the first line should be:

                                                           

                                                          (function() {

                                                           

                                                          Terribly sorry! Cut-and-paste error.

                                                          • 26. Re: InDesign Libraries on multiple computers?
                                                            mckayk_777 Level 2

                                                            Thank you very much for the Christmas Present John.

                                                             

                                                            Works a charm.

                                                            When it says enter name of library Exactly it's not kidding

                                                             

                                                            Works a charm, A bit slow on my poor old PowerPC G5 but it gets there and so much easier then having to do it manually.

                                                             

                                                            Another reason to use snippets instead of libraries is that they take up less HDD space

                                                            The first library of 26 that I have to do file size library was 115.9mb, total size of snippet directory 78.3mb

                                                             

                                                            Merry Christmas John

                                                            Thank You

                                                            • 27. Re: InDesign Libraries on multiple computers?
                                                              mckayk_777 Level 2

                                                              The working Script called "libraryToSnippet.jsx"

                                                               

                                                              (function() {

                                                              var

                                                                d = app.activeDocument,

                                                                libname = prompt("Enter a library name PRECISELY, with .indl","filename.indl","Select a library"),

                                                                asset;

                                                               

                                                              var folder = Folder.selectDialog("Choose a folder for snippets of "+libname);

                                                              if (!folder) { return 0; }

                                                               

                                                              var

                                                                assets = app.libraries.item(libname).assets;

                                                               

                                                              for (i=0; i<assets.length; i++) {

                                                                   asset=assets[i];

                                                                   newname = asset.name.replace(/\//g, "-");

                                                                 items = asset.placeAsset(d);

                                                                 afile = new File(folder.fsName+"/"+newname+".idms");

                                                                 if (items.length === 1) {

                                                                   items[0].exportFile(ExportFormat.INDESIGN_SNIPPET, afile);

                                                                 } else {

                                                                      g = d.groups.add(items);

                                                                      g.exportFile(ExportFormat.INDESIGN_SNIPPET, afile);

                                                                  }

                                                                app.select(items);  app.cut(); // Why did I do this?

                                                              }

                                                               

                                                              })();

                                                              • 28. Re: InDesign Libraries on multiple computers?
                                                                John Hawkinson Level 5

                                                                Thank you very much for the Christmas Present John.

                                                                When it says enter name of library Exactly it's not kidding

                                                                You're welcome!

                                                                As for the typing, well, there has to be some sort of challenge for the user. Like I said, it was quick-and-dirty. Though you're lucky it even prompts you to type the name, in the original version it was hardcoded into the script. If we were doing it For Real to be Nice and Friendly, it would present a list of all the open libraries and then you could pick/click from the list. But it hardly seems worth the effort...

                                                                 

                                                                26? Oof. That's almost worth modifying the script to operate on all open libraries.

                                                                 

                                                                BTW, when posting scripts, they generally display better if you use the Advanced Editor and choose >> Syntax Highlighting > Java.

                                                                • 29. Re: InDesign Libraries on multiple computers?
                                                                  mckayk_777 Level 2

                                                                  quick and dirty works just fine, this has been something that i have wanted to do for ages never thought of asking for a script, tried doing it with macros but that was just as slow as doing it by hand.

                                                                  Not only does it prompt you for name but where the files are to go its not that dirty really!

                                                                  • 30. Re: InDesign Libraries on multiple computers?
                                                                    mckayk_777 Level 2

                                                                    G'day John,

                                                                     

                                                                    Finally got back to work and having time to try out your script. Lovely stuff. Was going to ask why some library object would not be saved as snippets, but as it turns out it's a fault at my end of things.

                                                                    Some of my library items have the same name so the older snippet gets overwriten.

                                                                    Just a heads up for anyone else wanting to use your script

                                                                     

                                                                    MAKE SURE ALL LIBRARY ITEMS ARE NAMED DIFFERENT BEFORE RUNNING SCRIPT!

                                                                     

                                                                    Thanks again John it truely is a god sent.

                                                                    • 31. Re: InDesign Libraries on multiple computers?
                                                                      John Hawkinson Level 5

                                                                      Oh, interesting. What would you like it to do? We could easily append the ID number of the object to the name, e.g.

                                                                      "AssetName_32.idms"; would that be useful?

                                                                      • 32. Re: InDesign Libraries on multiple computers?
                                                                        mckayk_777 Level 2

                                                                        G'day John,

                                                                         

                                                                        The script is fine all I had to do is put the library file in list mode do a quick scroll down and check the names, If there was two the same name one is usually grey scale version the other colour so a quick rename and then run the script.

                                                                        Almost done all the library files I have now and the script has been doing a lovely job so I am very happy with it.

                                                                        I need to name the files manually anyway so I know what they are.