9 Replies Latest reply on Dec 15, 2011 3:34 PM by peter minneapolis

    Creating a document template - need help with repeating text

    miz_nrg Level 1

      Okay, I'll apologize ahead of time if I missing the obvious here.  I'm working on a template that I'll use when creatiing future product manuals.  The first 2 pages are basic product information, disclamers, etc.  The product name is repeated a few times within these pages.  I'm wondering if there is some way to link these repeated instances with the product name that will be included on the front cover.  Meaning, when the product name on the cover is changed, each linked instance will change automatically.  I've tried looking up 'linked text', 'text variables', 'conditional text', etc.  Maybe I'm missing something, but they don't seem to do what I'm looking for.  Is this not possible?  Oh, I'm using InDesign CS4, by the way.  Thanks is advance!

       

      Mel

        • 1. Re: Creating a document template - need help with repeating text
          Joel Cherney Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          Where are you looking for these search terms? Because it's called "text variables" and it does exactly what you want.  And Adobe's help files are notoriously unsearchable unless you are using the precise letter-for-letter search term... but you are. Using the exactly right search term, I mean. It's been the same term, with the same menu location (Type -> Text Variables) at least as back as far as CS3.

          • 2. Re: Creating a document template - need help with repeating text
            miz_nrg Level 1

            I tried using the Running Header (paragraph style) text variable, but it only inserts the first word.  I highlighted the text that I wanted to use as the variable, created a new running header, chose the style and spaces before and after.  But when I insert it, it doesn't display all the text that I highlighted.  I'm assuming it has to do with the 'first on page, last on page' option.  Any idea how to avoid this option and just use all text on the page that uses that particular paragraph style?

            • 3. Re: Creating a document template - need help with repeating text
              Joel Cherney Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              Ah, in your shoes I would have used the "Custom Text" variable, and instead of asking ID to pick up the first usage of the term, I would have simply defined it myself in the Custom Text variable.

               

              In the case of Running Header (where we are using a bit of duct tape - we're not trying to actually make a running header after all) you don't highlight any text - you define a paragraph style, like NameOfProduct, and then you make sure that the name of the product is in a paragraph by itself, and then you set the variable to pick up the First On Page. Is your product name in a single paragraph? The fact that you're getting only one word of your product name makes me believe that your product name is something like

               

              Super

              Widget

              Pro

               

              with each word being a separate paragraph, so it's only picking up "Super."

               

              Remember, when using Running Header (Paragraph Style), it doesn't matter at all what you highlight.  InDesign only looks for the first usage of a given paragraph style. So don't try to make variables by highlighting text and telling InDesign "make a variable." You should probably go read the entry on Text Variables in InDesign Help.

              • 4. Re: Creating a document template - need help with repeating text
                miz_nrg Level 1

                Okay, I went back and changed the product name to one paragraph and used soft returns to achieve multiple lines.  I now have a new problem.  I know variables can't break across lines, but it seems to be preventing any other text on the same line from breaking to the next line in the paragraph.  Is this supposed to happen or am I missing a step?

                • 5. Re: Creating a document template - need help with repeating text
                  Joel Cherney Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  I know variables can't break across lines, but it seems to be preventing any other text on the same line from breaking to the next line in the paragraph.  Is this supposed to happen or am I missing a step?

                   

                  I don't think it's supposed to happen. Let me check... Huh, now that is odd. It's going to try to keep the variable from wrapping down to the next line, and any text on that line gets extremely compressed when you try to force it.  And when I set justification settings to permit no changes in word or letter spacing, it still compresses. Ugh. I bet this is "functioning as designed."

                   

                  Of course, I've never noticed this in the past because I use Custom Variable, which doesn't seem to compress surrounding text the way that the Running Header variable does.  I do know that there have been threads about this text-compression issue in the past (that I've not read because I don't use variables that aren't page number variables or Custom Text variables), so it may be worth it for you to search the forums and see if previous threads have covered this issue (and have workarounds that you can use).

                  • 6. Re: Creating a document template - need help with repeating text
                    Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                    Might I suggst using three variables (or more, if necessary) using running header (character style) and assign a different style to each line? I havn't tested, but short of custom text variable, I think this is probably the way to approach things. Might work with three paragraph styles, too. In either case, the only difference between the styles shold be the name, so you can used "based on."

                    • 7. Re: Creating a document template - need help with repeating text
                      Joel Cherney Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      Ooh, that way the cloned variables would wrap in text, no? Very clever.

                      • 8. Re: Creating a document template - need help with repeating text
                        miz_nrg Level 1

                        Thank you both for your help.  I tried the multiple variables but it still compresses the non-variable text on the same line.  I think I'll have to go about this a different way.  I could have sworn I read about something along these lines but can't for the life of me remember where or how I came across it.  Thanks again!

                         

                        Mel

                        • 9. Re: Creating a document template - need help with repeating text
                          peter minneapolis Level 4

                          miz_nrg wrote:

                           

                          Thank you both for your help.  I tried the multiple variables but it still compresses the non-variable text on the same line.  I think I'll have to go about this a different way.  I could have sworn I read about something along these lines but can't for the life of me remember where or how I came across it.  Thanks again!

                           

                          Mel

                          Have you looked into cross-references? They wrap. You can refer from multiple locations to a single text source; when the source text changes, the references change, too.

                           

                          Search Google for terms like "InDesign cross-references tutorial" without quotes for details.

                           

                           

                          Regards,

                           

                           

                          Peter

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