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Bridge: 10 Things Designers Need to Know
Illustration by John Hersey

4. Previewing InDesign snippets


From:

Bridge: 10 Things Designers Need to Know

with Anne-Marie Concepción

Video: 4. Previewing InDesign snippets

Adobe InDesign and Adobe Bridge have a special affinity for each other. For example, Bridge is the only program other than InDesign itself that lets you see what a snippet looks like. Now if you are not familiar with a snippet, a snippet is a saved hunk of an InDesign file, kind of like which you would put into a library except it's a free agent. It can live by itself as its own file format. For example, let me show you how that would work in this InDesign file which I have opened up. It's one of the templates that comes with InDesign that lives on your hard drive and this one is called community newspaper and I have swiped over some of the lorem ipsum text but here when I scroll down to pages two and three you can see the lorem ipsum stuff in all of its beauty.

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Bridge: 10 Things Designers Need to Know
1h 10m Intermediate May 19, 2009

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Adobe Bridge is a great tool—and not just for photographers and their files. In Bridge CS4: 10 Things Designers Need to Know, Adobe Certified Instructor Anne-Marie Concepción reveals how Bridge can be used for web and print designers, layout artists, and production managers. She shows how Bridge integrates with other CS4 programs, demonstrates how it can be used for locating files quickly based on colors and fonts, and teaches eight other valuable functions that help enhance creativity and streamline workflow. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Using Bridge to efficiently organize a client's project files
  • Navigating with the Path bar
  • Dragging and dropping from Bridge
  • Creating PDF and InDesign contact sheets
  • Adding metadata and keywords to files outside of Bridge
  • Using collections to break free of folder tyranny
Subject:
Design
Software:
Bridge
Author:
Anne-Marie Concepción

4. Previewing InDesign snippets

Adobe InDesign and Adobe Bridge have a special affinity for each other. For example, Bridge is the only program other than InDesign itself that lets you see what a snippet looks like. Now if you are not familiar with a snippet, a snippet is a saved hunk of an InDesign file, kind of like which you would put into a library except it's a free agent. It can live by itself as its own file format. For example, let me show you how that would work in this InDesign file which I have opened up. It's one of the templates that comes with InDesign that lives on your hard drive and this one is called community newspaper and I have swiped over some of the lorem ipsum text but here when I scroll down to pages two and three you can see the lorem ipsum stuff in all of its beauty.

And if I wanted to create a snippet from here in order to reuse a hunk of a layout in another layout or to email it to a freelancer or to save it on the server, all I do is I make a selection. Like say, for example, I might select this picture in this textframe by Shift+clicking and then I can either drag-and-drop it onto the desktop or I can export it. This time I will just choose export it. So I will go to File > Export, under Format, Choose InDesign Snippet and inside the Newspaper folder I will just call it tall column. The snippet is saved with an idms extension.

Now let's say that I created an empty page at the bottom of this newspaper. I will just click here and add a page underneath it and I want to use that snippet again because it's got everything arranged, the picture and the headline and the body copy, and I am just going to swipe over it with new information. So to get the snippet back in here, I can drag-and-drop it or I can place it. This time I will go ahead and place. If I go to File and choose Place and then navigate to where I saved that file, which was in the Newspaper folder, you'll see it just says tall column.idms and that's what it looks like.

Now that's not very helpful, is it? I mean, this is what it would look like in the Finder obviously, if I try to drag- and-drop it from there. This is what it would look like in Windows Explorer. So if I have a long list of the snippets, how am I supposed to tell which one is what? I mean, if they are locked into a library, obviously the library gives you a preview of the snippet but the snippets themselves, there is nothing that shows you preview except for our friend, Bridge. So I am going to go back to that Place dialog box and show you that in this newspaper, I have a folder called display ads, that has a bunch of display ads saved as snippets, which is a very common use for snippets because display ads that are constructed in InDesign often are constructed of many pieces, many different kinds of text-frames and image frames and colored backgrounds and it's a pain to have to recreate those all the time.

So if you create one, you would like to save it as a snippet to use in future editions of the newspaper or the magazine. But it's kind of hard to see them here. So instead, I am going to go to Bridge and find that display ads folder and you see here we can see them nice and large. I can increase the size of the them now and there is a crazy screaming women, Big Mouth Productions is the name of that ad and so on. And I can use my handy trick of pressing Command+Enter or Ctrl+Return to switch Bridge into Compact mode, so that now it becomes just a floating window on top of my InDesign window.

And remember I don't want to place a display ad at this point; actually I just want to place this tall column and I can use my little slider here to make sure that tall column is the one that I want here. There it is, I recognize the screaming woman and I can just drag-and-drop right from Bridge onto my layout. Now, if I want to create a snippet, remember I said you can drag-and-drop to create a snippet. Well, if I drag-and- drop onto my little Bridge window, I can see the preview as I drag-and-drop it. So let me find something good to drag-and-drop here. Let's say I want to drag-and-drop this picture and caption because I often use a picture of this size with the caption with this offset in this publication. I want to be able to reuse it a lot. I can just drag and drop this right onto the Bridge window. Let me reduce the size of my thumbnails and there is the snippet that it created.

Now it gives it an automatic name of 'snippet whatever.' This is the name that it would give it, if you dragged-and- dropped in the Finder or Windows anyway. But I will just call this picture and caption. So it's easy to create snippets with the little Bridge window. It's easy to bring snippets in to locate the ones that you want and if you are a fan of snippets or your department is a fan of snippets, like many are, of being able to share chunks of InDesign layouts with each other, then using Bridge to preview and manage those snippets is a lifesaver.

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