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Once you have a grasp of Liquid Layout, the task of creating alternate layouts for different screen sizes and orientations can be done without a lot of hassle and unwanted surprises. Let's see how they work. So here I have a document, and the document size is 1024 x 768 in a vertical orientation. And I'd like to create a second horizontal version, because I want to publish this document to the iPad and when the user turns the iPad horizontally, I want the layout to fit that orientation. So in this document, all document pages are based on one master page. So if I go to the Pages panel, I can see I have just one master page, A-Master, and all my document pages are based on that.
I am going to double-click on it to look at the A-Master page, and I'm going to take the Page tool and select this master page. I can see up in the control panel that the Liquid Page rule in effect is Object-based, and if I click on the picture frame, I can see that it's height and width are flexible with these little springs here, and it has been pinned to the top and the sides--that I can tell by the little filled-in circles. The text frame underneath has not been pinned, so all the circles are white and its height and width are also flexible.
Also, I want to look at this Text Frames option, so I'll take my Selection tool and I'll Option+Double-Click or Alt+Double-Click to bring up the Text Frame Options dialog box. And the specific option I'm interested here is a new one in CS6, and that's called Auto-Size. I can see that the text frames in this document that are based on this text frame will expand in height only from the top. Cancel out. And now I'm ready to create my alternate layout. In the Pages panel, I'll double-click to view page 1, and I'll right-click in that area and choose View Pages > By Alternate Layout. Then I'll click on the little triangle next to the layout name and choose Create Alternate Layout.
And InDesign rightly guessed that I want a horizontal version of my vertical iPad layout and for the Liquid Page Rule, I'm going to choose Preserve Existing, although I could overrule that by picking a Liquid Page Rule from this menu. I'm going to leave the other settings at their defaults and click OK. And now I have a horizontal version of my vertical layout. I can click the button at the bottom of my window in the bottom-right corner and split the layout view, and now I can view both of my layouts side by side. So in this window I'll view the vertical layout, and in this one I'll view the horizontal layout.
Close up the Pages panel a little bit and move the divider over so I can see a little bit better. And I can page through and check out each page to compare them. Now, there are couples of things I want to point out about the alternate layout. The first thing is, notice that we now have icons in the top of each frame, these little link icons. That means that the content in these frames is linked to the original layout. So if I make a change in the original layout--say I'll take this word out--go to my alternate layout and now I can see that the text has been modified here, so if I switch to my Selection tool and click on the Modified icon, the text update, so I have the same text in both of my layouts.
The second thing I want to point out is in the Paragraph and Character Styles panel, so I'll open them up by choosing Window > Styles > Paragraph Styles. And I can see that InDesign has gone ahead and created style sets for each of my layouts. So if I tip them open, I have paragraph styles for the iPad Vertical and the iPad Horizontal. So if need to tweak the paragraph or character styles for one of the layouts, I don't have to mess up the text formatting in one layout, or create and apply new styles; this can be a real time saver. The options to create these style sets and to link the stories were in those defaults that I left selected in the Create Alternate Layout dialog box.
So the ability to quickly create multiple alternate layouts and keep them in the same document can be useful for lots of different workflows, including a traditional print workflow, but it's especially useful for creating documents you want to deliver onscreen to different devices with varying screen sizes and orientations.
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