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InDesign CS6 makes it easier than ever to reuse text in multiple places in your documents. In CS5.5 the Place and Link Story feature only worked within a single document, but in CS6, the single-document restriction is gone and several new enhancements have been added to the Place and Link features. To begin with, we have three ways to create linked text. One way will create a link just as the text content and not the container. The second way creates a link to both the text and the formatting of a container. And the third way will link to the text and grab all the linked frames in a story.
First we'll link just to the text. So use this method when you want to create an entirely new independent text frame to house linked text. To do this method I'll go to my first document and I'll double-click to get my cursor in this text frame. I'll choose Edit > Place and Link. It actually doesn't matter if I have a blinking cursor or some of the text selected or all of it. All of the text will get sucked up into the Content Conveyor. So you can see when I chose Place and Link, the Content Conveyor appeared and I was switched to the Content Placer tool. Also, Create and Link is selected and grayed out and I have an option to Map Styles, which we'll cover in detail in a later movie.
I'll go to my other document and I'll click and drag to draw a new text frame. So now what was in five frames in the original document is in one text frame in the new document. If I go to the Links panel, I can see the link, with the name of the original InDesign document and a snippet of the text. Now let's test this link. I'll go to my original document and make a small change in the text. I'll just delete that comma, go to my second document, and I can see the Link badge is now changed to a modified icon.
I am going to press Command or Ctrl on the PC and click on that badge, and now I can see the text has been updated and the comma is gone here. I'll scroll down to the second page of my document and we will try another method. This one you can use if you want to select both the text content and the formatting of a container. In my first document, I'll use my Selection tool and select all five text frames. I'll go up to the control panel and I'll apply a drop shadow. Now even though the drop shadow is applied to the text, it's really a frame- level formatting attribute.
So this is frame-level formatting we have here. I'm going to switch from this Selection tool to my Content Collector tool, and before I click on the first frame, I'm going to go down to the Conveyor and deselect Collect All Threaded Frames. Then I'll click on the first frame, switch to my other document, press B on my keyboard to get the Content Placer tool, and click and drag. Now I have a link to the text plus that drop-shadow formatting from the original.
I'll scroll down to the next page and will try the third method. This time before we click with the Content Collector tool, I'll go down to the Conveyor and select Collect All Threaded Frames. I'll click with the Content Collector tool and you can see the number 5 here, indicating that I've just selected five items to place. I'll go to my other document, press the B key to switch to the Content Placer tool, and click. Now I have the same five frames that I had in the original document. I have the text and I have the frame-level formatting.
So if I go back to my original document, pick my Selection tool, and change some of the frame-level formatting--say I'll select the text frame with the ampersand and I'll take the drop shadow off-- I'll go to my other document and now I can see the formatting has been modified on just this frame. So I'll press Command or Ctrl on the PC, click on that modified icon, and Update, and now the drop shadow is gone. Now one thing you might be wondering is, what happens if the original text frame goes missing? In the case of a traditional link, like a Photoshop or Illustrator file, if one of those goes missing, you'll have output problems.
But in the case of linked text, there'll be no problem at all with output. If I go to my first document and delete these frames, I can see in my other document that the links are now missing. But this just means that I can't use the original story anymore to synchronize the text or the frame formatting. You can also sever these links on purpose by going to the Links panel, selecting the links, and going to Links Panel menu and choosing Unlink. Linked text is great for helping you efficiently reuse content in multiple layouts.
You can choose the link to just the text or you can include the formatting of the text frames as well.
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