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Adapting layouts for multiple page sizes can be a very time-consuming task. Depending on the complexity of your layout, you could spend hours copying, pasting, and transforming content from one document to another. InDesign CS6 has tools that offer you an entirely new way of reusing content, both within and across documents. Let's see how they work. One of the first things you might notice when you start using InDesign CS6 is that there are two new tools in the tool panel, right here between the Gap tool and the Type tool, and these are the Content Collector tool and the Content Placer tool.
When you select either one, InDesign displays a third tool called the Content Conveyor. The Conveyor doesn't really look or act like anything else inside InDesign. When you switch to a different tool it disappears, so if I press the V key on my keyboard to get my Selection tool, the Conveyor goes away. If the press B, the shortcut for the Content Collector and the Content Placer tools, the Conveyor comes back. To reuse content you first need to load it into the Conveyor, and for this you use the Content Collector tool. I'll click on it here in the Conveyor. And when you hover over a frame, you can see a thick border around that frame in the color of the layer that frame is on.
Clicking or dragging items with the Content Collector tool loads those into the Conveyor. If you want to load everything on a page or everything in a document, you can go over to the right side of the Conveyor, click the Load Conveyor button, and here you have some options. If you have a selection, you can load just the Selection. You can load everything on the page or several pages, or you can load everything on all pages including what's on the pasteboard. By default, items are grouped into sets by page, or you can select Create a Single Set for all the objects you are loading.
So let's select some content. I'll click on this frame, and I'll drag over these five frames, and I'll click on this picture frame. Now I can see three previews in my Conveyor of the items that I've loaded. One of them is a set, indicated by this number here, which indicates there are five items in this set. Now you might notice that most of the buttons down here in the Conveyor are all grayed out, and that's because they only apply to placing content, and I still have the Collector tool selected. So I could either press B on my keyboard or I can click on the Content Placer tool and these buttons spring to life.
I can see a preview of the content I would place if I clicked at my cursor. So, I'll click in this document and I can see the "8 Reasons to study at" text frame is loaded right now. I can also see a number in parentheses indicating the total number of content sets in my Conveyor, which right now is three. And I also see a link icon of my cursor, which is caused by this Create link being selected. That way if the original page item changes, I'll get an alert and I can update any linked items. I can use my arrow keys on the keyboard to navigate through the sets and the items in the Conveyor and load them for placing.
So each time I tap my arrow key I see a different item at my cursor. I can press the Escape key to remove an item from my cursor and empty out the Conveyor. I'll just undo to get those items back. To drill down into a set so I can place an individual item from it, I have to be using the Content Placer tool. So I'll select that and I'll click on the number 5 to open that set, and now I can see all of the individual text frames in that set. I can see them at my cursor and place an individual one if I wanted to.
If I want to get back up to the main level of the Content Conveyor, I can press up arrow on my keyboard or I can click this little button that looks like I'm going up a stairway in a conveyor. So now that we've collected some content, let's place it. I'll go over to this document, I'll use my right arrow key so the 8 Reasons to Study at is at my cursor, and before I click, I'll just mention that there are three modes you can choose from when placing content. You select a mode by pressing one of these three buttons right here. The first mode is called Place, remove from conveyor, and load next.
This one is like copy and paste. When you use this mode, the item is removed from the Conveyor and the next item is loaded into your cursor. So I'll select that and then I'll click to place each item. And now my Conveyor is empty. I'll undo to reload and we'll try the next mode. This one is called Place multiple and keep in conveyor. It's more like a library or a mini-bridge. This is the mode you'd use if you wanted to place the same item multiple times.
So with the "8 Reasons to Study at" text frame in my cursor, each time I click I place that same item. Again I will undo and we'll look at the third mode. This one is called Place, keep in conveyor, and load next. And in this mind, this is what I would think of when I hear the phrase Content Conveyor. It's sort of like you're working on an assembly line in a layout factory and the page items are on a conveyor belt going past and it's your job to assemble the layouts piece by piece. So let's try. I'll click and I place each item once, I'll scroll down to the next page, and then I'm back to the first item again.
One more thing I want to show and that's how you drill down into a set to place each item individually. I'll scroll to another page, I'll click on this set, and now I can place each text frame one by one. The Content Collector, Placer, and Conveyor do take some getting used to, even if you're long-time InDesign user. But they're well worth the effort to learn because they give you lots of options for collecting and placing content that never existed before in InDesign.
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