Start learning with our library of video tutorials taught by experts. Get started
Viewers: in countries Watching now:
Creating Long Documents with InDesign shows designers how to create book-length documents in workflows with multiple users—using both InDesign features and third-party plug-ins. Publishing veteran Mike Rankin focuses on long document elements such as page and chapter numbering, table of contents, cross-references, and indexes. The course also provides an overview of document construction, from creating master pages and applying consistent formatting with styles to placing text and images and outputting to both print and interactive PDF.
Let's take a look at how to use the Book panel to output documents to Print, PDF, and EPUB. Printing book documents is hardly any different from printing any InDesign document, but instead of pressing Command+P or Ctrl+P or choosing Print from the File menu, you use the Book panel. At the bottom of the Book panel there is a button to print the book, and clicking on it will bring up the regular Print dialog box. If you'd rather just print selected documents within the book, select them first before you click the Print button. To export book documents to PDF, you can either use the panel menu and choose Export Book to PDF or you can use the shortcut, holding down Option or Alt and click on the Print button, and then instead you get the Export to PDF dialog box.
Now, an interesting option when you're exporting to PDF is way down at the bottom of the panel menu, and it's Merge Identically Named Layers on Export. So let's export a couple of PDFs, once with this on and once with this off to see the difference. First I'll select it and confirm that it's turned on. Then I'll Shift+Click on my Chapter 01 and Chapter 02 documents, and then I'll hold Option or Alt and click on the Print button. So now I'm going to export a PDF of Chapter 01 and 02, and I'll call this one Merged.
Format, PDF (Interactive). I'll click Save, and I'll choose Create Acrobat Layers, and click OK. Then in Acrobat the PDF opens up. I can look at my Acrobat layers, I see the name of my document, and I can tip it open and I can see the same layers I had in InDesign. And I can control their visibility.
One thing it also did is it added this Guides and Grids layer as well. All right! Let's go back to InDesign. We'll deselect the documents, go to the panel menu, and this time we'll deselect Merge Identically Named Layers. So let's just confirm that's off. I'll Shift+Click on Chapter 01 and 02, I'll Option+Click or Alt+Click on Print Again, and we'll call this one NotMerged. I'll click Save, make sure Acrobat layers is turned on, and click OK again.
The first is simply called pdf_export. So I'll go to my Scripts panel and I'll double-click on pdf_export. It opens a dialog box where I can have InDesign remember the name, location, and PDF preset that I used for this particular document or book. This is really useful because by itself, InDesign only remembers the last-used settings, regardless of which document or book was output to PDF. So say you're producing books for five different clients. Wouldn't it be cool if you could always use the same output PDF folder or output PDF settings? Well, with this script, you can.
I'll cancel out of there, and we'll check out the second script. It's called pdf_individuals. I'll double-click to run it. And this script allows you to overcome one of the limitations with the Book panel's Export to PDF feature. By itself, InDesign will always export book documents to a single PDF file, and this happens no matter what you have selected in the Book panel. There's no option to output one PDF per document or single-page PDFs. But with this script you can output single-page PDFs, document-length PDFs, or section-length PDFs, right down here in the Export document options.
So whole documents, single pages, or go by the sections. I can also choose a PDF preset, and I can choose whether to view the PDF after exporting. Just be a little careful. If you select individual pages and then View PDF after exporting, so if you had 500 pages worth of book documents, you're about to have 500 PDFs try to open on your machine. You can also use the Book panel to export a book to the EPUB eBook format. It's a little different from print and PDF export, in that that there's no option to export selected documents to EPUB.
So even if I had Shift+Clicked to select a few documents and then go to the panel menu and choose Export Book to EPUB, it's not going to just export Chapters 02, 03, and 04 to EPUB; it's always going to export the entire book. For a detail rundown of all of InDesign's EPUB export settings, I recommend you check out Anne-Marie Concepcion's InDesign CS5.5 to EPUB, Kindle, and iPad. Whether you're outputting to print, PDF, or EPUB, you can use the Book panel to output multiple documents at once.
This concludes our look at outputting long documents. In the next chapter we'll see how to customize long documents using conditional text.
There are currently no FAQs about Creating Long Documents with InDesign.
Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.
Search within course videos and transcripts, and jump right to the results.
Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.
Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.
Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.