Synchronizing book documents
Video: Synchronizing book documentsWhen you're working with long documents you will often spend a lot of time and effort making sure things are consistent and to spec across all the files in your project. You can take a lot of the effort out of making styles, swatches, and other document settings consistent by synchronizing them via the Book panel. The first thing to know about synchronizing documents in the Book panel is that one document is designated as the master document or the style source. In this book it's the Cheese_01 document here, and I can see that it's the style source by the icon on the left-hand side. You can broadcast this document's styles and other settings into all of the other documents in the book, or just specific ones.
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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.
- Using text variables
- Creating templates for InDesign, InCopy, and Word
- Employing nested styles
- Creating GREP styles
- Managing color with swatches
- Building page elements with libraries and snippets
- Performing GREP find/changes
- Using InCopy workflows
- Tracking changes
- Adding footnotes and indexes
- Using InDesign book files
- Versioning documents with conditional text or object styles
- Preflighting documents
- Archiving a project
- Finding and installing useful scripts and plug-ins for frequent challenges
Synchronizing book documents
When you're working with long documents you will often spend a lot of time and effort making sure things are consistent and to spec across all the files in your project. You can take a lot of the effort out of making styles, swatches, and other document settings consistent by synchronizing them via the Book panel. The first thing to know about synchronizing documents in the Book panel is that one document is designated as the master document or the style source. In this book it's the Cheese_01 document here, and I can see that it's the style source by the icon on the left-hand side. You can broadcast this document's styles and other settings into all of the other documents in the book, or just specific ones.
You can have only one style source at a time in a book, but you can easily change which document is the style source. You just click in this column to change it. Now Cheese_03 would be the style source for the book. It's almost too easy to change the style source, and there's no way to lock it to one document. There's also no way to undo a synchronization. So before you sync, just double- check and make sure this icon is next to the right document. I am going to put it back at Cheese_01. So you can select individual documents to synchronize by clicking on them. So right now I would sync Cheese_01 with Cheese_03. Or I could Shift+Click to select a range or Command+Click or Ctrl+Click to select individual documents to sync.
You can select all documents by selecting none of them. So if I click down in this empty area at the bottom of the panel to select no documents, now everything in the book will be synced to Cheese_01. So what can you sync? You can see all the things you can synchronize across a book by going to the panel menu and choosing Synchronize Options. Or even easier, you can just Option+Click or Alt+Click on the Synchronize button. Now one thing I should mention is this button will be grayed out if you just have the style source document selected. So that's why that's grayed out right now.
A document can't synchronize with itself. So I am going to click in the empty area so nothing is selected, and then I will hold Option or Alt and click on the Synchronize button, and now I get my Synchronize Options. So I have two sets of things I can synchronize, and I can show or hide them with these triangles on the left. By default, everything is selected to be synchronized, except for Master Pages. I can deselect individual items if I don't want them to be synchronized across documents. One thing you might notice that's conspicuously absent here is layers.
The way you can force layers to sync is by selecting Master Pages and make sure that you have something from each layer you want to sync on a master page. It can be just a frame with no stroke and no fill, but as long as it's on that layer and on a master page, it will sync with the other documents in the book. What you don't have though is the ability to sync the visibility of layers throughout a book. In the movie on layers in this series I show a free script that can sync the visibility of layers. So when I am done setting my options, very handily there is a Synchronize button right here in the dialog box, so I can set options and synchronize all in one motion.
Underneath all the choices, there is this item called Smart Match Style Groups. Selecting this option will make sure that all your styles are in the same style groups as they are in the master document. For example, I will just cancel out of here for a second. And in my master document I have a set of appendix styles that are in an appendix style group, and in my Cheese_02 document my appendix styles aren't in any style group. They're just sitting loose inside the Paragraph Styles panel. So I am going to bring up my Synchronization Options.
I am going to have Smart Match Style Group selected. And Cheese_01 is my style source and I'll click on Synchronize. I'll click OK, and now if I scroll down, I'll see I have an Appendix style group and inside that, all my appendix styles. So now Cheese_02 has the same setup in this Paragraph Styles panel as Cheese_01.
So it's worth talking about what exactly happens during a sync. Since we have a master document or a style source, this is a one-way synchronization. So it's quite possible to have styles and swatches in your other documents that are not in the master document. InDesign won't delete anything when you sync. For example, in Chapter 3, if I open that document, I will see that I have a bogus paragraph style 1, and that's not in my style source document anywhere. So I can look through my Paragraph Styles panel and there is no paragraph style 1 in the style source, but it is in Cheese_03.
So InDesign wouldn't delete this when I went and synchronized the book. The way syncing works is if a style isn't in a document being synced, InDesign will add it. If there is a style in a document with the same name as the style source, but a different definition, the definition will be changed to match the style source. But styles that are not in the style source are just ignored. And this ignoring means you really have to watch out when you rename document resources like styles. If you rename a style in a style source document, InDesign just isn't smart enough to realize that it's the same style but with a different name.
So the next time you synchronize documents, instead of broadcasting the name change throughout the book, it'll add a new style to all the other documents, and it will leave the text in those documents still styled with the other style with the original name. For example, I'll go to Cheese_01 and in my lists I have LT100, and that's this style right here, this heading, set in red text. If I look in Cheese_02, I have the same style, LT100. I will go back to my style source, I'll right-click on LT100 and edit its name, and I'll also edit the character color. So I'll make it use dark cyan instead.
So now I have changed this definition, and I have changed the name. Now let's select both Cheese_01 and Cheese_02 and synchronize those two documents. I will click OK, I'll look at Cheese_02, and look what happened. It didn't synchronize that heading anymore. It's still using LT100 without the underscore, and it added LT100 as a separate style. So I've basically broken the synchronization for this style now, by renaming it in my style source.
So now unless I change the name in the style source back to what it was, I am going to have this problem. I am going to have to fix it with a Find/Change or something else like that. And it's the same for swatches, lists, or anything else that you name and synchronize in books, so be very cautious about this. If you're going to work with book documents, nail down the names of all your styles, swatches, lists, and variables before you do your first synchronization. So to sum up, the convenience and speed of synchronizing document settings is one of the best reasons to use InDesign books, but just be aware of renaming styles and the like after you've started working with book documents, or you may break your ability to sync them.
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