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Synchronizing text

From: Creating Long Documents with InDesign

Video: Synchronizing text

Some times you may need to maintain the same text content in multiple documents. If it's a small piece of text you could use a cross-reference or a text variable, but for something longer, like a whole story, you might consider using an InCopy document placed in multiple InDesign layouts. If on the other hand you need the same text to appear in multiple places in the same document, you can use the Place and Link Story feature. Let's take a look at both of those techniques. I should say right off the bat that you do not need to have InCopy to place the same text in multiple documents, but the ability to save content in an InCopy document is what makes it work.

Synchronizing text

Some times you may need to maintain the same text content in multiple documents. If it's a small piece of text you could use a cross-reference or a text variable, but for something longer, like a whole story, you might consider using an InCopy document placed in multiple InDesign layouts. If on the other hand you need the same text to appear in multiple places in the same document, you can use the Place and Link Story feature. Let's take a look at both of those techniques. I should say right off the bat that you do not need to have InCopy to place the same text in multiple documents, but the ability to save content in an InCopy document is what makes it work.

So, say you wanted this About the Author text with its anchored photo to appear in the end matter of each of his books. First, select the text frame and go to the Edit menu and choose InCopy > Export > Selection. We'll give it a name Bob.icml and save it. We're prompted to save the InDesign document and I'll click OK. Now, I can see an icon in the top-left corner of the text frame telling me that this content is available for anyone to edit, and I can also see it in the Links panel.

Now to place it in the other document, I just go to File > Place and double-click on the .icml file. I can click to place the text, and there now I have synchronized text in these two documents and I can edit the text from either one. So if I click in this frame and start typing, I'm prompted to check it out. I'll say Yes and I'll change About Robert to About Bob, and I'll go to my Assignments panel and click on the check-in, button.

I'll click OK, and then switch over to my original document where I can see that the text has been modified. Then I'll click on the Update Content, button, and I can see the change there too. This is where the InCopy technique for sharing text beats exporting text as a snippet or a library item. When the text is edited, you only have to make the change in one document and then update the link in all the layout documents. And here's another really cool thing about this trick; did you notice the formatting of the text is different in the two documents? They use the same names for the paragraph styles, but the definitions of those styles can be different in each document.

Now, let's look at how to synchronize text in one document. I'll open a new document and close the other one. Now, say I wanted this recipe to appear multiple places in the same document. InDesign CS5.5 introduced a new feature called linked stories, and with it you can have the same text appear multiple times in a document and it's live text, so you have none of the limitations of text variables. We can have anything that resides in a story be synced, including tables and anchored frames. So to create a linked story, you select one or more frames or just put your cursor in a text frame and choose Edit > Place and Link Story.

This gives you a loaded cursor where you can click and drag to draw a new text frame. If I go to the Links panel, I can see the story is now a link. Now if I make a change to the original story, I can see it right away in the Links panel. If I change say to 4 tablespoons of butter, I can see right away the alert icon telling me that the text has been changed and I can double-click to update it. So, now it says 4 tablespoons of butter in the linked story. But remember, this is a one-way link.

Only edits made in the original story can be updated in the link stories, not vice versa. So if I make edits in the link story nothing will happen in the Links panel. So if I change this back to 3 tablespoons, nothing happens over here, and I'm not prompted to update it in the original story. And furthermore, if I make changes to the original story, say if I put salt and pepper, and then I go to update the links, I'm prompted that I'll lose the edits made in the other stories if I update.

In the Links panel you can right-click on a link story to get some useful options. Choosing Edit Original will take you to the original story and fit it in your window. If you no longer want a linked story to respond to changes in the original story, you can choose Unlink. And Link Story Options gives you choices for whether to update the link automatically when you save the document, whether or not to warn you when you're about to override local edits, and whether or not to remove forced line breaks. So, when you need to synchronize text in multiple documents, use InCopy Stories.

And for syncing text within a single document, CS5.5's link stories will do the trick.

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This video is part of

Image for Creating Long Documents with InDesign
Creating Long Documents with InDesign

59 video lessons · 15548 viewers

Mike Rankin
Author

 
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  1. 10m 48s
    1. Welcome
      54s
    2. Using the exercise files and scripts
      1m 51s
    3. Long-document workflow overview
      4m 20s
    4. Analyzing the planned output
      3m 43s
  2. 34m 7s
    1. Using master pages
      9m 34s
    2. Using layers
      7m 23s
    3. Using text variables
      6m 42s
    4. Using section markers
      5m 44s
    5. Synchronizing text
      4m 44s
  3. 26m 16s
    1. Using InDesign templates
      7m 10s
    2. Setting up preferences
      3m 27s
    3. Using Word templates
      5m 50s
    4. InCopy workflows
      5m 17s
    5. Creating a production manual
      4m 32s
  4. 40m 2s
    1. Using Based On styles
      6m 14s
    2. Using nested styles
      5m 56s
    3. Using Next Style
      3m 39s
    4. Using GREP styles
      6m 17s
    5. Using object styles
      2m 48s
    6. Using table and cell styles
      5m 8s
    7. Using swatches
      5m 33s
    8. Using Quick Apply
      4m 27s
  5. 37m 57s
    1. Placing text
      4m 57s
    2. Placing images
      3m 41s
    3. Creating metadata captions
      4m 3s
    4. Using Mini Bridge
      4m 38s
    5. Using libraries and snippets
      6m 4s
    6. Using GREP Find/Change
      5m 5s
    7. Find/Change tips
      5m 21s
    8. Using Layout Adjustment
      4m 8s
  6. 15m 53s
    1. Using Notes
      4m 7s
    2. Tracking changes
      4m 36s
    3. Using CS Review
      7m 10s
  7. 34m 43s
    1. Creating tables of contents
      7m 9s
    2. Alternative uses for the TOC feature
      4m 9s
    3. Creating cross-references
      6m 8s
    4. Creating footnotes
      6m 31s
    5. Importing footnotes
      6m 47s
    6. Creating endnotes
      3m 59s
  8. 33m 50s
    1. Scoping out the index
      2m 19s
    2. Creating index topics and references
      9m 29s
    3. Creating index cross-references
      3m 1s
    4. Creating index references with Find/Change
      3m 31s
    5. Generating an index
      3m 35s
    6. Preserving formatting in an index
      5m 13s
    7. Using third-party indexing tools
      6m 42s
  9. 26m 44s
    1. Using InDesign book files
      4m 37s
    2. Numbering book documents
      5m 46s
    3. Synchronizing book documents
      7m 5s
    4. Preflighting book documents
      3m 49s
    5. Outputting book documents
      5m 27s
  10. 12m 54s
    1. Using conditional text
      5m 1s
    2. Using Smart Text Reflow
      4m 3s
    3. Using object styles for customization
      3m 50s
  11. 25m 17s
    1. Preflighting documents
      6m 56s
    2. Exporting to print PDF
      5m 26s
    3. Exporting to interactive PDF
      5m 36s
    4. Archiving a project
      7m 19s
  12. 48s
    1. Goodbye
      48s

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