Using conditional text
Video: Using conditional textConditional text is text that you can hide and show simply by clicking on the condition in the Conditional Text panel. The whole point of using conditional text is to be able to do multiple versions of a document for different audiences, like for example French and English or UK English and US English, or student edition and teacher edition. It's when some of the text changes based on the audience, but a lot of the other text and pictures remain the same. So it saves you a lot of work.
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In Collaborative Workflows with InDesign and InCopy Anne-Marie Concepción shows how Adobe InCopy and InDesign work together, helping editors and designers collaborate on publications, and save time and money, with no additional hardware, software, or expensive publication management systems. This course shows how to set up for the workflow, how to address cross-platform Mac and Windows issues when working in a mixed environment, how to work with remote writers and designers, and how to integrate with Microsoft Word. Exercise files are included with the course.
- Setting up projects and users on a local network
- Using e-mail-based assignments and Dropbox to manage remote users
- Copyfitting and formatting text
- Using advanced editing tools
- Working with paragraph, character, and table styles
- Tracking changes in InCopy and InDesign
- Creating cross-references and hyperlinks
- Creating InCopy templates
- Combining InCopy with Microsoft Word
- Inserting and formatting images
- Reviewing features specific to InDesign
Using conditional text
Conditional text is text that you can hide and show simply by clicking on the condition in the Conditional Text panel. The whole point of using conditional text is to be able to do multiple versions of a document for different audiences, like for example French and English or UK English and US English, or student edition and teacher edition. It's when some of the text changes based on the audience, but a lot of the other text and pictures remain the same. So it saves you a lot of work.
In fact, I know a lot of people are using layers to do that now, but even with layers, if you have a story where only a couple of phrases change based on the edition, you still have to create two complete different text frames, but with conditional text, you can have as little as one character change based on the condition. I already have condition set up in this document. I want to show you how conditions work and then show you how you can apply your own conditions. The Conditional Text panel is at the bottom of the panel dock, if you are using the Advanced workspace like I've been using throughout this title, or if you don't have it available you can look under the Window menu and go all the way down to Type & Tables, and you'll find it there, Conditional Text.
Okay, so in this document, the idea is that this catalog is going to be sent out to both a French audience and an English audience. Maybe that doesn't make much sense in your world, but it actually works out quite well. I'm going to zoom in on this story that says Shrubs by pressing Command or Ctrl+Plus a few times and oh I forgot to check everything else, so let me just select the category, Unassigned InCopy Content and check out all the stories. There we go. Now, do you see this squiggly happening here in this story? This is indicating that this text has been associated with a condition.
Let me detach Conditional Text from there so it doesn't keep closing, and the condition is that this is English text. So, if I click the eyeball next to English condition, then the text disappears. While you're editing text that has a condition applied, if the squigglies are bugging you, you can choose to hide the indicators, right. You see that you also have a choice of when you print this, should it also print or not. So, if you don't want the squigglies to print in your print proofs, you would choose Hide as well. I'm going to go back to Show. That is as opposed to this text down here that doesn't have any indicators on it, meaning that no conditions have been applied.
So this is the default state of all text in InDesign and InCopy is that it's Unconditional, meaning it's going to appear in every print out in every PDF. Now, this is the English text. If I want to see the French text, I just hide the English and show the French, all right. So the French text has a completely different conditions, colored red. Same squiggly though, but this is the French version. So you see I don't have to change the pictures. I don't have to move to a different layout or even a different layer. I just have to hide and show conditions. You'll see something else.
I'm going to turn on the English and hide the French. This little red mark here, let's zoom in even more, I guess it's orange. This indicates that there is hidden conditional text because we have hidden the French conditions. So, if you try to delete that, if I press the Delete or Backspace key, let me move over to the right of it and then delete it, you'll get a warning dialog box that says, hey, if you delete me, you're going to delete the text too because that indicator is like a placeholder for all of that text, and you definitely do not want to delete that conditional text unless you really mean to.
So this is one instance where you don't ever want to turn on this check box. Don't show again. You always want it to remind you if you're about to delete text. So I'm going to click Cancel. Now, you also see this if you're working in Galley or Story mode, what you see for conditional text is this interesting little eyeball, meaning that there is conditional text here and if you try to delete that icon, you'll get the same warning. You do see the condition indicators in Story and Galley too. Let's zoom out a bit. Now, let's say that we want to change the word "Shrubs" to the French version as well and to add that to the conditions.
So, right now Shrubs is in English. It's at the default state of Unconditional. All you need to do is select it and choose the check mark next to the condition that you want. By the way, text can have more than one condition applied to it. You might be working on something that has US and Canada and UK English and you want this certain bit of text to appear in all those editions, so you would turn on the check mark for all of those. And then another edition might be say Latin America or Africa, and then you don't want it to appear there, so you can turn that off.
You can also apply and remove conditions via Find/Change. You don't have to do this individually word-by-word manually. Anyway, so that's English, and now we want to get the French version in there. What I'm going to do is I'm going to hide English, and then we want to paste in the French word. Now, if you don't happen to know the French word, do not worry or put your little head about in misery. Just select this text that I stuck out in the Pasteboard, and hopefully this is the French translation of shrubs. I just got it from the Internet. It's not a workflow story, but remember you don't need to worry about that.
All you want to do is copy the text. So I'm going to copy it, come back over here. I'll turn on the French condition so we can see it, click right in front of here and then choose Paste, right. We'll select it, turn on the French condition, and now we just need the correct paragraph style, which I believe is section head without the override. So, what I did here was I hold down the Option or Alt key on my computer and clicked section head again which got rid of that little Plus symbol. That's something I talk about in the formatting videos.
Anyway, so now we can see this is the French condition and this is the English and then if you want to see the English condition, here's another little trick. You can hold down the Alt or Option key, and that will toggle between the two conditions. It will turn the one on that you click on and turn all the other ones off. So Option or Alt+Click next to English, Option or Alt+Click next to French, and you can switch back and forth. So you see this happens throughout the entire document. So there might be other stories and other pages or even just individual prices or things like that that only appear in one condition versus the other.
Now you as the editor in InCopy cannot create conditions; you can't delete conditions either. So this is something again that the designers set up in InDesign, but that normally it's the editors who are applying it in the text. So again, this is a time when you and the designers have to work closely together to come up with the best strategy for using conditional text in InDesign and InCopy.
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