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In this series, David Blatner and Anne-Marie Concepción, co-hosts of the web's top resource for InDesign tips and tricks, InDesignSecrets.com, share some hidden and sometimes surprising workflow tips that will make working in InDesign more efficient and more fun. The course covers built-in timesaving features such as Quick Apply and auto-expanding text, but also little-known tricks, such as using the eyedropper to copy and paste character and paragraph text attributes and making accurate selections by selecting through or even into objects.
New techniques will be added to the collection every other week, so check back early and often. Find more tips and tricks at indesignsecrets.com.
One of my favorite features in InDesign CS6 is the place and link option. That cool thing that if you select any object in your layout, you can go to Edit menu, choose Place and Link, and it's as though you were placing something that you imported from an external file. I'll just put this right out here on the paste board. And except that the original is actually inside here. And so if I scale this, hold down Cmd+Shift or Ctrl+Shift on a PC, then any children that I placed in that manner become out of date.
They're out of date here, they're out of date in the Links panel. And in either place I can update them and they will change to match. Let me undo that, a couple of steps. If I had made some local edits to one of those instances that I had placed, so for example, I will add a three-point stroke on this one. This one has no stroke. And then I modify the parent, like I'll scale it again. When this one's out of date, when I update it, I get a warning.
Edits have been made to this linked page item. If you want me to update anyway, say yes. And we see the local edits of the two point stroke gets lost when you update. There's a way around that to maintain some your local edits by using link options. And I know that we're going to be talking about text frames in a bit. But I want to make sure we understand how other kind of frames other than text frames work because text frames are a special case. So let's make this larger again, and we'll update this one. And this time I'm going to go ahead and add the same two point stroke.
But now before I try to modify this one again, I'm going to change the settings for this child object by selecting it and going to link options. Now you might think that you could get to link options by right clicking. Unfortunately, that's not true. Instead you have to remember that the option, let me move things over a little bit, is in the links panel. So with the child objects selected, if you want to maintain your local overrides here. But still keep the link intact.
You need to go to the Link panel, go to the Panel menu, as I'm doing here and choose Link Options. And then you choose one or more of these check box, Preserve these Local Edits while Updating Object Links. Now this time I want to preserve the appearance, which is the stroke and fill color, stroke weight and the existence of a stroke, in other words. Close that up. Now I'm going to command control shift to scale this guy. It's out of date. I click it. I don't get a warning, because we didn't lose my local edits.
It's scaled but it maintained that two point stroke. So that's pretty cool. Now let's say that we want to do a similar sort of edit to a child of this text block. So in this text block, this is an address block, you can see in the paragraph style panel, the formatting of all these paragraphs is address block. Let's say that I want to make a child of it on this envelope, which would be a logical use case. I'm doing an identity with a brochure and an envelope. In the same InDesign file.
Love the ability to mix page sizes in the same ID file. So I select this thing, go to Edit > Place and Link. Remember, this won't work if you copy paste. You have to choose place and link. And then, I'll bring it down here, click. And, of course, it's all white text. So now, if I change all this text. I select all. And then I go to Paragraph Styles, and I choose Address Black Envelope. Here we go. Now, I come back up here, and I want to modify let's move, International Academy.
I come down here and of course it's out of date. So when I update it I get the warning because I actually made a local override without changing the link options. So I'm like okay I watched Henry's video I know how to fix this. I'll select this guy go to the Links panel, go to Links Panel menu, down to link options. Or is the part about paragraph styles? It's not appearance, which has to do with the frame, not really the contents of the frame. I actually went and found the help file definition of what all of those mean, and I've opened it up in Acrobat.
You can download the InDesign reference.pdf from the Adobe website. Just search for InDesign help. And here they're explained in a bit more detail. What is included in the category appearance, size and shape, frame content. I think that you can see that paragraph and character styles are not part of this anywhere. Instead you have to do something slightly different. Back in InDesign, we have this selected. Go to the Links Panel Menu. Choose Link Options. And what you want is this guy down here, to Define Custom Style Mapping.
Turn this on. Go to settings. Think of it as kind of like the nested style section of paragraph style options. You have to choose new style mapping. And we're talking about paragraph styles not character styles or any of these. Make sure you're in the right document. What is the parent's paragraph style? In this case it's address block. What is the child paragraph style? We want it to change to address block envelope. If you're ever imported a Word document and mapped word styles to inDesign styles, this is what's happening.
Except it doesn't show you a full list on the left and a full list on the right. You have to choose it yourself one by one. And this is actually great because in this instance, all the text is formatted with address block, and over here, we want to switch to address block envelope, which essentially makes the text black. You could start with a text frame that had multiple paragraph styles and character styles and map each and every one of those over here if you'd like to. Click OK. Why didn't it map? It's still white. You have to actually force it to update.
So if I got rid of the word international, for example. Now it's out of date, and I click on that yellow triangle to update. Now it maps. You wouldn't have to do that if you did your style mapping before you placed it. You select the object, go to Edit > Place and Link. And right here, you see you turn on Map Styles. And then here is where you edit the custom style mapping. If I said the new style map, and we'll do the same thing that we just did. Selecting the before and after.
Okay, and now when we place this guy. It automatically comes in mapped. No matter which method you use, as long as custom style mapping has been turned on, you can now edit the parents, and when you update the children. They will maintain their map styles. It's a little trickier than dealing with other objects. You have to use custom style mapping to maintain different text formatting in child text frames.
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