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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.
We all know that, just about every great looking PDF started out as an InDesign file. And a lot of you may also be familiar with adding additional interactivity within Acrobat. Like here we have a beautiful flavored oils order form, to which, Claudia McCue one of the other instructors here at Lynda has added a number of, detailed fields and calculation fields. Now even though InDesign CS6 can do form fields, earlier versions of InDesign could not. All this would have had to been done in Acrobat, but even in InDesign CS6, and CC, they can't do calculation fields.
So all this stuff would've had to have been in Acrobat. Now the point is, what if you needed to make a change to this form? If I went back to InDesign, and say for example I needed to, make this logo much larger because the art director said, it's too boring this way. So I'm just going to, scale it really large, and I'll send it to the back, with Arrange Send To Back. And well that's, too obtrusive. Let's reduce the opacity. In Effects a bit.
Let's say, for whatever reason, we needed to make a major change to the PDF like this, beautiful. If I export this again to PDF, we're not going to have any of those calculation fields. And I would have to rebuild all these from scratch. But, instead what you can do is use this little known command, which is replace. If you just replace this page with a PDF of a replacement page, then all of the interactivity remains intact. Because, in Acrobat, all of the form fields and buttons, and even bookmarks and hyperlinks exist on a layer above the actual page content.
So when you replace a PDF page, it's like a magician pulling a tablecloth out from a set table. And the knives and forks and spoons, and so on, remain in place, but the tablecloth is gone. That's kind of like what we're going to do. So if you need to update a PDF that already has a bunch of interactivity, don't start from scratch. Instead, go to the source document, export the page that you want to update as a PDF. So, I'll go to File > Export. Let's do a high quality print. We'll put it out here on the desktop. And we'll call this replacement page. I'll just call it replace that PDF.
And we don't need to view it after exporting. Just export it. Then back here in Acrobat, go to the Tools panel > Pages > Replace command. If you have an earlier version of Acrobat, you'll find the replace pages command in one of the menus up here. It wants to know, where is the PDF that you want to replace? And here it is, the Two Trees replace.pdf. And it says okay, replace pages one to one of the current document with that selected page. Yes, please.
Are you sure? Yes, please. There you go. We still have our intact form, but now we have new artwork in back or maybe might have changed an address or something. This is also very useful for longer documents. So here we have an employee manual that's 25 pages long, with lots of hand done bookmarks here, and let's say that you needed to update something in here. For example, under temporary employees. This section right here. Say that you needed to change this substantially.
If we find the source InDesign document, which I happen to have open conveniently, and we go down to the temporary, full time or part time. And let's say that we say temporary, and we just wanted to change this to partial time for whatever reason. Our lawyer said so. If I then export this to PDF, we're going to lose all this bookmarks. I'll go ahead and choose Export > Print, we'll call this employee manual 4, that's fine. Export that, view the PDF after exporting. In this case even if I say yes, please include the bookmarks, because I didn't set this up with bookmarks, we have lost them all.
And that would be a lot of work to do over again, so instead if you have a long PDF document with any amount of interactivity, and you want to update it, I know that you're going to be tempted to go the Tools menu and use one of these really great editing tools that we have now in later versions of Acrobat. But that means that your InDesign file is going to be out of date, so it's always a better idea to update the source file and then replace the PDF. So, instead we're going to go back to InDesign and we're just going to export this one page. We don't need to export the entire thing.
This is page seven. So, I'll go ahead and export to PDF. We just need page seven and under range we'll just say seven. And we don't need to view the PDF after exporting. Or we can see it if we want to. Okay. So there it is, just a single document. And then we go to the PDF with all the interactivity. And we choose our friend, Replace Pages. Replace with page seven. Replace page seven with page seven. Yes. It might be a completely different page in here, by the way.
These don't have to match or anything. And then click OK. Are you sure? Yes. And now, we still have all of our bookmarks. They're still intact. But we've updated the PDF with this new text. So the next time you need to update a PDF, update the source file and then just replace the page in the PDF. That way, you don't lose any of the interactivity that you worked so hard to add in Acrobat.
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