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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.
The best in design professionals get as much out of an in design document as they can. For example, I have a brochure here that we're going to be distributing to three different locations. And we want the images and text to be slightly different depending on where it's distributed. We don't want to have to make three different in design documents. Instead we're going to use in design's built in features that let you store different conditions inside the same document. Did you hear that word? Condition. That's the clue that you want to go looking for the conditional text panel.
I'll go up to the Window menu, come all the way down to Type in Tables, and then choose Conditional Text. If you've never used a conditional text panel before. Check out the movie I did on it, inside my InDesign Insider Training: Beyond the Essentials title, here in the online training library. But there are a few tips and tricks that I didn't cover in that movie and I definitely want to cover them here. I'm going to make two conditions really quickly here. One is called photography, and the other one is going to be called textiles. You can call them anything that you want, really. But the important thing is I've got two different conditions inside one document.
Next, I'm going to come in here and zoom in to 200% by pressing Cmd+2 or Ctrl+2 on Windows. I'm going to change this one to textiles, just like that. And I'm going to select the word and I'm going to turn on that condition for it. Now I'm going to turn off the textiles condition and click on photography, that way the next thing I type will automatically be set to the conditional text called photography And I'm just going to type that word, photography, there we go. So I now have two conditions, one that's textiles, and I can turn off the photography and turn on textiles and see that word.
Turn off textiles and turn on photography. So that's terrific. Now I want to apply these same conditions to the images down here. But you can not apply conditions to images only text. That's why it's called the conditional text panel. Let's go ahead and pan down here so we can see this better. I need to find some way to turn these images into text and that will let me assign conditions to them. And the way you turn images into text is by making them anchored images. That is, they are anchored inside a text frame. All I need to do to do that is just make a text frame.
I can put it pretty much anywhere I'm just going to drag out a little tiny text frame here. Won't do anything to any text there. It's just a frame. In fact, let's go in and set this back to the selection tool. And press the W key to turn off the preview mode. And that way it's easier to see that there's a little text frame here. Now, I'm going to anchor these images inside this frame. And the easiest way to do that is simply by dragging the little square that's in the upper right corner. In this case it's on a red layer, so it's a red square and all I have to do is click this little red square and drag it into that frame.
It doesn't change the image, doesn't change the frame, except that it is now an anchored object inside this little frame that we've just made. Let's go ahead and do it to these other images too. I'll grab this one and drag it in. I'll drag this one in there. And finally this one as well. Now all four of those have become anchored objects inside that frame. But they don't change their position on the page. I can see that these are anchored inside this frame by selecting that text frame, going to the edit menu and choosing Edit In St. There they are, four anchored objects.
Now here's the cool part. I'm going to copy all four of these selected objects to the clipboard with a Cmd+C, or Ctrl+C on windows, click after them and then paste with a Cmd+Z or Ctrl+Z. Now the first four of these, I'm going to apply the photography condition. And the last four, I'm going to select and apply the textiles condition. First, I'll turn on that condition, then click textiles. And then I'll turn off the photography condition. You'll notice that any objects inside the Story Editor with a hidden condition change into this little icon with an eyeball. That just means there's hidden conditions there.
Finally, I'm going to close the Story Editor and replace these images with different ones. I'll choose my Selection tool. Click on the first one and use Cmd+d or Ctrl+d on Windows, and just replace this with a different image. Let's go ahead and replace each of these with a different image. I now have both text and graphics setup with conditions. So that when I change my conditions inside the conditional text panel, both text and graphics will change. Le'ts pane over here so we can see the text. And the graphics at the same time. Now let's see it in action. I am going to turn off the textiles condition and turn on photography.
Turn off photography and turn on textiles. In fact, you can swap this out even faster by holding down the option or Alt key when clicking inside of one of these boxes. That toggles all of the other fields so that the hidden ones become visible, and the visible ones become hidden. So, there's all my photography, and there's all my textiles. Using the same document for multiple targets is smart, whether it be different languages, different versions, different perspectives, or different international prices within the same file. Conditional text makes it possible for you to maximize your efficiency with a minimum of extra work.
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