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David Blatner brings his knowledge of and passion for InDesign to the latest release of this state-of-the-art publishing program, showing how to harness its power and functionality. InDesign CS4 Beyond the Basics covers the process of publishing with an eye on the program's latest nuances: optimizing page layouts, automating InDesign with Data Merge and XML, exploring interactive documents (including making movies), and exporting publications to a variety of formats. Exercise files accompany the course.
InDesign lets you make a single document thousands of pages long. But I really, really would not recommend it. It's usually better to break long files down into smaller chapters. There are no hard and fast rules about how long each of those files should be. I have created books where a single chapter, a single document, had almost 200 pages in it. Other folks like keeping their files down to 50 pages or so. Some magazines are actually laid out where every two page spread is a different InDesign file. The good news is that the InDesign lets you combine multiple documents together into a book.
The key is to create a Book File. I will do that by going to the File menu and choosing Book out of the New submenu. I am going to put my book inside my Exercise Files right next to my Chocolate Book Files folder. I will call it Chocolate Book. Notice that the extension is indb. It's not an InDesign file; it's a Book File. When I click save it opens a Chocolate Book panel. I am going to close this Welcome screen, so it's not so distracting. Now a Book panel is a window into the Book File on disc. And the Book File on disc simply references all the other files in the book.
So now I need to start adding documents into my Book panel. I will do that by clicking on the plus button at the bottom of the panel. The files I want to add are inside the Chocolate Book Files folder. So I will double-click on that and select all of these by clicking on the first one and then Shift-clicking on the last one. That's how you can select all the items in a list. When I click Open, they are all added to the Book panel. The more documents you want to add to your book, the longer it's going to take because InDesign is literally opening them, checking them, reassigning page numbers and then saving them and closing them again. But it does it pretty fast.
Here we see the list of all the documents in this book. If for some reason they are coming in the wrong order, you can reorder them simply by clicking-and-dragging them. It takes a moment to update because it's redoing its page numbering. Now we are talking about page numbering in a later movie in this chapter. For now, it suffices to say that it's handling the page number behind the scenes you don't have to worry about it. But I am going to take this and put it back to where it was. Chapter 02 goes after Chapter 01 but the TOC should go at the very top. If you made a mistake and added a file accidentally, you know we selected out of the list and then click on the little minus button here. And that will remove it from the book. But in this case, I want all those files in my book so I am going to leave those alone. Now once you have added all those folders into the Book panel it's a good idea to save it. You don't save it by going to the File menu. This is for saving documents and I don't have any documents open right now. Instead you go to the Book panel menu. This fly-out menu in the upper right corner and you save it from here. I can either Save it or Save As. But in this case, I am just going to save it with the same name.
Now I want to be clear here, just because InDesign calls these Book panels doesn't mean that you can only use them for books. This feature is appropriate for magazines, catalogs, annual reports whatever. If you have more than one document that you need to keep track of in one place, a Book panel is a good place to do it. Here is a couple of other things you should think about when dealing with Book panels. First of all, it's just a regular panel like any other panel in InDesign. That means I can minimize it by clicking on the little double-headed arrow to make it smaller. I will make it big again by clicking one more time.
I could even take this and put it over into my doc and it will snap up here and now it is a Docked panel. That's often a very convenient way to deal with your Book panels. Now remember this Book panel is just a link to the Book File on disc and you could put that Book File on a server. And that's an interesting idea because it means that more than one person could open that Book File at the same time. And InDesign will keep track of who has which files open. Another thing I should point out is that if you add a file to your Book panel that was originally in InDesign CS2 file or InDesign CS3 file or any old InDesign file, InDesign is going to remind you that you have to save it as a new name or save it over with the old name which would delete the original.
InDesign has to keep a new CS4 version of the file. Now if that's get annoying to you after a while, if you just wanted to automatically convert it to a CS4 file then you can turn on a setting in the Book panel fly-out menu called Automatic Document Conversion. If this is turned on, then InDesign will automatically convert all your documents to CS4 as soon as you add them to the Book panel. See there is a little checkmark there now. There are several great reasons to combine your files into a Book panel. The first is so that you can find each file easily but the more important reason is that InDesign can manage your page numbering and even make your color styles and master pages consistent across all those documents.
That's what we are going to be looking at in the rest of this chapter.
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