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When I create a new document I often just start by opening an old document that's similar and then making changes. For example, I might use the Direct Selection tool to delete some of these pictures and maybe delete that text and change this text to something else and so on and this works great, unless I accidentally save over my original. That's bad, but that's why templates are so great. A template is an InDesign document that you can use as a starting point for laying out a document, but which you cannot accidentally save over. And you can turn any document into a template by choosing Save As from the File menu and then choosing Template from the Format popup menu.
The InDesign CS4 template will tell InDesign to change the extension to indt, not InDesign document, but an InDesign template. Now I am going to put this out on my Desktop here to make it easier to find later and I will click Save and right now we are still working on that document, but if I save that document, go to the Open Document dialog box and now open the template of my Desktop here, we will see that it opens as Untitled. No matter what I do it won't save over the original.
For example, I will type some text and so on and then when I go to save it, it says what do you want to save it as, so the original template is safe. I'm going to cancel out of this and I want to tell you how you can open and edit that template if you need to. Because a lot of people, they save the template and then they can't figure out how to edit that template later. Well, it's not that hard. We go to the File menu, choose Open and then choose the template. But instead of just clicking Open, I am going to come down here and choose Open Original first. Open Original means open the template in the original document itself not as Untitled. Here we go. There is the original document.
We can see it up at the top and if I edit this in however way I am going to do it. Let's just say name of product. Now I go to the File menu and click Save, it actually saves the template on disk. It doesn't throw up that Save As dialog box. I want to show you one other way that you can make a template in InDesign. I'm just going to save this out to the Desktop, not as a template but as a regular document and I will call this my template. You can call it anything you want of course. And when I click Save and go back to my Desktop here, we can actually see there is the template file I saved, but this is the new document here.
Let me hide InDesign so we can see that, so it won't be so distracting. This is the new file. It's a regular InDesign document, but I may want to turn it into a template that won't accidentally get saved over. I can do that by right-clicking or Ctrl-click with a one-button mouse and choosing on the Mac, Get Info; on Windows, it's Properties. Either way you can turn on the Locked check box inside that little dialog box that appears and now it's a locked file and a locked file acts just like a template as well. If I double click on it or open it any other way, it opens in InDesign, it's functional, I can edit it, but when I save it, it won't save over the original because that version is locked.
Templates are great when you need to create a bunch of documents based on the same layout. However, creating a good template that you can give to colleagues, especially folks who don't know much about InDesign, is as much an art as a science. Let's move on to paths and cool effects that you can apply in InDesign.
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