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In InDesign CS4 Power Shortcuts, Adobe product manager and designer Michael Ninness reveals hundreds of tips to boost productivity, including the top 20 power shortcuts every InDesign user must know. From placing multiple images to the hidden power of Quick Apply, each one of these videos covers an important topic, and includes just the right amount of information to make anyone a true InDesign power user. InDesign users are always looking for faster, more efficient ways to do everything, and this course offers just what they're looking for. Exercise files accompany the course.
All right, this next shortcut, it's really just pointing out a feature that most people miss and that's the ability to place an InDesign file into another InDesign file. You're thinking, well, why would you do that? Well, it's actually pretty handy. I mean if you ever have seen a publication, like say a magazine, where there's the cover of the magazine. Now on the inside, on maybe the Table of Contents page, there's a small version of the cover. Well, how would you do that? Well, you can take a screenshot or export your cover as a JPEG or you could just place that InDesign file back into itself.
So let's go and do it. To do it, you just do the regular Place command, Command+D for File > Place or Ctrl+D on Windows and I happened to have a folder in my Links folder here of placed InDesign files or files to place as InDesign files. Now I have five different documents here. These are just individual documents, one for each season, and then this is a four-page document where each of these pages exists as a page in that document. We'll go ahead and do just the one page and you can actually do Multi-File Place as well for InDesign files.
So I am going to go ahead and select all four individual InDesign files, go ahead and click Open and it's going to load the cursor and treat these just like any other graphic, which is pretty handy. So I am going to go ahead and click-and-drag to scale it. It can give you a little tooltip to tell you how much you are scaling it and we'll make this one a little bit bigger. Make this one a little bit smaller and we'll place this one. So you get the idea. These are just four graphics now sitting on the page, but they are actually linking to InDesign files. Now if I go ahead and take a look at the Links panel, you'll see that I have these four files placed and they actually have what we call disclosure triangles.
So what's going on there? Well, if we take at the Spring.indd file, it shows you the file extensions so you know that that's an InDesign file. If turn down the twisty, this disclosure triangle, it actually shows you the link for the images that are placed inside that InDesign file. So if that file here goes out of date or missing, InDesign can peer inside the placed InDesign files that are inside another InDesign file and make sure that those links are up-to-date as well. Pretty darn cool. Now this also means that you can invoke Edit Original and this is where it comes in handy when you're working with multiple people on the same project.
You can actually divvy up some of the work. This person is going to work on an ad or this one is going to work on a particular article or story or set of pages or whatever, and you want to just put in placeholders, maybe you can create some content there. You could then save that out that chunk of work as a separate InDesign document. That person is now free to work on it, independent of the master document. And then when that person is done, you can place their work into this parent master InDesign document if you will. If you need to make an edit, just use the Edit Original command.
You can Option+Double-click or Option+ Double-click on this file and that pops open the InDesign file. It's just like any other InDesign document. Now, we can actually make any edit we want. Let's call it the Cherry Blooms instead. Great! We have made our edit, we are just going to save that, close it, and when we come back to the parent InDesign document, it's already made that edit. So very handy workflow here. Let me give you a different twist on this by placing that single InDesign document that had four pages in it.
These were each individual documents. Let's go ahead and select these just by dragging over them with the Selection tool, and go ahead and delete. Great! All right, let's choose File > Place again or Command+D or Ctrl+D and we'll choose the Seasons.indd file. This is that four-page document, but here's the deal. I want to be able to choose which page or pages I want to place. Just like an Illustrator file with multiple artboards, we need to show our import options. I don't want this to be a sticky setting. I only want to invoke import options at this one time.
So I am going to use that shortcut, hold down the Shift key and click on the Open button that will bring up the import options for the InDesign document. By default, it's just the first page in the document that's going to come in, you can choose Previewed Page here or I can choose All and that will load all four pages into my loaded cursor. I'll go ahead and click OK to do that. And just like before, I can now click- and-drag but it's automatically going to place it and reload that cursor with the next page from that document. So we'll go ahead and scale that one in, bring this one in and bring this one in.
Okay, there you have it. If you take a look at the Links panel now, these are all listed as children of the single document. So we turn down to the disclosure triangle, turn it up for the Seasons.indd. It tells us that we've actually placed that four different times, once for each page and it actually gives you the page number after the filename. Edit Original still works. Here's what I love about it though. If I Option+Double-click or Alt+Double- click on this particular graphic here, it actually opens up an InDesign file and takes you to the correct page.
In this example, it would be page 2. So again, I can make any edit I want. Medina Beach Park is not in Bellevue. It's actually in Medina, Washington. Then we'll go ahead and make our save, close it and when we come back to this parent document, it's automatically been updated. How cool was that? Placing InDesign files into another InDesign file. Who knew?
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