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Author David Blatner provides in-depth training on InDesign CS5, the print and interactive page layout application from Adobe, in InDesign CS5 Essential Training. The course shows how to create new documents with strong and flexible master pages, precisely position text and graphics, prepare documents for print, and export designs as interactive PDF or Flash SWF files. Exercise files are included with the course.
After you start working on a document, you'll notice that up here in the Document Title tab right next to the name of the title, you'll see a little asterisk, and that asterisk means that something has changed about this document. You've changed some text, you've moved something, anytime you do anything to a document, InDesign reminds you that it is not yet saved by giving you that little asterisk. So you can now save this to disk. Under the File menu, you have three different options for saving things to disk: Save, Save As, or Save a Copy. Now, Save is pretty much the same in every program.
It simply saves over the current version that's on the Desktop, or on your computer hard-drive. Save As gives you an extra option, so I want to point this out here. I'm going to go ahead and save this to my Desktop. I'm going to call it My Document, because Save As always lets you change the name of a document to whatever you want it to be, but this also gives me the option to choose a format. InDesign CS5 document, or the InDesign CS5 template. So what is a template? A template is a way that you can create a document that you or somebody else could open later, and when it's opened later, it will always open as untitled.
It won't open that template. It'll open up a duplicate of it, which is untitled, nice and fresh, and easy to start working on. Then when that gets saved, it will save as a new document, not over the template. It doesn't erase the template when you open it. So, that can be very handy, when you're trying to create something that you're going to use as a basis for work later. But in this case, we're simply going to create an InDesign document, and I'll go ahead and click Save. So it saves it to my hard-drive as the name My Document, and then I can start working on it some more.
So I'll move this over here, and this over here -- you get the idea. You can play around with your document, do whatever you're going to do with it, and then later choose once again Save, which erases the original and overwrites it with that same name. Save As, which we just looked at, gives you the option of changing the name, or this is one of my favorites Save a Copy. Save a Copy is kind of interesting, because it looks just like Save As, but it does something slightly different. I'm going to go ahead and save this as My Document copy. It still gives me the option of saving it as a document or a template, lets me choose where I want to save it, but when I save it, something very subtly different happens, look at the Title bar up here.
It still says My Document, and there's still an asterisk there. That means I'm still working on the changed original document. So what did Save a Copy do? Well, Save a Copy saved the current state of the document. In other words, with all of these changes, but it saved it off without overwriting my original. And in fact, it doesn't even open it. It just saves it off to the side. This is very helpful, when you're saving what I call a Base Camp. Basically, I might want to come back to the document in this state, or I might just throw it away, either way.
So very handy for that kind of thing, I just wanted to point out that those are the three options that you have in InDesign: Save, Save As, or Save a Copy. Now, there's one other thing that I want to point out about saving documents. This is an on-going debate, whether you should save to, or open files from a server. Now I personally believe that people should only save to their local hard-drive, and they should only open documents from their local hard-drive. So if you're working on a server, I believe that you should move those documents from the server to your local hard- drive, and then open them, and then save them.
Later, when you want to put them back on the server, you can copy them or move them back to the server. In my opinion, it's just far more reliable. Now, however I'm sure there's a lot of people who disagree with me. To be fair, many people work on files, save directly on a server, they have no problems, but it just makes me nervous. And ultimately the choice is yours.
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