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InDesign CS6 is all about easily repurposing your content for different output devices and for different sizes of pages and screens. So I showed in a previous video how easy it is, using the new Content Collector tools, to copy and paste, basically, objects from one layout to another. I want to take this a step further and talk about linking those objects as we are copying and pasting. Now you may be familiar with a feature that was introduced in CS5.5 called linked content, and that still exists in CS6.
Essentially, how that works is you use your Type tool and you click inside of a text frame, and then instead of selecting all and copying and pasting into a new text frame in a different document, you could go to the Edit menu and choose Place and Link. And when you choose Place and Link, in CS6 the Content Conveyor automatically opens. And this actually bothers me, so I'm going to choose Hide Content Conveyer, because I don't really need it for this purpose. So I will go to the View menu > Extras, and choose Hide Conveyor.
So we have a loaded cursor with a little link icon in as well, indicating that we're going to place and link. And we could place elsewhere in this same document, or in this example I am going to say we have here a landscape brochure and we are going to do a vertical, or a portrait, version of the same brochure. So if I just then drag out of frame, you see that this frame is now linked. And if we look at the Links panel, we can see that this story here is linked to the actual brochure. Do you see at the very bottom of that the tooltip where it says brochure-1page? It's linked to that text.
That means that if we go to the parent text frame, this guy here--and let's zoom in a bit so we can see what we are doing-- and if we change At Roux to At Roux Academy--and I don't need to save; I just go right to the next document--and you can see that the link is out of date. It's out of date here in the Links panel, and also we have an out of date icon right here on the frame. We can update the link simply by double-clicking right on that icon. And now if I zoom in, you can see that it's updated the content.
So that still exists, and that was actually introduced in CS5.5. But we've gone light years beyond that in CS6, because we can link not just the content of text frames, but we can link the content of text frames and image frames and the objects themselves. So let's see how that works. I am going to go back to the brochure. Now this time I'm going to select it with the Selection tool and go to the Edit menu and I'll choose the same command, Place and Link. But notice that I now have like a frame rather than text, like a little preview the text of the actual words.
That's what's loaded in my place gun. I am going to go back here, and I'll click right next to it. And there's the same text. If I come back to the brochure and I change--I delete the word Academy this time and I go back here, both of these things are out of date. If I select this guy though--and look up here at the Links panel. There are two items that are selected, even though I only have one object selected in the layout. That's because there are actually two things that are linked here: the contents--that's this little T icon here--and the object itself with a frame itself.
So it's telling me that the contents are modified. The frame is fine. I just need to double-click to update it, and I will double-click this one to update it as well. You can also just select it here and click the Update icon. All right! So everything is all up to date. We are all happy. Let's come back here, and let's do something different to this frame. I'm going to make it larger. Let's zoom out a bit. And we will make it two columns, like that.
We will go back here. This frame on the left is perfectly happy. Why? Because we did not change any of the content. So it's still up to date. The content is fine. But over here you can see at this frame, though the content is up to date, the frame, the attributes of the object, are out of date. So if I click here and then click once-- I actually just need to click once and I kind of double-clicked--you can see that it's updated, so it is actually linked to the object as well as the content.
Once you choose Place and Link and you've placed an item, you can go to the Links panel--and you can have that object selected--go to the Links panel menu, and choose Link Options. And Link Options is probably, I think, to me, one of the most exciting new features of InDesign CS6, in that you have a lot of fine-grain control over what is actually linked and what will not be lost if you edit it in this local copy, also known as the child version of the frame.
So we placed and linked from the parent version of the frame. This is called Child. So you can see that by default InDesign will warn you if when you update a link on a linked object, you are going to lose any edits that you made locally to this. So if I had, you know, edited some of the text, here in this copy in the vertical brochure, and then I went to the parent brochure and edited the text there, when I went to update this text, I would have lost those local edits.
And you will always get a warning that that's going to happen. If you want to retain some aspect of the local edits but only link other aspects, then you use these checkboxes. And these checkboxes could probably be a video for each one, because you can see that each item has multiple attributes associated with it. It's beyond the scope really of this video to go through every one of these, but let me show you an example of when you might want to use this. I am going to click Cancel. This time let's do it with placing and linking an image object.
So I am going to come back here, and this time we will pick up this interesting- looking graphic right here and if I just selected this and copied it, I came over here and pasted it, you know it's not linked to the parent item at all, but however, the image inside the frame is linked to the original artwork. So you can see here in the Links panel, it is linked to the original roux spirals.ai. But what we want to do is link the instance of this placed graphic in multiple files.
You can do this again in multiple pages at the same document if you wanted to, but we are going to grab this and this time we are going to go to Edit, choose Place and Link, and there is our loaded graphic with a little link icon. I am going to come over here and then click to place it and now we have two entries in the Links panel. It's still linked to the original artwork in the Links folder, but then the other one is that it's linked to the parent item in the brochure-1page.
So let's--let me reposition this we will zoom in a bit. Let's have some fun with this. We are going to go back to the parent, and let's say you know what, I think this would look better if, wherever we placed it, it was rotated. So I am going to go ahead and rotate the parent just by dragging with my cursor when it looks like that curvy little arrowhead, and it's rotated. Now I go to vertical brochure, and you can see that it is out of date. So all I need to do is click once. That's all you've got to do is click once on this out of date icon to update it, and there it is. It's rotated.
Let's say, you know what, while I am looking at this document, I think it would look better if it was smaller. So I am going to move it and I'm going to scale it by holding on Command+Shift, or Ctrl+Shift on a PC. Yeah, that looks better, okay. Now we are going to go back to the brochure and say, okay, let's do one more change to this graphic. Let's change how it looks. I am going to go to Effects, and let's change the blend mode to say Exclusion.
That's kind of interesting. I like that. It gives it the opposite color. I will go back to the child instance, and it's out of date. So if I click the icon to update it, this time I get a little warning that says, you've made edits to this item and you're going to lose it if you update it. And the edit was that I scaled it. So in other words, it's going to make it large again. It's going to make it exactly match what's in the parent. I don't want to lose my edit, so I am going to say no, don't update, and instead, I will make a little trip to the Links panel and with that item selected, I am going to go to Link Options. And I want to preserve some local edits, and the local edits that I want to preserve are the size and shape. I want to maintain the scaling and if you hover over here you will see, yes, Scaling is one of them.
But I also want to maintain the scaling of the content inside here, so I need to turn on Frame Content as well. So this time I will click OK and now let's update it. Here we go. So we maintained the scaling, but we did match the same effects as in the first brochure. Now I know you are probably full of questions about this. Let me answer a couple of them. Let's save this brochure. Let me do a Save As, actually, because I don't want to mess with the original one. I am just going to save this out to the desktop as vertical brochure-2, and we will close it.
You'll see that you had created a bunch of child versions, child-linked objects in other documents, then you opened up the parent object. And again, you cannot tell if any of these objects are parents, but you might go ahead and make a change, like say, for example, I'm working on this brochure, and I am going to change to a different blend mode, let's say. So maybe I'll try Difference. Well, that didn't do much. Let's try Saturation. Well, out of black. I know, Hard Light. There you go. That's kind of interesting.
What happens if we open up the other InDesign document that had a child linked to this object? Let's go ahead and do that. I'll open up the file on my Desktop, and it says that there is a modified link. Let's not update the link. Let's actually take a look at what it found. So it found that this is out of date. So it does maintain that link, even if the document is closed. You don't have to have these open. And I will go ahead and update, and there is the new blend mode reflected.
Here is something else that you probably have a question about. What happens if I accidentally, or on purpose, delete this object? Well, the child items will show that it's missing, just like any missing link. And unfortunately, even if you could locate that original object in a different brochure, or maybe you did a Save As and it can't find the original one, I found in my experience that relinking really doesn't do much. The whole metaphor falls apart there. All you can really do is just unlink it. So at least you know it's not like you're actually going to lose a link to the original artwork; you still have it here.
You just lose the link to the parent object. So I want to unlink the actual frame. So I will just click under the gray area to deselect everything. Then I am just going to click that one entry for the missing frame. And then I'm going to go to the Links panel menu and choose Unlink. So now it's no longer a child of anybody. It's completely emancipated, and it's just a normal link. Having this much control over being able to link the content of image frames and text frames is incredible.
The ability to place and link objects in InDesign CS6 is a powerful new feature, and it's one of the new features that I can see myself using right away in lots of different projects.
- Working with the Conveyor tool to link objects and map styles
- Applying Liquid Layout rules
- Using flexible columns
- Creating auto-sized text frames
- Accessing recently used fonts
- Fitting frames to more types of text content
- Exporting to EPUB 2 and 3 using new controls
- Inserting HTML and Edge content into a layout
- Creating a PDF form with interactive text, radio, and checkbox fields
- Mapping text styles in linked objects