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- 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
Skill Level Appropriate for all
Let's explore this idea of an alternate layout. I mentioned it in my overview of flexible layouts in the first video in this chapter, and now let's look specifically at what is an alternate layout and when you might want to use it, and what are some settings that you should probably know about. You want to create an alternate layout whenever you want to show a variation of an existing layout. And it is something that you would do instead of doing a Save As with a different name and a different size, because what's more convenient is to have all the alternate layouts in one single InDesign document.
Let's say, for example, that you need to do a bunch of display ads at different sizes. Instead of having a folder that had the same ad at different sizes for different publications, you could just create one single document. And the beauty of it is that in the alternate layouts in this document, the text is linked from layout to layout, so it's a lot easier to make sure that all the text is up to date and accurate. Here we have a half-letter-size page ad, let's say for the bottom of a newsletter page or a magazine, and now we want to create a few different variations. How do we do that? In the Pages panel--this is probably where I would go first, is I would just go ahead and click the downward-pointing arrow here right next to the name of this layout, which InDesign assigns automatically, and choose Create Alternate Layout.
I could also come up over here to the Layout menu, which makes sense, and choose Create Alternate Layout. Now you need to pay attention here because InDesign automatically assumes that hey, you must be doing something for the iPad or the Kindle, and so you want to do a vertical and a horizontal version of the same document, which is obviously a natural use for this feature and I'll talk about that in a second. But do you see how it automatically switched the orientation, and it renamed it with a V because we already have that horizontal version? So make sure that you click this so that you are using the same orientation, assuming you want to use the same orientation. And then you want to give it a different name.
So I am just going to swipe over here and I will say this is a quarter page. And then put in the page size that you want, so instead of 51 picas, this might be 26 picas, or let's say 24 picas. And click OK and we'll come back and look at these options in a bit. By the way, these are the default settings for this dialog box. If you're following along with your own files and your settings look different, just update them to match. So there is the Quarter page layout, and let's say that we want to do another one.
You could create it from here or from here; it makes no difference. If I click here, and I say Create Alternate Layout, From Source Pages is going to create it from here or I could say from the Letter - Half. So you have your choice. All the existing layouts appear here under From Source Pages. So now let's say a skyscraper ad. And this one, the width is going to be, let's say 20 picas, and the height is going to be 66 picas.
Let's bring this out wider. You can see that you can do a whole series of ads. Now obviously, we're going to have to come in here and modify some of this layout, and that's where the liquid layout rules will help us as well, that I will be getting to in later videos. But for right now, let's take a look at the linked text. You can see that the text in all of these alternate layouts is linked and if I select it and look at the Links panel and resize this, it's actually linked to the same document. And if I click here, it'll jump to where it is in the layout.
So that's what this link is, and then if I right-click and choose Go to Source, it goes to the one in the first layout. So that's the source of this link. Let's say that we change it to The Academy. As soon as we change it, then in the Links panel, those become out of date, and this is what I covered in the Linked Objects video in a previous chapter. What's happening here is that when you create an alternate layout, you have the option--let's look at that dialog box again--to link the stories.
It's actually turned on by default. Now, it's only linking the content text frames. It's not linking any objects. That is not possible to do automatically when you're creating an alternate layout, but you can link the content of stories. So I will just click Cancel here, because I really don't want to do that, and we'll come over here to this one and see that's out of date. I will click it to update it, and now it says The Academy. You can see how useful that would be. Let's look at something else that it did. I am going to choose Create Alternate Layout to recall this dialog box.
It also is copying the text styles to a new style group. And the tool-tip hopefully explains what exactly is happening. You can turn that off if you want, and it would just use the same exact styles. But the idea is that what you call Address here in Quarter page, you might want to call Address Small or Address Quarter or in the skyscraper, Address Sideways or something like that. So it is helpfully duplicating styles and putting them into style groups. If we come here and we open up Paragraph Styles, and we just detach this here, you can see that we have three groups, and that they are all the same styles, so that I can easily edit the styles used in the Quarter page layout without affecting the styles used in the other two layouts.
Now, that's optional. If you want all the styles to be the same, then you want to turn off Copy to Style Groups. Let's take another example. Let me hit Reset, my panels here, and we'll look at this document. Yeah, he is a nice smiling guy. Apparently, his name is Arnie Palmer, and he is an artist at the Roux Institute. This is an example of a document that's been laid out to go onto an iPad. All right! So we have a vertical layout for the iPad, and if we go to the File > Document Setup, you can see it's been set to iPad vertical.
Now, I'm not sure why it doesn't say iPad V here at the top of the Pages panel. I found that sometimes it puts it there automatically and sometimes you have to actually create an alternate layout before it adds a name. So let's go ahead and right-click on this page and choose Create Alternate Layout, and so you see it knows that this is called iPad V. And we want another one called iPad H. This is going to be horizontal. So if you are doing any kind of work for creating publications for tablets using the Digital Publishing Suite, then you're going to see this is fantastic, because before, you had to create two separate InDesign files and constantly check back and forth.
You could use the Folio Builder panel to link to them all, but they were definitely two separate InDesign files. Let's go ahead and create an alternate layout, but let's look at something else down here. You can apply a liquid page rule, which means that when you change the orientation or you change the page size or the dimensions in pixels, InDesign will try to manipulate the objects on each page to better fit the new page size. And I'll be talking about those in detail in coming videos.
But right now, it's just set to preserve whatever existing liquid page rules have been applied to the pages. So if you choose something else here, this would override whatever is enabled for all the pages. Another new thing that you should notice is that it says the Smart Text Reflow has been turned on, so that if we made this in too much smaller document, then it would automatically add additional pages so that we wouldn't have any overset text. And I guess that would take a little bit of planning. You'd have to really set up a master page and the document to make sure that yes, you do want to have Smart Text Reflow.
So if you were taking, say, a long book that was set up for 8x10 and now you want to reformat it to 6x9, you would probably want to turn on Smart Text Reflow before you made your alternate layout so that additional pages would automatically be added to the document to accommodate the text at the smaller live area. Let me go ahead and click OK. And there, now look up: iPad V and iPad H. So if we look here, it hasn't done much of anything to it. Let me actually delete this one, and let's try something else.
I am going to choose Delete Alternate Layout. This is how you delete them. And here, I'm going to say Create Alternate Layout, but this time I'm going to choose Scale. That's automatically going to scale everything to fit, and let's see how it does. That's a little better. So they're kind of centered. We have the spillers happening on either side, but at least all the content fits and then we can go through and resize. I could continue and say let's create another one. Instead of for the iPad, let's do something for the Android, which has a different width and height.
And we will do a horizontal version for the Android. There we go! So until we come up with the Valhalla of just being able to create one document that automatically reflows into all these different devices, this is, I think, a really good compromise. We don't have to create different documents; we could actually just keep it all together in one document, with alternate layouts. So a couple of more tips that I want to give you about working with alternate layouts.
You don't have to create an alternate of the entire document; you can create an alternate of specific pages. I showed that in the previous video with this document. This is a mixed-page-size single document that is the catalog, and the idea is, what if you want to create alternate layouts for the cover? You could come here and say Create Alternate Layout. Now, it makes no difference if the cover is highlighted, by the way. What is important is that up here, you say From the Source Page and you put in the page number. You have to put in the name of the layout and then separate it with a colon, no space, and then put the page number in.
And remember, we have to do this thing with the orientation to make sure it stays at the same orientation. And I could say Cover2. And we will go ahead and click OK, and so now it just makes an alternate of that one page rather than the entire document. Now, those of you who are accustomed to working with long documents might recognize that notation, because that's actually how you specify a section page, and that is actually, behind the scenes, what alternate layouts are.
If we zoom out in this document--let's go ahead and zoom out--you can see that that alternate layout is part of this document. It's just a section start. If you look at the top of every new alternate layout, there's that little telltale triangle indicating that it's a section start. And if I double-click on it, you can see that it's start section. So actually, the names of these layouts are something like section prefixes. And if I wanted to, for example, print just this alternate layout, or export just this alternate cover to PDF, in the Export Dialog box, I would also have to type in "Cover2:1" for page 1, because you have to specify the actual section start number.
Let's look back at our iPad layouts. Another useful thing that you can do is you can see these two layouts side by side, not three, just two at a time. There is a new icon in lower-right called Split Window, and if I click it, this is from the iPad V and then you can come over here and click iPad H, and so you can view them side by side, and you can drag and drop items back and forth if you need to. So that's really nice to be able to tweak your different layouts as you're editing them.
In the panel itself, you can rearrange the order of these. If I wanted the Android alternate layout to be second, I could just drag right from this little grab bar and drop it right there. And if I wanted to, I could rename these, so if I don't want to call it Android 10 inch, I could just click in here and type in any name that I wanted. You can't export an alternate layout to a new document. That I would love, and it's a great feature request. All you could do would be to delete other layouts and then do a Save As and call it, this is the iPad horizontal version.
But you can easily delete individual pages if for some reason you wanted to. If I wanted to Shift+Click both of these pages and delete them, I could do that without affecting the other two layouts. It might be really hard to make sense-- let me turn off split window--of what's happening in this document, when I zoom out and start scrolling, because they're not really labeled here. So that's why I really love this new interface in the Pages panel.
It makes it a lot easier to work with and to manage alternate layouts.