Join Mike Rankin for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating InDesign book files, part of InDesign: Creating Long Documents.
- InDesign book files are a key tool for working with long documents that are made up of many InDesign files. Book files allow you to organize groups of documents for three purposes, automatic numbering of pages and chapters, synchronizing the definitions of things like styles and swatches, and output-related tasks like packaging, preflighting, printing, and export to PDF. So in this movie we'll start our look at InDesign book files by creating a book, adding files to it, and getting familiar with some of the controls and options in the panel.
To create a book file, just go to the file menu and choose new book, I'll just call this CompleteBookofCheese and save it to the desktop. And when you first create a book file, you can see that it's empty, so you need to add InDesign documents to it. And you can only add InDesign documents to books, not InDesign templates, not in-copy documents, not snippets or anything else. To add files to the book, just click the plus icon at the bottom of the panel, and then navigate to the files you want to add.
Mine are in the exercise files for this movie. So I'll just shift click to select all of these and click open, and they're all added to the book. But they're not exactly in the order that I want. I open up the panel, I can see that my front matter is last, and I want it to be first. So what I need to do is just click and drag it where I want it to go. Now, it's important to understand that when you add a file to a book you're not making a copy of it. What you see in the book panel is just a reference to the file.
You can also drag and drop to move a file from one book to another book. And if you actually want a file to be in both books, you could hold option or alt as you drag from one book to another. But generally that's not a good idea because it can get very confusing when a document is having its page numbers and styles synchronized by different sources. So avoid doing that unless you think you have a really good reason to do so. Once you have your documents in a book you can move your cursor over their names to see their location on disk.
And at the bottom of the book panel there are buttons to synchronize files, to save the book, to print it, and to add and remove documents. On the left side of the book panel there's a column where you can set the style source for the book. The style source is the master document for the book. And you can use it to synchronize settings like styles and swatches, master pages, lists, text variables, cross-references, and more. To change the style source, you just click in the column next to a different document.
So right now my style source is the chapter one document, but I can just click next to chapter three, and now that's the style source. To the right of each document I can see the page range, and to the right of that there's a column for the document status. If I double-click on a document to open it, I can see by this dot that the document is open. And on the far right there's a column for a document's preflight status. That we'll talk about some more when we cover preflighting. In the book panel menu, you'll see commands for adding more documents, removing documents, and replacing documents in a book.
Let's talk about the replacing feature for a moment. You'd use this if you had all your documents already set up in a book and someone gives you a new version of one of those documents. That way you don't have to remove the original from the book and then replace it with the new one. Also from the book panel menu you can choose reveal in finder or reveal in Explorer to open the folder containing the file in a book. And here's my chapter three document that I had selected in the book. There's also this feature down near the bottom called automatic document conversion.
When you open a book file from an older version of InDesign, documents are not automatically converted. They will be converted when you synchronize or output the book. So you can have InDesign ask you for each document if it's okay to convert an old document to the version of InDesign that you're using or you can turn on automatic document conversion and just let it happen when you synchronize the book. All files will be saved to the newer format, overwriting your old files. There are also commands here to export the book to EPUB or to PDF and to print the book as well as to preflight the files and package them.
And down below there are commands for sychronizing documents and working with page numbering that we'll look at in depth over the next few movies. Document information is an interesting feature. If I select that, I can see information about all the documents in a book one at a time. I can see their location, I can see the file size, modification date, and status. And I can use the previous and next buttons to go through all the documents in the book. Notice I can also replace a document from here as well.
Okay, now that we've seen how to use the book panel to create a collection of documents, next we'll start our look at how to use the panel to change those documents by automatically updating the numbering of pages and chapters.
- Using automatic numbering for pages, sections, and chapters
- Using text variables for running headers
- Creating templates for InDesign, InCopy, and Word
- Formatting page elements with object styles
- Automating text formatting with nested styles and GREP styles
- Controlling color with swatches
- Building page elements with libraries and snippets
- Performing GREP find/changes
- Tracking changes
- Adding footnotes and indexes
- Using InDesign book files
- Preflighting documents