Join Brian Wood for an in-depth discussion in this video Libraries, part of InDesign CS2 Beyond the Basics.
In this chapter we are going to discuss time saving features. This includes things like libraries, snippets, object styles, all sorts of stuff that just make our life easier inside InDesign and also so we can make it so we can work faster and smarter inside of here. Now, once again I have a file open here, once again you will find this file in the example files folder in the Chapter 3 folder, it's called "postcard_announce.indd." If you open this file, some of you may get a dialogue box that's talking about missing or modified images or graphics. You can go through and actually just fix those for yourself. That will be fine.
Also, if these are available, if you are actually using or have the Premium subscription and on the CD-ROM, if you are a monthly or annual subscriber. If you don't have access to these files, you can watch, you can use your own. If you want to follow along and use my files, I would suggest actually going up to the Premium subscription or purchasing the CD-ROM itself. So once again with "postcard_announce" open, let's talk about libraries. Libraries are a great way for us to be able to save things. It's kind of like a Copy>Paste that's virtual. Okay, a Copy>Paste you can save forever.
For instance, things like colors, like headers, footers, logos, that sort of thing. If you are going to use it again and again in a document you can create a library to actually save those things. Library file is just a file that sits on your desktop or wherever you want to the save it for that matter. To create one, we are going to go up to File and create a brand new library. So let's get started. I'm going to come up to File, come to New, you will see Library inside of here. Now, you can make as many libraries as you want. Your libraries are going to sit wherever want, I can save them on a network, I can save them wherever I want to go.
And you give it a name according to whatever you want to have it. I'm going to call mine "brian." I'm going to go ahead and save that on my desktop. Why don't you go ahead and save yours on your desktop. What it will do is open a palette for us, this is called your Library palette. And here's what I want do, I'm just going to show you on your desktop what it creates just to give you a sense for what this is. This palette does not live with this document; it's not tied in any shape or form to this document. It lives aside from the document. You can open and close it at your will. Now if I go to my desktop just to show you. The icon might look a little different from Mac and Windows here.
I am on a Mac. But if you take a look this is the library file generated. It is an INDL extension; you can save this across a network, wherever you want. Only one person can open it up at a time. So let me go back into InDesign right here and take a look. To use a library you are going to drag things into it. I'm going to, by the title bar up here - I'm going to pull this around right here. Let's say we want to do something like this. Right down here I actually have some information that is copyright. I might want to use it in several documents. With my Selection tool I can select the object. The whole idea behind a library is to just drag the object or objects into the library.
So if I click and drag and come up to my library I will see a plus with a hand. If I let go I basically have a library item. You can create as many library items as you want to. I can drag as many things in here as I want. One of the best things about this, if you take a look, you've actually got a thumbnail over here, the thumbnail is untitled. You can categorize these things or title them yourself. To title them, so I can tell which one is which, double-click right on the icon for the library item and it opens up an Item Information dialogue box. Then I can give it a name. I'll call this "copyright info." The great thing to is, you can actually give it a category.
So you can see right here, you can categorize things by Images, PDF's, Pages, Geometry, et cetera. So there's a lot things you can do out here. And this allows you later on to search by those categories or view things in those categories only. I can also apply Description to a library item. This basically means that if I want to do a search, and there's some great search functions in here, I can search by a description. So if I click OK, I now have my copyright info. One thing to watch out for with these, it only accepts like, I think it's like six or seven characters in here. If you go longer then that you're going to get the dotted line or the dots right there.
So you just got to keep them a short name. So if I want to use this again, let's say I decide to open up another document, I'm going to open up another document just to give you an idea. I can do it in this one or not, but I'll open up a brand new file here. I just going to File>New. If I want to use this again, you can open up a brand new document or you can do it in the postcard, click on the library item, drag it out, drop it on the page, you've just created a copy of that object. So it's here forever for you to use, which is a great thing to do. Alright, let me get back to the postcard.
I'm going to click back in the postcard right here. Now, you can do single objects, you can also do groups of objects, which is pretty nice. Take a look at the upper left hand corner over here. I am on the first page of this document here and if you look I've got these boxes hanging out. Now, when I used to do production way back when, I used to see this a lot. People used to put boxes on the page and I wonder why there are these color boxes. These color boxes are great, because if you save swatches in this document, save some colors, and let's say you need to get them to other documents. You can actually apply the colors to swatches, to color cubes, just boxes full of color, and I can take all these boxes I just created - these are actually grouped together - I can take all of these. If I drag all of these into the library - I can drag a group of objects into the library - if I let go in my library, I basically have those objects.
So if I double-click to name it, I can call it "pcardcolors," click OK. Of course, I won't see the whole name in there because it's truncated, but that's fine. If I want to use those inside another document, what I can do is go back to the document I had before, I come under Window I should be able to see Untitled document I opened, click on that, let's say I want to pull those swatches inside of here. Grab my postcard swatches, like I said, these are just boxes filled with color, drop them on the page anywhere and once I let go if I happen to look at my Swatches palette, if I scroll down, what I can see is all the colors are inside of here.
So this is a great way to move colors between documents. And if I just want to get colors in here, I can just literally just delete those color cubes, the boxes I drew and the colors stay behind. Let's take a look, there they are. So there's some great things we can do with libraries. I'm going to go back to the postcard; I'm going to click back in the postcard, something I need to kind of tell you about inside of here. It has to do with images or graphics. If you had images or graphics on a page and decide, hey I want to the put those in my library, you can drag them in, that's great, but you have to be aware of a few things.
What I'm going to do is come down to "JAVACO" right here. This graphic down in the corner, this is just a simple EPS file. I'm going to take this graphic; I'm going to drag it into my library. Drop it in there. What it does is, in your library it actually names it according to what the file name is. Now here is the only thing you have to consider. If I drag this image, this graphic onto another page, let's say I go back to the Untitled page, under Window and Untitled page - I'm in another document here - I drag the image onto the page and let go.
You have to watch the links on these objects. Here's how it works. The link for this object right here will point back, let me go back to postcard; will point back to the original image and the original folder that this image is located in. So in your library it is remembering the link to that object, to that image itself. So you have to be careful with these. So if I had placed this "JAVACO" image from my desktop, let's say a week ago, I dragged it into my library and a week from now I went to that other document under Window here, Go to the other document, I drag it onto the page, this graphic is going to try and find the link to the original postcard graphic I used.
So if I moved it, I will have a broken link. Now, one thing you can do to avoid this, is if you embed an image, which is done through the Links palette - we're going to talk about that most likely later on - that allows you, once you drag it into your library - if I drag that onto a page - it will embed the image inside of the document itself. So that way I don't have to worry about a link. There's drawbacks to that of course. So the whole moral of the story here is, with your libraries you just have to be careful with, when you drag images in there, just know there is a link attached. You have to be careful about.
Other things you can do inside of here are to select multiple objects. For instance, if I look down here I have the leaf and bean text box as well as this text box here. I can select both of these pretty easily just by dragging across and take both of them and drop them into my library. If I click and drag, dropping them into my library over here, letting go. Wherever I let them go, it's going to place them inside of there. I see it's called Untitled, now I can grab the corner of this and basically open it to see all my objects in there. Now, I can drag this onto a page and it basically allows me to put both objects onto a page.
Now this is a 9 by 6 document. If I were to look at my rulers, I'd see it's 9 by 6. What I want to do is create a document that's 9 by 6. Let's say we are going to create another postcard, for instance, and I want to put these on the page and put them on the same location as they are on this page. Let's go ahead and create a brand new document, so let's go up to File>New, come to Document, pretend we're going to make ourselves a brand new postcard. It's the same dimension, which was 6 by 9. So width I'm going to do 9 inches, for height I'm going to do 6. I'll talk to you about why we are doing this.
Facing Pages, turn it off. That means we don't to have facing pages in this document, just single pages, click OK. Now watch. This is a nine by six document. If you drag objects into the library, you can either drag and drop them on the page from the library and place them wherever you want, that's fine. Or you can use their own method here, watch this, I'm going to delete these, hit Delete, from the library if I come to the Library palette menu on the side here, I should see Add Items on Page, Place Item(s), Delete Item(s), et cetera.
If I select a library item and click on Place Item(s), click and let go, it will place it in the exact same position on the page. Now if you had a different size page or a facing page document when the postcard was not, it might do some weird things. You just have to make sure it's the same page size and it will position it perfectly for you, which is really nice. Let's go back to postcard; I'm going to click back on postcard here. There's other things you can do with the library as well. If you look at the Library palette, you can view these in certain ways.
If I come to the Library palette menu, the arrow on the side out here, take a look down here; you can also see your information as a List View. Click on List View, this is kind of interesting. It will actually show me a little graphic that kind of tries to tell me what this thing is. I can see things like images, EPS's and text files. So sometimes it's a little bit easier and you can see the whole name in this case, so it's kind of nice. Now coming out to the Library menu again, on this side out here. If you look at the Library menu, there's a couple of things you can do here. Add Items on Page and Add Items on Page as Separate Objects is kind of interesting.
Add Items on Page lets you take the whole page, all the contents of the page, I should say, and add them as a single item into your library. Add Items on Page as Separate Objects literally says this: if I decide I want to take all of these graphics, all this text, et cetera, and I would like them all to be library items as separate library items, that is what this option will do. It will place them all in the library for me. If I click Add Items on Page as Separate Objects and take a look, suddenly I will see every item that was on the page is now inside my library.
Sometimes that can be a nice easy way to get all the objects in there if you want to use them all on other pages as well. Like I said before, other things we can do with the libraries as well is I can select everything on the page. If I go to Edit>Select All, or do a Command-A, Control-A on Windows, to select all my items out here, if I come out to the side and I say let's Add Item or Add Items on Page. If I click Add Item right here - and take a look - it will allow me to actually add an item. Now, it's going to add everything on the page as one single library item.
Now I'm going to go back up to the menu here, so let's take a look. I'm going to click on the menu; if I take a look out here I'm going to go back to Thumbnail View. Let's take a look, if I scroll down a bit I should be able to see this one sitting right here. This is my complete page including guides, et cetera. So this is a way for you to take a whole design and move it to another page. The last thing I want to show you with libraries is how to update a library item. Say for instance that we have this information right here, which is our leaf and bean information. I get out to the page and I decide, you know what, I don't want it to say leaf and bean, I want it to say leaf and beans.
I'll double-click in here so get my cursor and just put an "s" in there and I decide that looks a little bit better, but my library item actually says leaf and bean. What I want to do is update the library item to reflect this, this change I've made. So come on back to Selection arrow and let's select both of these and I'm going to select both objects and that's important to do. I want to the make sure the library item is selected. Come back to your Library Item palette menu and what we are going to be able to do is update this library item. So you should see right here, you should be able to see Update Library Item and I click on that and it's going to be sort of hard to tell in here, they just added the "s" to the untitled library I had right here.
Just to prove this to you, I'm going to move over and drop it on the page. Using my spacebar to get to my Hand tool, I'm going to move over, I'm going to take the untitled library item, drop it on the page, let it go, and you should be able to see the "s" show up. It's a great way to update your library items. Libraries can be used for all sorts of things and if you also take a look at the Library palette over here, you do have the ability to search on items; I can also show you subsets et cetera. As a matter of fact, clicking on the eyeglasses right here I can see that I can Search the library, I can even give it Parameters or if I go to More Choices I can tell to Match anything or nothing at all.
So, there are a lot of things you can do with a library. I am going to Cancel out of this. Libraries can contain as many things as you like. You can open up the library as big as you like. I can grab the corners down here. I can delete library items. You can share libraries with people. That's just a library file. I can literally just Copy>Paste that to someone or e-mail them. Always watching for my image links though. So we seen a lot of different things we can do with libraries. There's a lot of stuff that can happen with them and they're a great way to be able pull information back and forth. Not only can be pull colors, but we can pull things like styles and all sorts of things.
So, we've taken just a quick look at the libraries out here. In the next sections we are going to go through and talk about some other time saving features. You can take "postcard_announce" and close it up, you don't have to save it, that's fine.
- Efficient use of Guides and Grids
- Saving time with expert tips and tricks
- Importing and working with Word and Excel files
- Managing long documents and books
- Creating effective tables of contents and indexes
- Color management and output
- Exporting interactive content to PDF
- Exporting to the Web
- Introduction to XML, Data Merge, and scripting in InDesign