Join Brian Wood for an in-depth discussion in this video Snippets, part of InDesign CS2 Beyond the Basics.
Another time saving feature is to work with snippets. Snippets are pieces of a page basically. They are sort of like a library item, but you can take these objects either single pieces, single boxes, single text frames or multiple objects, and save them as a single file called a snippet file. Now to do this we're going to select the items we want to save as a snippet. This allows us to open them in multiple documents or place them in multiple files. Go to your sample files folder, Chapter 3 folder and you should see the "postcard_announce" file, we're going to go to page 2 inside of that.
In the second page you should see some objects inside of here. A picture and some description text inside of here. I realize the description text isn't very descriptive, but there it is. Let's select these two, I'm going to click and drag across. To get yourself a snippet or save a piece of this, save it as a snippet file, we're going to go to File>Export, the Export option here allows us to name it and tell it where to go. If you take a look, we're going to call this "picw descrip." Now I've already had that set in there - we'll take a look at "picwdescrip." Usually it names it either according to the file or the folder you were in last, that sort of thing.
Under Format, what we want to do is we want to choose InDesign Snippet. Now, Format is on a Mac, Save as Type is Windows. So let's come under there, you should see InDesign Snippet. The key here is you have to have something selected to see InDesign Snippet. Let's go ahead and save it on our desktop. I want to show you what it looks like, what it did. I'm going to go out to my desktop just to give you an idea. This is what the InDesign snippet looks like. The icon is going to be similar on a Windows machine, the same concept here. "Picwdescrip," .inds is the extension. This is technically an XML file, it's kind of interesting.
It's actually saving just the pieces of the page you want. Now to use this - I'm going to get back into InDesign. If we want to use this out on our page, or in another document we can go to File>Place, I'll go out to my desktop, and select the InDesign snippet. If you take a look, you can turn on or off Show Import Options - it doesn't matter. There is no import options for snippet, click Open. If you take a look, this is kind of something interesting. What is does, is it tries to put it in exact same position as it was before, which is actually kind of nice.
If you place it on another postcard or something like that, it will be in the same position every time. You can always move it. So I'm going to click on these two objects here - select them both with the Shift key. I'm going to move them down. If you take a look, I now have an exact duplicate of the object I had before. Now, a couple things to do here, that's one way to be able to create this. Another way to create a snippet is a little bit more interesting. It's using the ability to drag objects. Now I'm going to select both of these again, I'm going to show you another way. We're going to make a copy, but that's fine. So I'm going to select both these objects.
To make a snippet, you can either do this: you can drag it directly to a folder or your desktop, and it will create a snippet, or one of the more way optimal ways is to drag it to Adobe Bridge. So to open up Adobe Bridge, now remember Adobe Bridge is a separate application it comes with InDesign CS2 only. Okay, so if you have earlier version you don't get this thing. If you come under File and come to Browse, this will launch Adobe Bridge. Now, I already have Adobe Bridge open, this maybe a good time for you to pause the movie and wait for it to actually happen here.
So once Adobe Bridge is open, here's what we will do. I'm going to drag and drop directly in there. Now, on a Windows machine it's going to be a little different here. You've got to be able to see your page as well as Adobe Bridge. So I'm going to come back here. I'm going to take my page and minimize it a bit. Grabbing the corner, I should be able to see my content still in here as well as see the bridge behind. As I said, on a Windows machine you have to get the bridge open, kind of floating above. What I want to do is, I'm actually going to grab my objects here and drag them across. You could either let them go on the desktop and it will create a snippet, or put them directly in the bridge.
The bridge is just a way to organize files, that's all it is. So if I drag and drop inside of here, I know we've already got one out there, but if I drag and drop one, it's going to place it in the bridge and even place it, if you look out here look at my desktop, place it out on my desktop here. So I should be able to see the extra snippet I've created. Dragging and dropping as well as getting an export will allow you to create a snippet. I can now come up here and actually open this up and rename it. I'll call this "picwdescrip2," and there we go.
We got a second snippet. Let me get back over to InDesign here and take a look. I'm going to get my page back out here, pull it open a bit. Snippets can be used for all sorts of things. They are really great. You are not going to update these things. They are just meant to be used; they are sort of like a Copy>Paste, but a permanent Copy>Paste. The one thing you have to watch out for with these though, just like anything else especially with library items like those, your links are permanent. Meaning, if you have a link to a picture from this postcard file, if I make a snippet out of it, that snippet it going to preserve the link inside of it.
So it's going to have at the point back to the original picture. So if you move it, you're going to have a broken link when you use a snippet. One way to get around that is if you actually, if you really want that picture, you can embed that picture inside the file using the Links palette. So if I come up to Window, if I come down the Links, take a look. In the Links palette I can see my picture right here. If you really want to the keep this picture and have it go from document to document without having to worry about a link, I can come out to the palette menu out here and I should be able to see and Embed File.
If I click Embed File it is going to embed this picture inside the InDesign document here, but if I create a snippet out of these two pieces now and I drag that snippet into another document or this one, it will embed the picture in that new document. So it basically kind of travels with it. Now if you don't want to embed pictures - embed pictures is getting rid of the link; it is actually adding the file size to the InDesign file when you drag it, so you do have to be careful of that - you can always un-embed it once you drag the snippet out. Let me close up my Links palette.
That's just one way if you really want to keep that picture. Another way to do it is this, if you set up your content here, you can actually with your white arrow, which is your Direct Selection tool, I can get rid of the picture itself and just keep the picture frame. That way you've got the container there, but you can just drag another picture in there. So if I click on the picture inside of here and hit Delete - I know it's kind of hard to see, because I don't see my frame edges. If I come under View - you probably don't see them either - take a look out here - we're going to see Show Frame Edges. You'll actually see that I have the frame there still; it's just a place holder.
So next time if I want to use this snippet, I can drag both pieces out as a snippet, place them in here or actually drag them in and I've got myself a snippet ready to go. So we can either do an Export or a File>Place. It's really kind of a nice thing to do there. So those are snippets. There are a lot of things we can do with them. I suggest using trying to use them, because you can use these across different projects, especially when you want to use footers or headers, or things of that nature. We can take "postcard_announce," you can close this up; you do not need to save this.
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