Sharing with Other Users

Some standard elements can be accessed easily from a common folder because InDesign can import certain elements that are stored outside InDesign documents. These elements include graphics files, libraries, keyboard shortcut sets, and spelling dictionaries.

Other elements reside within documents and templates and cannot be saved in separate files. These elements include style sheets and master pages. But style sheets can be exported/imported from one document to another.

Where InDesign stores what

The Presets folder in the InDesign application folder contains folders for several kinds of preference- related elements: InDesign Shortcut Sets, InDesign Workspaces, Scripts, and Swatch Libraries. The Presets folder also includes any document preset files.

The spelling and hyphenation exception dictionaries that come with InDesign are stored in the Plug-ins\Dictionaries\Proximity folder inside the InDesign application folder. But the exception dictionaries you create when adding words and hyphenation breakpoints in InDesign's spell checker and dictionary tools are stored elsewhere: On the Mac, they're stored in the path Users\[ user name ]\Library\Preferences\Adobe InDesign\Version 3.0\Dictionaries\Proximity . In Windows , they're stored in Documents and Settings\[user name]\Application Data\Adobe\InDesign\ Version 3.0\Dictioaries\Proximity .

Note ‚  

The Application Data folder in Windows is hidden by default. To see it, open any folder in Windows, then choose Tools Folder Options to open the Folder Options dialog box. Go to the View pane and click the Show Hidden Files and Folders radio button. Then click OK.

Plug-ins ‚ both those that come with InDesign and those you buy from other companies ‚ are stored in the Plug-ins folder, often in subfolders within it.

Platform Difference ‚  

But the actual InDesign preferences file ‚ called InDesign Defaults ‚ is stored in a different location on the Mac and in Windows.

On the Mac, InDesign Defaults is stored in the path Users\[user name]\Library\Preferences\Adobe InDesign\Version 3.0 . In Windows, it is stored in Documents and Settings\[user name]\Application Data\Adobe\InDesign\Version 3.0 .

Preference files

When no document is open and you change the preferences, add swatches and styles, modify tool settings (such as change the number of sides on the polygon tool by double-clicking it), and modify some dialog box's default settings (such as Text Wrap and Text Frame Options), these changes are saved in the InDesign Defaults file.

Tip ‚  

You can use the Mac's alias feature or the Windows shortcut feature to use an InDesign Defaults file stored in a folder other than the one in which InDesign resides. On a network, being able to use this technique means that everyone can share the same InDesign Defaults file. You can also set keyboard shortcuts sets, spelling and hyphenation dictionaries, libraries, and swatch libraries to be shared this way. Note that if you're sharing these across platforms, you'll need to create a Windows shortcut from Windows to these files as well as a Mac alias from the Mac.

Platform Difference ‚  

The InDesign Defaults file cannot be shared across platforms, so if you want to have a master copy on a network server, you'll need to maintain two masters ‚ one for Macintosh and one for Windows. Because the files have the same name on both platforms (there is no filename extension for this file in Windows), you'll need to store them in separate directories or add something to the name such as "Mac" and "Windows." If you do change the name, note that the alias and shortcut on each user's system must simply be named InDesign Defaults.

Color definitions

Wanting to keep color, tint, and gradient definitions consistent across documents isn't unusual. This consistency helps you ensure, for example, that corporate-identity colors, if you have them, are used instead of someone's approximations.

You can import swatches created in other documents (and templates) by having both documents open, then dragging the swatch from the source document's Swatches pane (Window Swatches) to anywhere in the other document's window. By creating a file that contains nothing but swatches, you can, in effect, create a color library for users.

You can't add swatches to a library, but any swatch used in a library element will be copied to a document along with that element. So you could use a library that has a series of rectangles each with a different swatch applied as another way of creating a color library.

InDesign also lets you share swatch libraries, even across platforms (just give the library the file extension .ai if you're transferring a swatch library from the Mac to Windows).

Cross-Reference ‚  

See Chapter 8 for more on creating swatches.

Note ‚  

On the Mac, color profiles are stored in the path Users\[user name]\Library\ColorSync\Profiles . In Windows, they're stored in the System32\Color folder inside the folder that contains Windows (usually called Windows or WinNT).

Style sheets

The Character Styles pane (Type Character Styles, or Shift+F11) and the Paragraph Styles pane (Type Paragraph Styles, or F11) include an option in the palette menu to import styles from other InDesign documents and templates. Use Load Character Styles or Load Paragraph Styles to import just character or paragraph styles, respectively; use Load All Styles to load both from a document or template.

Tip ‚  

By importing styles with no document open, you copy all new styles into your global defaults (those stored in the InDesign Defaults file covered earlier). This technique is a handy way of bringing new styles into your default settings without affecting existing styles.

Cross-Reference ‚  

See Chapter 20 for more on style sheets

Spelling dictionaries

InDesign saves any spelling or hyphenation exceptions you add via Edit Dictionary or when spell-checking via Edit Check Spelling, or z +I or Ctrl+I. These exception dictionaries can be copied from one computer to another (regardless of platform), or you can use an alias or shortcut from each computer to a central location on a server.

On both Mac and Windows, hyphenation exception files have the filename extension .not, while the spelling exception dictionaries have the extension .udc. The files will have the same name as the language dictionaries (but different filename extensions) to which they are associated, such as FREN.not for French hyphenation exceptions and USA.udc for U.S. English spelling exceptions.

Cross-Reference ‚  

See Chapter 15 for more on hyphenation and spelling dictionaries.

Graphics and text files

Perhaps the most obvious elements to standardize are the source elements ‚ the text and graphics that you use in your documents ‚ especially if you have common elements like logos that are used in multiple documents.

The simplest method of ensuring that the latest versions of these common elements are used is to keep them all in a standard folder (either on each computer or on a network drive). This method works well when you first use a text or graphic element, but it does not ensure that these elements are updated in InDesign documents if the elements are changed after being imported.

For both text and graphics files, using InDesign's links feature ‚ when you keep common elements in a common location ‚ can ensure consistency across documents. You can also use libraries to store commonly used graphics and text blocks (including any formatting for the text and its frame).


InDesign libraries are a great aid to keeping documents consistent. Because libraries are stored in their own files, common libraries can be put in common folders. You can even access them across the network. If you want, you can keep an alias to a library elsewhere on the network on your computer's local drive.

For many people, libraries offer more flexibility than just linking to graphics files because all attributes applied to graphics and their picture boxes are also stored in the library.

Libraries can be shared across platform, and although Windows InDesign libraries have the filename extension .indl, that extension is not required for Windows InDesign to open and use Mac libraries.

Cross-Reference ‚  

See Chapter 7 for more information on libraries


In the course of creating documents, you're likely to evolve templates (also called stationery ) that you want to use over and over. InDesign can save a document as a template. The only difference between a template and a document is that a template forces you to use Save As rather than Save in the File menu so that you don't overwrite the template but instead create new documents based on it.

Although the optimum approach is to design a template before creating actual documents, the truth is that no one can foresee all possibilities. Even if you create a template (and you should) with a style sheet, swatches, and master pages intended for use in all new documents, you can expect to modify your template, because working on real documents brings up the need for modifications and additions.

Whether or not you use templates, you'll still need to transfer basic layout elements like styles and master pages from one document to another, as described earlier in this chapter.

Templates can be shared across platforms, and although Windows InDesign templates have the filename extension .indt, that extension is not required for Windows InDesign to open and use Mac templates.

Cross-Reference ‚  

See Chapter 4 for more on templates

Master pages

Moving master pages between documents is tricky because InDesign offers no feature that explicitly performs this task. But you can use InDesign libraries as way stations for master pages that you want to move from one document to another. Here are the steps:

  1. Open a library by choosing File Open, or pressing z +O or Ctrl+O, or create a library by choosing File New Library.

  2. Open the document with the master page that you want to copy, and display that master page (by double-clicking the master page in the Pages pane, which you open by choosing Window Pages, or pressing F12).

    I recommend that you change the view to something small, like 25 percent, so you can see the full page.

  3. Select the Selection tool and then select all items (via Edit Select All, or z +A or Ctrl+A).

  4. Drag (or use copy and paste) the items into an open library and release the mouse.

    All the elements on the master page will appear in their own library box.

  5. Open the document that you want to copy the master page into.

    You don't need to close the other document, but unless you intend to get other elements from it or work on it later, go ahead and close it to reduce clutter both on the screen and in the computer's memory.

    Tip ‚  

    Choose Window Arrange Cascade or Window Arrange Tile to manage how documents display if you have several open. Tile creates non-overlapping windows ‚ either side by side or one at the top and one at the bottom, if you have two documents open ‚ while Cascade overlaps the windows. The names of all open documents also appear in the Window menu so that you can switch among them. You can also resize windows manually by clicking and holding the mouse on the window's resize box on the Mac, or by clicking and holding any of its sides or corners in Windows.

  6. Insert a new blank master page in the second document, using the Pages pane.

  7. Drag (or copy and paste) the library item containing the first document's master-page elements into the new master page.

  8. Rename the new master page (using the Master Options option in the Pages pane's palette menu) so that you can remember what it is.

    Now you're done.

    Cross-Reference ‚  

    See Chapter 7 for more on master pages

Adobe InDesign CS Bible
Adobe InDesign CS3 Bible
ISBN: 0470119381
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 344
Authors: Galen Gruman

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