#73. Using Snippets
Snippets are similar to libraries in that you can use them to save and share InDesign objects. A snippet is an electronic file that contains one or more InDesign objects. Snippet files are much like graphic filesfor example, you can import or drag and drop them into InDesign layouts; however, you create snippets with InDesign rather than a graphic program, such as Photoshop or Illustrator. A snippet stores not only InDesign objectstext frames, graphic frames, lines, and so onbut their page location and other information as well. This means that when you place a snippet into a layout, the objects retain their original appearance and their original position.
More About Snippets
Snippet files are eXtensible Markup Language (XML) files. The XML file format allows snippets to contain not only information about InDesign objects, but also information about the file in the form of metadata. You can use Adobe Bridge to view a snippet's metadata, such as filename, creation date, and modification date, and to view, add, and remove keywords. You can use the Find feature in Bridge to perform metadata-based file searches.
Like a library, you must create a snippet before you can use it in other InDesign documents or share it with other InDesign users. To begin, select one or more objects that you want to save and reuse. You can then use any of three methods to create a snippet:
Choose File > Export to display the Export dialog box, and then choose InDesign Snippet from the Format menu. Name the file and choose a storage folder. Snippet files are automatically assigned a .inds extension.
Drag the selected objects into the Bridge window and drop them onto a volume or folder icon or into the open volume or folder (Figure 73). The snippet file is automatically given a name that begins with "Snippet." You can change the name of the file, but you should keep the .inds filename extension.
Figure 73. The graphics frame in the InDesign document window on the left was dragged into the Bridge window on the right to create a snippet.
Drag and drop the selected objects onto the desktop or onto a volume or folder icon on the desktop. The snippet file is given a name beginning with "Snippet." You can change the name of the file but keep the .inds extension.
Graphics in Snippets
If you create a snippet that includes a graphics frame that contains an imported graphic, only the path to the graphic file is saved in the snippet. If you want to share the snippet, you should include a copy of the graphic file along with the snippet file or provide users with the path to the graphic file.
After you create a snippet, you can use it repeatedly in your InDesign layouts or provide it to other InDesign users who can use it in their layouts. You have two options for placing a snippet into a layout:
Use the Place command (File menu) to import a snippet in the same way as you import a graphic.
Drag a snippet file from the Bridge window, the Mac OS Finder, or Windows Explorer and drop it into an InDesign document window.