Alternate Layouts in InDesign CS6 - .ByClauiaMcCue InDepth: Alternate Layouts Alternate Layouts in

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  • By Claudia McCue

    InDepth: Alternate Layouts

    Alternate Layouts in InDesign CS6Creating Multiple Versions When One Size Doesnt Fit All

    Scenario #1: Youve just finished designing an 18"x24" poster, incorporating all the corrections from your client. The phone rings [queue up theme from Jaws]. Its your client: Would it be any trouble to also build a 17"x11" version of the poster? How hard could it be? Oh, and I still need the job first thing tomorrow morning. But Im not sure about the size

    Scenario #2: Youre creating content for the iPad using Adobes Digital Publishing tools, and you need to create both vertical and horizontal versions of your layout, and theres a chance youll also need to create yet another set of layouts for an Android tablet.

    In CS5/5.5, Scenario #1 could be solved by creating a new document, or by using multiple page sizes within the document. But Scenario #2 required that you create separate documents for each orientation.

    Now, in InDesign CS6, both scenarios are easily solved by the new Alternate Layout

    feature, which allows the equivalent of multiple versions of a document within a single file. While this new feature is a boon to designers creating content with Adobes Digital Publishing tools in mind, its also beneficial to anyone faced with the need to create multiple sizes of any document.

    I N D E S I G N M A G A Z I N E 47 April | May 2012 34

  • InDepth: Alternate Layouts

    Why not just create a duplicate docu-ment, you ask? The Alternate Layout feature offers some advantages: Text frames in the child layouts are

    automatically linked to the parent lay-out: Edit text in the parent layout, and then use the Links panel to update the descendant content in the child layout. Very cool!

    All pages reside in the same document, which facilitates preflighting, packaging, and export.

    You can keep track of all the alternate versions of your poster, ad, catalog, magazine, flyer, or whathaveyou in one place, without having to go searching for multiple documents.Youll find that Alternate Layout is not a

    standalone concept; its affected by Liquid Layout rules, and also benefits from the Content Collector/Placer. Ill touch on those very supportive features, so you can get a

    glimpse of the whole picture. But for a more extensive study of the wonders of Liquid Layout, see Pariah Burkes article in this issue. Go ahead; Ill wait here.

    Oh, youre back!

    Creating an Alternate LayoutYou can create an Alternate Layout for a document of any size or orientation, with facing or non-facing pages. But since the most common motivation for using Alternate Layouts is to create content des-tined for tablet viewing, Ill use that as my example. In my document, the initial page size is 768x1024 px, the vertical dimen-sions of the iPad 1 & 2. (The iPad 3 sports a 2048-x-1536 pixel screen. While that option isnt available as a preset in the New Document dialog, you can just enter those values manually.)

    NOTE: Liquid Layout and Layout Adjustment are mutually exclusiveif you

    enable Layout Adjustment, all Liquid Layout options will be disabled.

    To create an Alternate layout, use one of these alternate (ha) methods: Choose Layout > Create Alternate Layout. In the Pages panel menu, choose Create

    Alternate Layout. In the Pages panel, right-click (or Control-

    click with a one-button mouse) on any small black-triangle section marker in the document thumbnails.

    Choose View Pages > By Alternate Layout in the Pages panel menu, and then click the small downward triangle to the right of a layout name at the top of the pages section of the Pages panel.InDesign recognizes the orientation of

    the existing layout, assumes you want its complementary orientation, and popu-lates the dimension fields accordingly. For example, if your initial layout is 768x1024 pixels, the new layouts dimensions are set

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  • InDepth: Alternate Layouts

    to 1024x768 pixels (Figure 1). Youre not limited to just one alternate layout; you can have as many as you like. Its a good idea to name your alternate layouts after their destinyiPad_V, GalaxyTab_H, Poster_V, and so on.

    If you use default settings when you create the alternate layout, the initial results are going to require extensive mas-sagingand probably make you think it would be just as easy to start from scratch (Figure 2). Quick: Undo!

    Object-based Liquid Layout settings are usually the remedy. First, I set the frame-fitting options for the images to Auto-Fit, then select each image with the Page Tool to activate the Liquid Layout controls. I click the small padlocks for each axis to allow the image to scale with the page. In essence, Im giving InDesign permission to change the frame size in accordance

    Wheres my alternate layout?If youre on a Master page, the option to create an Alternate Layout is avail-able only via the small drop-down triangle next to a layout name in the Pages panel.

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    Figure 1: The default settings for Alternate Layout creation. In this instance, the primary layout is 768 x 1024 pixelsa vertical orientationso InDesign automatically assumes that the new layout should be a horizontal orientation with the same dimensions.

    Figure 2: With the default settings, my alternate layout is going to require extensive renovations. Theres a better way

  • InDepth: Alternate Layouts

    with the dimensions of the new layout. I also select text frames, and perform the same operation (Figure 3).

    Now, when I create the Alternate Layout with the Object-Based Liquid Layout option, InDesign does the heavy lifting for me. The results are much better (Figure 4).

    Figure 3: To ensure that the large image adheres to the top and sides of the layout, I select the frame and set the Liquid Layout options to pin those edges, resize with the page, and use Auto-Fit. This only takes seconds, and greatly improves the results. Here, Ive used the Liquid Layout panel to specify the behavior for this frame.

    Viewing Alternate LayoutsTip #1: To view alternate layouts side by side in the Pages panel, go to the Pages panel menu, and choose View Pages > By Alternate Layout.Tip #2: To change the name of any layout, just click its name in the Pages panel, wait a second until the name highlighted, then type the new name.Tip #3: To view layouts side by side in the main window, choose Window > Arrange > Split Window. Then, set each window to a sepa-rate layout within your document. While theres no synchronized scrolling feature, you can still easily compare your layouts and tweak as necessary.

    Figure 4: By setting the frame fitting options to Auto-Fit, and using object-based Liquid Layout options that allow the frame to follow the dimensions of the new layout, I save a lot of work.

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  • InDepth: Alternate Layouts

    Relationships Between LayoutsThink of the original layout as the parent, and the new layout as its child. As with many parent/child relationships, there are limits to the family ties (not to mention two-way communications). Text frames on the original layout are automatically linked to the text frames on the new alternate lay-out. If text in the original frame is edited, the descendant frame in the alternate lay-out displays the Yellow Triangle of Terror to indicate that its a bit out of date (Figure 5). Update the out-of-date frame by clicking the yellow triangle on the frame (yes, that

    little badge is new in CS6, too), or by using the Update Link button in the Links panel.

    But editing text in a child frame on an alternate layout doesnt spawn a cor-responding alert on the frame or in the Links panelits not a two-way process. So if you intend to synchronize the text in your layouts, remember to perform all edits on the original layout. If you edit the child frame, then subsequently make changes to the original parent frame, youll receive an alert when you attempt to update the text frame in the alternate layout (Figure 6). If you delete the original ancestral frame,

    the descendant frame doesnt disappear; it just becomes a plain old independent text frame. Orphaned, if you will.

    Figure 5: The link icon adorning a text frame in the alternate layout indicates its relationship with its ancestor on the original layout. Edit the parent frame, and the child frame displays a yellow alert triangle, as does its entry in the Links panel.

    Two More TipsTip #1: You can select a child text frame and jump to the parent text frame by choosing Edit > Go to Source (which is a lot like Edit Original).Tip #2: Each layout must have a unique name. Swatches and ruler measurements are universal in a doc-ument, not layout-specific, so you may not want to mix print and web layouts in the same document.

    Figure 6: If you edit text in the alternate layout, and then make additional changes to the original text frame, and then update the child frame, youre warned that youll lose all edits you had made in the alternate layout.

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  • InDepth: Alternate Layouts

    If youre using paragraph and charac-ter styles (and you should be!), you can tell InDesign to clone them for each new alter-nate layout by enabling the Copy Text Styles to New Style Group checkbox in the Create Alternate Layout dialog box (Figure 7). For your convenience, theyre stored in sepa-rate style groups (folders). Initially, styles are identical between layouts, but you can redefine styles in each layoutthere is no parent/child relationship between the styles; theyre linked only by their