Wednesday, 16 May 2012

New bits in CS6 part two: Alternate layouts

InDesign CS6 is all about the repurposing of stuff. So much so that pretty much anywhere you look that word, repurposing, keeps popping up. Most of the of the new features introduced in CS6 are designed to work together to make this repurposing easier. With that in mind it's difficult to treat them individually. But I am going to try anyway! First up is Alternate Layouts.

I want changes, and I want them now!
Alternate Layouts does pretty much what you would expect it to. Instead of having multiple versions of the same document at different sizes, you can now have it all in one file! Isn't that great! The alternate versions will appear in the Layout View after the last page of the previous layout and in the Pages Panel to right of any existing ones. But you can drag them around the panel to re-order them however you like. Best of all, there isn't much work required to create them. You choose Create Alternate Layout from the Pages Panel menu, select your settings and hit OK. It's all done. There may be some layout amendments you need to make afterwards. But even that can be adjusted automatically using the Liquid Page Rules in Create Alternate Layout dialog box. It may not be exactly as you intended, but chances are it will be a good start!

Here, for your reading pleasure, is a breakdown of the Create Alternate Layout settings.

1. Name: This is where you give your new layout a great new name, this should probably be informative. It will appear above the new layout pages in the Pages Panel and can be changed by double clicking on it there.
2. From source pages: If your document has multiple pages, this is where you can choose which ones to use in your new layout. You have a choice of Original or All. To work with individual pages you need to type a colon and then the page number after the word Original. For example Original:9.
3. Liquid Page Rules: Here is where you will find the good stuff! This is the place where Liquid and Alternate Layouts collide. I will give a brief description of each here as I intend to come back to these in the Liquid Layouts post.
  • Off: Turns the Liquid Rules features off, the content will stay where it is.
  • Scale: Scales all the objects on the page to fit the new page size.
  • Re-Center: Moves all the objects to keep them in the center of the page. It does not scale anything, so don't expect it!
  • Guide Based: Uses a new type of guide, Liquid Guides, to determine what will be effected by the page change. Anything a guide touches will resize.
  • Object Based: Requires you to set rules for objects on the page, these are related to scaling and position in relation to the page edge.
  • Preserve Existing: Uses the Liquid Page Rules applied to the page in the original layout.
4. Link Stories: If enabled, the stories in the new layout will be linked to the original item. Any changes to the text in the original layout will result in a modified link status for the text in the new layout.
5. Copy Text Styles to New Style Group: If enabled the styles used will be copied to new groups and then these will be applied to the text in the new layout.
Smart Text Reflow: Enable this to use Smart Text Reflow on any text that is overset due to changing the size of the page. For more info see here.

For the examples shown, after selecting Object Based in the Create Alternate Layout settings, the result was not too hot. So I went back to the original layout and by using the Page Tool (shift+P) and the Liquid Layouts panel, found in Window>Interactive>Liquid Layout. I then set up different rules for each of the objects on the page. When running the same Alternate Layout, A5 to A3, the result was much better. As shown below! I will go into these settings in a later post, although they are not too hard to figure out.

One last thing. When it comes to Output you can choose to print all the pages, i.e. all the layouts. Or just a specific layout from the Range dropdown menu. If you want to print a specific page of a specific layout then select it from the dropdown menu and use the same method used in the Create Alternate Dialog settings dialog, for example, ":2" for the page number.

Next time, Liquid Layouts!

No comments:

Post a Comment