Placing InDesign files in InDesign Files

No, that title is NOT a typo. One of the coolest new features of InDesign CS3 is the ability to place InDesign documents (INDD) inside other InDesign documents. I think it will take folks a while to get their heads wrapped around that one, but I can’t wait to see how folks end up using it. Lots of collaboration possibilities come to mind, but let us know what comes to mind for you.

In the meantime, I’ve been doing some testing and conferring with the InDesign team and I’ve dug up a few nuggets that should help you get acclimated to the possibilities:

1. InDesign CS3 can be used to place any version of InDesign document, all the way back to version 1.0.

2. Some folks are freaked out by this possibility and they want to know how to turn it off. Well, for better or worse, the same import filter that enables the placement of InDesign documents also enables the placement of EPS files. I really don’t think you want to be turnin’ that one off.

3. If you want to edit the original InDesign layout, just Option/Alt-double-click to edit the original layout in InDesign. The placed INDD looks great in the layout, but you cannot edit the individual pieces. If you need that functionality then I recommend an old standard: Copy and Paste.

There’s more where this came from, but in the meantime, how do you imagine using this new capability?

5 Responses to Placing InDesign files in InDesign Files

  1. One really good way is when you’re setting up displays. Displays, or kiosks, often have separate components that come together to make one.Printers, however, only care about the individual parts, while the client wants to see the entire piece as a whole.This file-within-a-file feature makes doing mockups ridiculously easy. This way, once you make changes to the component, the mock-up automatically updates.

  2. Joshua Eli Gilley says:

    Ok, sounds cool.But what about in a workflow preparing files for prepress?Is this feature something that most printhouses can RIP?or does the complexity of an indesign file going back to another indesign file to pull information when RIPing..cause problems in the RIPing process?For instance, doesn’t the main indesign file have to refer back to the linked indesign file, and in turn that linked indesign file has to refer back to all of it’s linked or embedded files? etc..!!!the possibilities are staggering, I’m wondering if this is something most printers/prepress departments are prepared for? Especially for making plates for litho.[I’m not aware of any output issues here. Remember, output providers print Postscript or PDF, not InDesign files. In most cases, printers are requesting PDF files anyway, so all the goodies are already baked in. -Adam]

  3. Tracey Ramos says:

    I’ve placed several indd files into another file I am working on and now can’t get my file to print. It crashes my program everytime. It seems that the problem is the indd files. Anyone know anything about this? I’ve tested fonts and that doesn’t seem to be the problem. I’ve also printed a select few pages that use only .eps graphics and not .indd graphics and those pages printed fine.

  4. Jason Dick says:

    Tracey, I have the exact same problem. We’re working some very complex creatives that print fine on their own, but when merged into a larger file with other pieces, the Indesign file placed within the Indesign file will not PDF or will not PDF correctly. I’ve found that if we export it, as opposed to distilling a postscript file in Acrobat, and use Acrobat 5 compatibility or greater, we don’t have that problem. Unfortunately many of our our printers don’t want to accept anything greater than an Acrobat 4 PDF. We’ve also noticed that when we modify the original Indesign file that we’ve placed, the other file will almost always crash when it tries to update. The concept is great, but it still seem very buggy.

  5. bgagnon says:

    I work as the Premedia Team Leader in an internal Creative group and we have started using this new functionality to build publications. We too however are running into the issue where Indesign cannot print to postscript or export directly to PDF without the program crashing. The issue also never seems to crash on the same page either. It’s always jumping around which doesn’t seem to make sense.If anyone has a fix for this, PLEASE let me know.