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InDesign document preset confusion and woes

Engaged ,
Oct 10, 2023 Oct 10, 2023

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I have several concerns/confusions about document presets.

 

1st CONCERN

    I do book layouts every day for my main client. We use a variety of sizes. I have created several personal templates based on previous books I've set up, but our size varieties are expanding, so I've been looking into using InDesign's document preset function, just in case it might save me some time in future.

    This evening, I set up a document with all the measurements I require for a 5x8 book, then took additional time to create paragraph styles that I will always use during book layout projects; I divvied them up into four style group folders. I saved this preset as "5x8 book layout w/styles." My intent was to then save this template at other sizes but have all the paragraph styles already set up.

    I then created a new document based on this 5x8 preset by going to File>Document Presets and choosing the template I'd just saved. (I actually first looked at File>New>Document>Print>View All Presets, but it didn't show up there as I expected.)

    The new document had all the correct measurements, but the paragraph styles menu was completely empty except for Basic Paragraph.

    So, my first concern is, can paragraph styles not be saved in document presets?  Yes, I can go back to creating templates the way I've done them before, but with all the new sizes we're beginning to use, I just wanted to make more use of built-in InDesign functions. But it would be very helpful if paragraph styles could be retained within the presets. Am I doing something wrong in the creation or saving of my document preset or am I just hoping for something that isn't there?

 

2nd CONCERN

    I also am a little confused about document presets vs. page size presets. There are a couple different ways I've come across to create document presets, and one of them -- not sure which -- popped up a spot where I was to name a page preset. I didn't really know why this was being requested, but I went ahead and gave a page name of "5x8 page - portrait."

    Later, when I went to File>New>Document>Print>View All Presets, expecting to find my document preset, I instead found the "5x8 page - portrait" preset.

    Why is a page size preset showing up where one would expect document presets to be parked?  And why wasn't my document preset there?

    What is best use of a page size preset anyway?  One would never (could not ever) create just a page outside of a document, so I don't really get the point. Anyone have any insight about this?

 

3rd CONCERN

    In any case, there are way too many presets hanging out under the "new document" options. From what I've noticed so far, new presets are saved to the end of the list. I'd like to remove the presets I don't need so that I don't have to scroll through all of them to get to the ones I want or that I have created.  I only want to remove them from view, not delete them forever.  The info that I've found so far about how to do this has been vague and confusing.  Maybe I just haven't found the best resource as yet.

    I did search out the folder where document presets live, thinking I'd just move the ones I didn't want into another saved folder, but I couldn't recognize any of the file names I was looking at; they were all truncated and peculiar, and perhaps it wasn't even the correct folder, though it was the Presets folder in the Application folder).
    I also wouldn't mine knowing how to ditch all 49 template thumbnail photos that show up on the File>New>Print page below the Blank Document Presets.

 

IN SUMMARY ...

    I've looked online for info about all these items but I'm finding conflicting info in some cases and unclear or no info in others.  I'd love to make use of the document presets functions in InDesign, and having the sizes and margins all entered ahead of time is helpful, but retaining all the paragraph styles I took the time to set up would be even better. I'd appreciate any shares and/or advice or suggestions on these items, and thanks in advance for your help.

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Feature request , How to , Print , Type

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Community Expert ,
Oct 10, 2023 Oct 10, 2023

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I think what you're looking for is a template-driven model for pre-populating your new book layouts.

 

Document presets basically define the page parameters, not what will be used to populate those pages. So your document presets will determine trim size, bleed size, margins, columns and gutters within margins, etc. Clicking on a given preset will give you a new document with any settings you desire within the New Document dialog box. But it will not give you any ruler guides, paragraph or character styles, parent page elements, etc. that you would put on those pages.

 

For that, I'd recommend you set up templates based on your document presets to help you generate your books quickly and efficiently. You can read more about the capabilities and differences between templates and presets through this link.

 

Hope this helps,

 

Randy

 

 

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Community Expert ,
Oct 10, 2023 Oct 10, 2023

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Hi Caseinclaire:

 

A document preset merely records the document specifications for reuse, specifically, paper size, orientation, facing or single page view,  # of pages, start page #, margins, columns, bleed and slug. Let's say you are setting up a magazine layout with a custom paper size, 6 columns, custom margins, etc. It's fussy, so you save the document preset and can use it again the next time around. If you save a preset using File > Document Presets > Define, you will see it in the New dialog box: File > New > Document > Saved Presets. All it does is set the document specifications listed above. It does not save anything else. 

 

The use of the word page preset isn't meant to confuse you. Consider it the equivalent of a typo. If you remember where you saw it, we can pass that on to the people who can standarize the wording. 

 

What you are looking for is a template. You can start with a preset if you like, but if you want the formatting information to be included—styles, parent page information, cross-reference definitions, etc—you set that up and save it as an InDesign template. A template is assigned the extension .indt, which signals InDesign to open a copy of the file and not the original template so that you don't inadvertently overwrite it after you add content. 

https://helpx.adobe.com/indesign/using/files-templates.html#use_document_templates

 

"I also wouldn't mine knowing how to ditch all 49 template thumbnail photos that show up on the File>New>Print page below the Blank Document Presets."

No idea how to do that, unless you want to enable to the Legacy "New Document" dialog box in Preferences. I either open a template, use my saved presets or just click on Default, which is also listed under Saved Presets. If you want a much simpler experience, turning this checkbox on might be what you are looking for. 

2023-10-10_19-06-16.png

 

~Barb

 

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Engaged ,
Oct 10, 2023 Oct 10, 2023

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Thanks, @Randy Hagan and @Barb Binder , for the quick replies.  I know how to set up an .indt. Guess I was just hoping for more with the document preset than it is meant to do.  I'll take all this into consideration.  Thank you both. -- C.

 

P.S. -- Barb, that "page name" thing came up under File>Document Presets>Define>New>Page Size, then when I chose "Custom," the pop-up happened, and that's where I went ahead and named a custom page size because I assumed I was supposed to. (Sorry, in my first post, I was referring to "page size preset," and it isn't called that in this dialog box, though essentially that is what it amounts to.)

I can understand a custom document preset needing to know what the custom page size needs to be, but I don't know why that custom page size -- all alone and by itself, connected to nothing -- shows up under the template offerings when one is creating a new document.

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Community Expert ,
Oct 10, 2023 Oct 10, 2023

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By my experience, the Custom page size definition comes once you change the page dimensions from the existing preset (by default, US Letter in the states; I believe it's A4 for many international versions) in the New Document dialog box. In this instance Custom simply means the page dimensions are different than any existing preset within your application.

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Engaged ,
Oct 10, 2023 Oct 10, 2023

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I guess I don't even see the point in this option to start with. I'm going
to set my page size when I create my documente. What good does it do me to
have a page size preset floating around getting in my way? If there's a
good use for it, fine. But it seems redundant to me. Just saying! 🙂

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Community Expert ,
Oct 10, 2023 Oct 10, 2023

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I can't argue with you about that. The functions offer some uses for creating digital documentation, but it's always been a feature I ignored, though my custom document settings would become options to choose in the New Document dialog box sorta like a preset.

 

To tell the truth, I just set my page specifications by whatever I need for the document I'm creating and ignore the presets entirely. Your mileage may vary, but I think we're headed along the same road.

 

Randy

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Engaged ,
Oct 10, 2023 Oct 10, 2023

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I do think you're right, Randy.

For the most part, I feel more connected to my doc when I set my parameters
as I'm creating each new book. But time is always a factor, and I have
been pushing myself to be more efficient. However, I'm beginning to think
efficiency is overrated!! LOL!

Thanks again for your input.

C.

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