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How many times can I overwrite Indesign layout

New Here ,
May 25, 2020

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I work for a weekly newspaper who publishes a 24 page full color 11 by 17 paper. After we have gone to press, we turn around and use the same layout file, just remove unwanted ads/elements and add new content. I believe we are working in the same layout we created from scratch three years ago. Is it OK to keep overwriting the same file like this, or should we start afresh every now and then? Obviously, that would be a huge use of time, creating from scratch every week.

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How many times can I overwrite Indesign layout

New Here ,
May 25, 2020

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I work for a weekly newspaper who publishes a 24 page full color 11 by 17 paper. After we have gone to press, we turn around and use the same layout file, just remove unwanted ads/elements and add new content. I believe we are working in the same layout we created from scratch three years ago. Is it OK to keep overwriting the same file like this, or should we start afresh every now and then? Obviously, that would be a huge use of time, creating from scratch every week.

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May 25, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
May 25, 2020

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Do you find any issues like performance or things breaking with the old file? If not you could keep using the file, i don't see why not. What you can either do is save that file as a template .indt and for each version create a new indd file based on this template. So the template in effect just serves the purpose of providing you the base to build upon.

 

-Manan

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May 25, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
May 25, 2020

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Do a Save As... and incrementally rename, apart from that no probs.

 

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May 25, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
May 25, 2020

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Hello ! The best way it's to create a template and save as INDT file with just what you want, styles, colors ... as an INDT file (t for template). After when you open it Indesign open a new file wihtout overwriting on it. The indt file stay clean. In my experience, when you do this, import and delete, at a time the file can be strange or had bugs.

 

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

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May 25, 2020 2
Adobe Community Professional ,
May 25, 2020

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I'd say you can do this, provided that you're not having performance problems constantly reworking the same basic InDesign file.

 

But I think the underlying question is: Why would you want to?

 

I know that even with a weekly newspaper you're never really off deadline – there's always ad production, promotional pieces, media kits and all kinds of collaterals to be produced for the staff, sales crew and publisher – But there are issues that always crop up when you're re-using the same file time and time again.

 

Version control - running the paper with the previous week's folios somewhere in the issue, old ads re-running instead of the latest update, old evergreen copy, ads and art that should've been pulled but somehow wasn't – all that stuff causes extra time, cost and aggravation. Plus, you're essentially destroying your digital archive on a weekly basis to create the next issue. With no record of the previous week's issue besides what comes off the press, it's difficult toward impossible to figure why things have, or are, going wrong. And in the worst case scenario, you're leaving yourself vulnerable to legal jeopardy with no digital record of what you're printing week to week.

 

I'd strongly recommend a quick three-week renovation plan to get yourself off the recycling habit and producing new issues with unique, new files every week.

 

Week 1 - After the paper's put to bed, copy/extract evergreen graphic elements like the masthead, nameplate and section plates, saving them to separate InDesign files containing just those elements – or even better. copying them into InDesign library(ies) that can be accessed throughout the organization. If you haven't already built a file structure for placing/maintaining/archiving your ads, create one that mirrors the paper organization system your ad staff is using.

 

Week 2 - After the paper's put to bed, at the very least delete all the week's copy, art and ads and save the "blanker" file as an InDesign template. Even better would be build one from scratch, with type paragraph and character styles, master pages with your layout grids, and if you really want to make it easier on yourself, text variables which will let you automatically populate the paper's folios after entering the issue/date information in the nameplate. As a veteran senior editor, my personal pet peeve was to put out a paper with folios showing the previous week's issue date.

 

Week 3 - Use the new template to produce that week's issue. Populate the area under the ad line with the issue's ads, checking the placements off to match the ad master. Then fill the area above the ad line with the copy and art for the current issue. get the paper ready to go, check the folios one more time to make sure they reflect the current issue, then ship it for printing. Reflect on what was easier starting from scratch, and fine-tune any fixes to any glithes that cropped up as you produced the issue.

 

Then Lather-Rinse-Repeat every week and enjoy how much easier life is from the way you used to produce each issue.

 

Good luck,

 

Randy

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May 25, 2020 0