I have a large Indesign document (500+ pages) that has 6 special symbols from a font that appears frequently throughout the text.

My issue is that when finished, I will also need to create a version of the document that replaces this set of symbols with a different font set. Instead of creating two sets of PDFs, I would like to generate a single PDF that allows the two different sets of symbols/fonts to be shown/hidden using layers instead of duplicating the entire text of the pdf on two layers. All 6 symbols may appear, in total, 1000+ times so doing this by hand is out of the question.

Is there a way to seperate the occurances of the locations of these specialty fonts onto their own layers while retaining their relative position to other text?

1 Answer 1


It's clear that something you have to duplicate.

In this gif there are two layers with the same text content. The icons are within an Anchor Object, all with the same width/height to avoid the text moving.

The top layer text frame has the text color transparent and the anchor objects a paper color fill to hide the bottom icons.

The Anchor objects have an Object Style with a linked Paragraph Style with the icons font.

To get two text frames in two layers with different icons, just find/replace one object style for the next in a new empty document. Then copy/paste the resulting text frame to the original file.

enter image description here

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