If I need to make more than a hundred documents, with the same layout but different content, it seems to make sense for me to use a master page and do them in the same InDesign file (exporting them to individual pdf pages at the end) so I can tweak the layout later.
If every document needs to have a different colour that represents the product on it... I need to make a new swatch for every page and I need to manually select every coloured object and change it to the new colour. Is there a more efficient way to do that while still retaining the ability to edit the layout across all of them later?
[edit: I've convinced people to have a different colour for each product range, rather than for every single product, so I'll only have a max of 12-14 different colours.]
Or do I have this all wrong? Should I be using the book functionality instead (which seems a bit clunky so far)?
Here is an example that uses master pages in the way that I have found works, previously:
- A-Master is based on [None].
- B, C and D-Master are all based on A-Master.
- B, C and D-Master are applied to pages where text boxes can be edited.
Should the layout need to be changed then this is possible by editing A-Master.
And every single page in the document follows suit.
In reality, there could be tens, or hundreds of items on a page so editing every page manually is not ideal. I've used this for creating ranges of product labels before, so I can do late tweaks to layout easily. InDesign is good at handling multi-page documents and I've never run into performance issues before (I'm pretty sure it can handle complex documents with hundreds of pages).
There are downsides to this approach however... You need to be more careful with your backups in case the one file gets corrupted. Only one person can work on any of the documents at once too. You also can't have more than 27 spot colours per document (you can have more process colours than that) so if these were a whole, huge set of litho printed product labels, each with a different colour, then you'd be stuffed. There's probably other reasons too but I can't think of any at the moment.
If I do this as a book instead:
I can make a set of documents using the same master page still...
And I should be able to synchronise these documents. I know this works well with paragraph and character styles.
But any master page local overrides break. In this case, the overridden sections end up doubling up.
If I move away the local overrides, you can see the synced master page items underneath, and you can see that the size/shape of the local overrides haven't been synced at all.
- 150+ single page sheets.
- One product per sheet.
- Every sheet has the same layout.
- Several ranges of products; each range has a colour that represents it that features in headers, footers, some text boxes and outlines.
- Local overrides for text, product images and colour.
What is the best way to set up master pages/documents so the layout can be adjusted on a master page later?