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Libraries and Snippets in Adobe InDesign CS3

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When you work with electronic page layouts, you use certain elements over and over. Rather than copying and pasting the frames from one part of the document to another, you can use InDesign’s libraries or snippets to hold the elements you use repeatedly. Sandee Cohen shows you how.
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Back when I worked in advertising, I noticed that the art directors would stick little bits and pieces of type and logos on their mechanical board, drafting table, lamp, and wall. This made it easy to grab an often-used logo or piece of art.

Similarly, when you work with electronic page layouts, you use certain elements over and over. For instance, if you’re working on a magazine, you might want to have a series of different-sized frames to hold frequently used ads.

Rather than copying and pasting the frames from one part of the document to another, you can use InDesign’s libraries or snippets to hold the elements you use repeatedly.

Then, when you need to use an item from the library or the saved snippet file, you can simply drag it onto the page.

Storing Items in a Library

A library allows you to store elements, such as text frames, images, or empty frames. When elements are in a library, they can be dragged easily into open documents. Libraries are especially useful when you need to use the same element in many different places.

To create a library:
  1. Choose File > New > Library. This opens the New Library dialog box.
  2. Use this dialog box to name the library file and select its location.
  3. Click Save. The library appears as a floating panel square1.gif.
To add items to a library:
  1. With a library open, select the item you want to insert in it.
  2. Click the Add Item button at the bottom of the Library panel.

    or

    Drag the item into the library square2.gif. The item appears in the Library panel.

    or

    Choose Add Item from the Library panel menu square3.gif.

You can also add all the items on the current page to a library.

To add a page to a library:
  1. With a library open, move to the page you want to add to the library.
  2. Choose Add Items on Page [number] from the Library panel submenu.

Instead of the Add Items on Page [number] command, you may want to add all the items on a page as individual library entries. Instead of dragging them one by one into the Library panel, you can add the items as separate elements.

To add all the items on a page separately:
  1. With a library open, move to the page that contains all the items that you want to add to the library.
  2. Choose Add Items on Page [number] as Separate Objects from the Library panel menu.
To delete items from a library:
  1. Select the item in the library.
  2. Click the Delete Item icon.

    or

    Choose Delete Item(s) from the Library panel menu.

  3. A dialog box appears asking for confirmation that you want to delete the items. Click Yes.
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