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Controlling the component order for articles using Smart Connection for InDesign

Controlling the component order for articles using Smart Connection for InDesign

When working with articles and its components, the order in which the components appear is important for efficiently working on them.

Info: The information presented here applies to the following versions of Smart Connection:

  • Smart Connection 9
  • Smart Connection for Adobe CC
  • Smart Connection for Adobe CC 2014

The components in a multi-component article are ordered in a hierarchical way.

The order of the article components as shown in the Smart Connection panel

Figure: The components of an article shown in the Smart Connection panel.

Why this order is important

This hierarchical order is especially important for users working in InCopy or Content Station because they prefer to see this structured order when editing the article.

Example: It makes sense that when editing an article in Content Station or InCopy that the header is displayed first, followed by the sub-header, intro, body and so on. Should this order be different for each article, locating the article component to work on becomes much more difficult and time consuming.

Article component order in Content Staton

Figure: The same article as the one shown in the Smart Connection panel above, but now opened for editing in Content Station. Note how the correct order of the article components helps locating each component.

How this order is controlled

When creating a new article or when adding components to an existing article, the order is based on the order of the following:

  1. The frames on the page (this is the default method)
  2. The Element Label preferences

Example: Suppose you want to convert the following frames that are labeled 'intro', 'body' and 'head' into an article:

Frames on a layout for showing examples of the article component order

When ordering is done based on the order of the frames on the layout, this will result in an article with the following structure:

> Article name
>> 'intro' component
>> 'body' component
>> 'head' component

When ordering is done based on the order of the Element Label preferences and the labels are ordered by “head”, “intro” and “body”, this will result in an article with the following structure:

> Article name
>> “head' component
>> 'intro' component
>> 'body' component

Based on the order of the frames on the page

In this default method, the order is controlled by the order of the frames on the page starting from the top left position and ending at the bottom right position.

Based on the order of the Element Label preferences

Note: For this method to work, the feature named. 'UseElementLabelOrder' needs to be enabled on Enterprise Server. For more information, see Letting the Element Label preferences of Smart Connection for InDesign control the component order of new articles.

Step 1. Access Preferences > Element Label....

The Element Label preferences appear.

The Element Label preferences

Step 2. In the list of Element Labels, drag the labels in the desired order.

Step 3. Click OK.

Notes: The order is also used when adding other components to an existing article (for instance when dropping a component onto an article in the Elements panel).

Troubleshooting

When creating a new article or adding components to an existing article, the newly added components are positioned at the bottom of the structure.

This happens when:

  • The article contains Element Labels that are not part of the preferences.
  • The order was changed manually in the Elements panel (for instance by dragging a component to another position).
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