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Placing files on a layout using Smart Connection for InDesign

Placing files on a layout using Smart Connection for InDesign

When working on a layout using Smart Connection, files can be placed in the following ways:

  • By placing files that are stored locally
  • By placing files that are stored in Enterprise

Files that are stored in Enterprise can either be placed individually or in groups.

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

This article describes the following topics:

Placing files that are stored locally

Locally stored files can be placed on the layout using the default InDesign method of choosing File > Place.

It is important that these files are added to Enterprise so that they can be used in the process of previewing them or publishing them to the Web.

Smart Connection can add the following types of files to Enterprise:

Other file types such as Excel files that need to be placed as an Excel file, video files, audio files and so on cannot be uploaded by Smart Connection and need to be first uploaded to Enterprise by using Content Station. They can subsequently be placed from the Smart Connection panel or the Dossier panel as described below.

Placing files that are stored in Enterprise

The process of placing files that are stored in Enterprise onto the layout is described in the following locations:

This article describes how to place files that are stored in Enterprise onto a layout. Different methods exist for placing a single file and for placing multiple files.

Placing single files

The process of placing single files is described in the following locations:

Placing multiple files

Info: This feature requires Smart Connection version 9.3 or higher.

Multiple files can be placed manually by loading them into the so-called 'place cursor' of InDesign (also known as the 'place gun') or by placing them automatically.

See this demonstrated in a short video:

About the place cursor

When the place cursor is loaded with Enterprise files, the following information is shown:

  • The total number of files that are loaded
  • A preview of the file that you are about to place (only for graphics)
  • The name of the file together with the first few opening lines of the file that you are about to place (only for files that are not graphics)

The place cursor for images The place cursor for text files

Figure: The place cursor for graphics (left) and for text files (right).

Once loaded, you can place each file one-by-one or in groups until no more files are available in the place cursor.

To place a file, do one of the following:

  • Click anywhere on the layout to place the file in its full width and height
  • Draw a frame to place the file in it
  • Click on an existing frame to place the file in that frame
  • Click on an InDesign Article to place multiple article components (see Placing multiple files automatically)

Note: For more information about placing multiple files using the InDesign place cursor, see Adobe InDesign Help Placing multiple graphics.

Placing multiple files manually by using the place cursor

Step 1. Make sure that no frames are selected on the layout.

Step 2. Select multiple files in one of the following locations:

  • The Smart Connection panel
  • The Dossier panel
  • Content Station

Step 3. Do one of the following:

  • Drag the selected files onto the layout.
  • Double-click on one of the selected files in the Smart Connection panel or the Dossier panel.
  • Right-click on one of the selected files in the Smart Connection panel or the Dossier panel and choose Place.

The files are loaded into the place cursor.

Step 4. Place each file on the layout.

Note: For more information about placing multiple files using the InDesign place cursor, see Adobe InDesign Help Placing multiple graphics.

Placing multiple files automatically

This method can be used to quickly place multiple files into multiple frames on the layout.

In order for this method to work, the frames into which the files are dropped need to be part of an InDesign Article containing labeled frames. Smart Connection then uses these labeled frames to determine which files to drop into which frames.

Note: This method is identical to placing a single InCopy article into an InDesign Article, as outlined in Placing a multi-component article in multiple frames using Smart Connection for InDesign.

Tip: Create placeholders for dropping multi-component frames into by storing them in an InDesign Library. See Storing InDesign Articles as Library items using Smart Connection.

A typical scenario is placing a multi-component InCopy article together with an image onto an InDesign Article.

Example:

Setup:

  • Selected on the layout: an InDesign Article containing text frames labeled 'head', 'intro' and 'body' and one graphic frame
  • Selected in the Smart Connection panel:
  • An InCopy article containing 'head', 'intro' and 'body' components
  • A graphic file

Outcome: When the files are dropped onto one of the frames of the InDesign Article, they are placed as follows:

  • The article component labeled 'head' is placed into the frame labeled 'head'
  • The article component labeled 'intro' is placed into the frame labeled 'intro'
  • The article component labeled 'body' is placed into the frame labeled 'body'
  • The graphic file is placed into the graphic frame
Example of placing multiple files onto a layout, scenario before placing Example of placing multiple files onto a layout, scenario after placing

Figure: Example of placing a multi-component InCopy article and a graphics file onto an InCopy Article. After clicking Place (left), all frames of the InDesign Article are automatically filled (right).

Methods of placing multiple files

Method #1: drag and drop

Step 1. Select multiple files in the Smart Connection panel, the Dossier panel or Content Station.

Step 2. Drag the selected files onto one of the frames of the InDesign Article.

Method #2: double-click and place

Step 1. Select multiple files in the Smart Connection panel or the Dossier panel.

Step 2. Double-click one of the selected files to load them into the place cursor.

Step 3. Click on one of the frames of the InDesign Article.

Method #3: right-click > Place

Step 1. Select one of the frames of the InDesign Article.

Step 2. Select multiple files in the Smart Connection panel or the Dossier panel, right-click one of them and from the context menu choose Place.

Note: Many variations of selecting files are possible, but typical scenarios are to select one multi-component InCopy article + one graphic file, several single-component InCopy articles + one graphic file, and so on.

Outcome

As long as Smart Connection is able to match the files with the frames on the layout, then the files are automatically loaded into the frames.

Outcome when no match can be found

Of course, a direct match between the selected frames on the layout and the files that are being placed cannot always be found.

Many scenarios can be given, but the general behavior when this occurs is as follows:

  • The files and/or article components that can be matched with frames on the layout are automatically placed in those frames.
  • Files and/or article components that cannot be matched with a frame on the layout remain in the place cursor so that they can be manually placed.

Example: When you have one graphic frame selected on the layout and you drag 2 graphic files onto it, Smart Connection doesn't know which graphic to place into the frame. Therefore, neither file is placed but both remain in the place cursor so that you can manually place the correct graphic.

Troubleshooting

After selecting multiple files, a message appears: "The following files are of a file format that cannot be placed and are therefore not loaded"

Unsupported files message

This happens when one or more of the selected files are of a file type that cannot be placed.

Example: Such files include InDesign layouts, audio files, videos, and so on.

This message is just to inform you; no action on your part is required. The files that cannot be placed are not loaded into the place gun.

Double-clicking multiple files opens the files instead of loading them into the place cursor

This happens when the selected files are all layouts, layout templates, Layout Modules, Layout Module templates or a combination of these files. Such files cannot be placed and are therefore opened instead.

Notes:

  • Layout Modules can be placed but only through drag-and-drop or by right-clicking them and choosing Place.
  • When double-clicking a template, an instance of the template is opened.

When placing multiple files or a multi-component article onto one or more selected frames on the layout, no files are placed or some or all files or components remain in the place cursor

This happens when Smart Connection cannot find a matching frame to place the file or article component into. See the different scenarios given throughout this article.

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