With Smart Connection, an InDesign layout that is stored in Enterprise can also be placed on one or more InDesign layouts that are also stored in Enterprise.
A layout that is placed on another layout is referred to as a Layout Module.
This article describes how to work with Layout Modules.
Why use Layout Modules?
Being able to place an InDesign layout on another InDesign layout has the following advantages:
- It makes it possible to split the layout into different parts so that multiple designers can work on different sections of the layout simultaneously.
- Sections of a layout that are specific to an Edition can be easily created by assigning different Editions to each placed Layout Module.
- Layouts can be re-used in the same or different Brands.
Examples of Layout Modules: advertisements, banners, and so on.
Layout Modules are graphics
In Smart Connection, Layout Modules are treated as graphics and therefore have the same functionality as placed graphic files such as images:
- They appear in the Links panel as well as in the Elements panel
- They are labeled as a graphic
- Options such as Frame Fitting and Open for Editing can be used
The following restrictions apply when working with Layout Modules:
- They cannot contain more than 1 page
- They cannot contain other Layout Modules
- They cannot contain any Edition-specific content
- They cannot be placed in a text frame as an inline image
When saving a layout as a Layout Module, a validation on these rules is performed. When the validation fails, a message is displayed.
Creating a Layout Module
Creating a Layout Module is done by creating a new layout (or opening an existing one), and when saving it to Enterprise selecting the 'Save As Layout Module' check box at the bottom of the dialog box.
Note: Take note of the restrictions mentioned earlier in this article.
Closing or saving a Layout Module
Closing or saving a Layout Module is identical to closing or saving a regular layout.
One exception exists: when a Layout Module is opened as read-only, the following actions are not available:
- Check in
- Abort check out
- Save version
- Take offline
Saving a Layout Module is then done by using the Smart Connection > Save As option.
Placing a Layout Module
Placing a Layout Module onto another layout is similar to placing an image, but with the following restrictions:
- A Layout Module may not be placed onto another Layout Module.
- It is not possible to place a Layout Module in a text frame as an inline image.
Contrary to placing images by double-clicking them in the Smart Connection panel, placing a Layout Module needs to be done by choosing Place from the context menu or by dragging it onto the layout from either the Smart Connection panel or Content Station; double-clicking a Layout Module in the Smart Connection panel will namely open the Layout Module for editing.
As with images though, Layout Modules can be placed multiple times on either the same layout or on different layouts.
A Layout Module can also be placed by using the InDesign Content Collector and Placer tool. Note the following behavior:
- When the 'Create Link' option is used, a linked Layout Module is placed (a Layout Module that is stored in Enterprise).
- When the 'Create Link' option is not used, a regular Layout Module is placed (a Layout Module that is stored in Enterprise).
Opening a Layout Module
Do one of the following:
- In the Smart Connection panel:
- Double-click the Layout Module
- Right-click the Layout Module and choose 'Open' from the context menu.
- On the layout:
- Hold down the Option key (macOS) or the Alt key (Windows) and double-click the Layout Module using the Direct Selection Tool.
- In the Links panel:
- Select the file and click the Edit Original button or choose 'Edit Original' from the panel flyout menu.
Opening a Layout Module template
Do the following:
- Hold down the Option key (macOS) or the Alt key (Windows) and double-click the Layout Module template in the Smart Connection panel.
Updating a Layout Module
When opening a layout containing a placed Layout Module, the latest version of the Layout Module is loaded and displayed (but see below). If any changes are made to the Layout Module (by either yourself or another user) during the time you have the layout open, these changes only appear after executing an update.
You can tell if a Layout Module needs updating by verifying the Elements panel: for any Layout Module that has been updated, an update icon is displayed in the State column.
To update a Layout Module, do the following:
Step 1. Select the Layout Module in the Elements panel marked with the update icon.
Step 2. Do one of the following:
- Choose Smart Connection > Update Content.
- In the Elements panel, click the Update icon in the toolbar.
- In the Elements panel, right-click the Layout Module and choose Update Content.
Preventing content from being updated when opening a Layout Module
Info: This requires Smart Connection 13.0.2 for Adobe CC 2018 (or any other higher version of Smart Connection 13), or any version of Smart Connection higher than 13.
By default, when a Layout Module is opened, all placed content is updated to its latest version. The system can also be configured to not update files of a certain type when the Layout Module is opened. This makes it possible to verify each change, manually update each file and make adjustments when needed.