Smart Styles can be easily integrated with WoodWing Smart Connection: a set of plug-ins for InDesign and InCopy for communicating with Enterprise Server.
The additional functionality of using Smart Styles within a Smart Connection environment is explained in this article.
Note: It is assumed here that you are fully familiar with Smart Connection.
Articles and Element Labels
Smart Connection makes use of the article concept. An article typically consists of different components: headline, intro, body text, and so on. Each of these components can be made up of separate frames and treated as a separate object in which each component is fully editable. To each article component, a label is assigned to indicate its purpose (or intent).
Example: Labeling a text frame with the label Headline and another text frame with the label Body Text, makes it clear to all users what the purpose of these frames is: editors will know what type of content to add and designers will know how to format and position that content.
Smart Styles offers additional functionality when used in combination with Smart Connection by making use of the Element Label feature of Smart Connection and the Article feature of InDesign.
The Element Label panel
With Smart Connection installed, the Element Label panel can be used to label article components.
Normally Smart Styles will not be able to match the components of a Smart Styles element to a target with multiple components. Smart Styles will use the properties of one Smart Styles component and apply them to all items of the target. However, when both the Smart Styles components and the target article components are labeled, Smart Styles will use these labels to match the Smart Styles elements with the target items.
Example: The properties of the 'head' component in the Smart Styles element will be applied to the 'head' component of the target item; the properties of the 'body' component in the Smart Styles element will be applied to the 'body' component of the target, and so on.
When working in a Smart Connection environment, articles are made up of multiple text frames, each representing a different component such as ‘head’, ‘intro’, ‘body’ and so on. To identify each frame as a separate component, an Element Label is applied.
To treat these separate frames as one article, they are combined into an InDesign Article by using the Articles panel (Window > Articles).
Note: For more information about InDesign Articles, see the InDesign Help: Articles.
Smart Styles is able to recognize such multi-component InDesign Articles and correctly format each component.
The process is as follows:
Step 1. Create a separate frame for each article component and apply the correct label by using the Element Label panel (Window > Smart Connection > Elements).
Step 2. Apply styling to the frame and/or the content of the frame.
Step 3. Access the Articles panel by choosing Window > Articles.
Step 4. Drag the frames onto the panel (or click the ‘+’ icon), type a name and click OK.
An InDesign article is created containing the selected frames.
Step 5. Turn the selected frames into a Smart Styles element.
Step 6. Drag the Smart Styles element onto any of the frames of an InDesign Article to style it.
How Smart Styles applies the correct formatting
Smart Styles looks for text frames in the InDesign Article that have the same Element Label applied as a text frame in the Smart Styles element. When found, it applies the styling of the component in the Smart Styles element to the component in the InDesign Article.
Example: A Smart Styles element containing the components ‘head’, ‘intro’ and ‘body’ is dropped onto any of the frames of an InDesign Article that also contains the components ‘head’, ‘intro’ and ‘body’. As a result, each component in the InDesign Article is styled with the corresponding style of the component in the Smart Style element: ‘intro’ with ‘intro’, ‘head’ with ‘head’ and ‘body’ with ‘body’.
Various variations of this scenario exist but the general rule is that as long as frames with matching Element labels are found then the component in the InDesign Article is styled with the style from the component in the Smart Styles element.
One exception exists when the Smart Styles element consists of only one component. When dragging such an element onto a single InDesign Article component on the layout, the component is directly styled without verifying if they have matching Element Labels.