Thursday, March 20, 2008

Adding files to a "book"

An InDesign Book is a collection of individual InDesign files. Creating a book makes it possible to break long documents into smaller chapters or sections, with each chapter or section an individual InDesign file. Creating a book allows you to do automatic page numbering across all the individual files, create a table of contents or index for the entire book, print or create a PDF of the entire book, and much more.

To create a book, just choose File > New > Book. This places an empty Book panel on your screen. You can add individual InDesign files to the book by choosing Add Document from the Book panel menu, or by clicking on the plus sign at the bottom of the Book panel. If you have a large number of files to add to a book, adding them this way is tedious. Here's a better way: just drag and drop InDesign files from the Macintosh Finder, Windows Explorer or Adobe Bridge right into the Book panel. You can drag and drop multiple files at a time. You can even drag and drop a top level folder, and all the InDesign files in that folder, as well as all the subfolders, will be added to the book!


mlommel said...

Interesting tip; is there a way to extend this if I am starting from a directory of rtf files? I would like each rtf file to become a chapter in the book document. Do I need to hand place each rtf file and create a separate InDesign doc and then batch import those into a book? Or is there a way to bulk convert the rtf files also?

Keith Gilbert said...

The only way that I can think of to automate this would be via scripting. A script could be written without too much trouble to import an RTF into a template, save it, add the file to a book, and repeat until all the RTF files have been placed.