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Quick Tip: Use InDesign to Number Concepts AutoMagically.

If you aren’t numbering your concepts before presenting to the client, you should be.  It cuts down on confusion and helps to prevent accidentally editing the wrong concept.  We know when you’re running short on time though numbering concepts is often the easiest thing to cut in a pinch.

While we wouldn’t normally recommend presenting 15 options to a client, there are times when it happens, such as presenting different ad headlines. We’ve found a client benefits from seeing ad headlines placed in an ad, even if it’s just a rough representation of the final artwork.

In these situations our workflow typically involves several designers working on multiple art boards – this can make it challenging to number concepts prior to the very end.  When that happens, we’ve found the easiest way to get a final presentation together is to do the following:

Step 1: Create an InDesign File to House Your Concepts – Develop a presentation template background that works for your project. It should be larger than your final artwork to leave space for your logo, project info, and of course, the project number.

Step 2: Auto Number the Concepts – Double click the “A-Master” in the pages pallet.  Adding an element to this page ensures it will show up on every page.

Screen Shot 2016-03-14 at 6.58.51 PM.png

Add an additional layer above the other layers to place your concept number on:

Screen Shot 2016-03-14 at 7.00.03 PM.png

Add the text or graphic you plan to use to separate each concept but for the concept number insert a special character marker for the current page from the Type menu. This will insert the letter “A” to represent the number:

Screen Shot 2016-03-14 at 7.02.04 PM copy.png

Double click the first page in the pages pallet to exit the master page.  Now every page you add will have a concept number added automatically (make sure new pages are based on the “a-master” page).

Screen Shot 2016-03-14 at 7.08.20 PM.png

Step 4: Save Your Concepts: Save all your concepts as PDF files or Illustrator files (with PDF compatibility checked).

Step 5: Place the Artwork – If you are placing a PDF or Illustrator document with multiple you’ll need to check the “Show Import Options” box so you can select the page you want.Screen Shot 2016-03-14 at 6.55.59 PM.png

An added bonus of this method is that any time someone updates a concept all they need to do is resave their Illustrator document or a new PDF and your compilation document will update automatically.

Thank you for reading and feel free to share or let us know if you have questions or comments.


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