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Blocks of text used both stand-alone and within a book?

Blocks of text used both stand-alone and within a book?

Blocks of text used both stand-alone and within a book?

I'm including a link to an example, so that my question can be more clearly understood:


What I need is a way to combine blocks of text (bill summaries) into a continuous document... but still preserve the individual text as unique units.

The bill summaries are published as individual PDFs, but they are also joined into a single document.

 A bill summary can be a single paragraph or PAGES of paragraphs, sometimes including tables. There are about a dozen paragraph styles that are used throughout the publication, including nested styles that I can't recreate in a word-processing program.

Right now, this is done as an InDesign book, with a TOC based on styles, some headers based on text variables and header styles, and a complicated indexing process that has evolved as a "work-around." (house bills and senate bills are indexed separately in the two early publications, but the final publication also includes a very complex topical index)

Each main "topic" is a separate file made up of one or more bill summaries.  These are joined into the book. After the book is published I have to split the pieces apart to create the individual PDFs.  I can do some of the splitting with find-and-replace codes, but it's still very time consuming and I'm working on a tight deadline with secretarial staff who aren't crazy about working in InDesign in the first place.

I need a methodology that preserves each bill summary as a unique "entity" to be joined into a single publication... but is still able to be published singly.  And, unfortunately, I have no programming skills.

Is such a thing possible?

I've played with Snippets, considered a series of inline textboxes, looked over data merge and tables... but I could sure use some guidance.

If this is the kind of thing that needs a consultant to design, I could probably negotiate with my boss to have this done as paid consultant work.  I SUSPECT this can be done, but I fear that it's be my skill level!

Or, in a more positive note:  I'm hoping that maybe I'm in so deep that I can't see the forest for the trees and some kind experienced soul can point me to something basic that I'm missing ! ! ! !

RE: Blocks of text used both stand-alone and within a book?

I would be using the Book Feature.
Keeping each Bill Summary as a separate file.


You then insert all your separate files into that which you can then print as one combined file or as separate ones.


RE: Blocks of text used both stand-alone and within a book?

I'm already using the book feature. Each main topic is a section of the book.  But I need to be able to re-use each bill summary: once in the compilation and once as a stand-alone.

However, many summaries are short and need to be flowed into the same story so saving each as an individual book file isn't an option.  I need a smaller "unit" that can function within a text flow, but work whether it's 5 lines or 5 pages long!

RE: Blocks of text used both stand-alone and within a book?

I think your out of luck I'm afraid.
Unless you manually select to print by page numbers in your Print Window.

Maybe you could make a combined PDF with some dynamic bookmarks etc. which would take you directly to that section... like an index in a way or Table of contents.


RE: Blocks of text used both stand-alone and within a book?

"I think your out of luck I'm afraid...."

Well, it's good to know that I didn't miss something!

Thanks for taking the time to consider my problem.


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