The Layers plug-in – Layer management in InDesign
With a special plug-in – MadeForLayers – MadeToPrint extends the layer management in Adobe InDesign. The user can control the layer visibility with a clear user interface. Hence – for example, in multilingual publications – you can hide or show the layers belonging to a respective language output together for text and image.
Opening and Using MadeForLayers
MadeForLayers for InDesign and Illustrator has a user interface that intelligently displays and hides layers containing interrelated content.
Users can open the layer management interface by selecting the menu item Plug-ins; MadeForLayers.
MadeForLayers has three dialogs offering several different features.
- Extended dialog
- Normal dialog
- Minimal dialog
The extended dialog offers all of the options needed to edit layer views, switch between layers and create new ones.
In the normal dialog you can switch between layer views and change the visibility of layers. You cannot edit layer views or layers in this dialog. You cannot edit layer views or layers in this dialog.
This very compact, minimized dialog allows you to switch back and forth between the layer views only by using the pop-up.
Creating layer views
To create layer views, switch to the extended dialog. If your document already contains layer views, these are shown in the top part of the window. If no layers have been created, this area remains empty.
The window is divided into two sections. The layer views are shown in the top section along with the corresponding buttons for adding, editing and removing layer views, saving, resetting and for importing and exporting settings. The layers of the document are shown in the lower section of the window along with buttons for creating, deleting and editing these layers.
You can also save the layer views as an InDesign template. Documents created using these templates are then automatically given the same layer views.
Configuring a new layer view
The user can add a layer view by clicking on the button with the green plus symbol in the upper section of the layer management window.
In the following dialog you can give the setting a name. The new layer view is automatically populated with the layers that are currently visible in the document.
The example shows the visibility of the layers for product images, price and text in the English version; the visibility of all other layers is deactivated.
MadeForLayers can be used, among other things, for multi-lingual production and for printing packaging.
You can use the same procedure to create layer views for additional languages or for technical or marketing-specific views too.
After configuration, you can click on the items in the layer views in order to switch between the various views of the respective language versions.
Making a layer view the default
If you would like to make a certain layer the default view, use the Make Default function. This way you can define a default view for multiple layer views for example, for the print shop.
Overview: Which layer views contain a certain layer?
The extended view allows the user to expand the layer items in the list and see an overview of the layer views that use the specific layers.
Adding special metadata to different layers
MadeForLayers allows you to associate metadata directly with a certain layer. The user clicks on the desired layer and clicks the Edit button to open the Edit Layer window. Here you can complete the Layer Metadata fields.
This feature is useful, for example, if you want to pass on layer-specific production instructions. When using MadeToPrint to print the data to a PDF file, these metadata are applied to the respective layer in the PDF document.
The integrated pdfToolbox feature from callas software allows metadata layers to be displayed.
Exporting settings and importing them into other documents
For recurring production runs having an identical layer structure, you can optimize the workflow by using the options for importing and exporting settings. This requires that the layer structure and the names of the layers match.
Integration in MadeToPrint
MadeToPrint has the capability to use layer views from MadeForLayers for printing and the export to various file formats (including PDF, EPS, various image file formats).
Exporting all layer views into a single PDF/X-4 file
In this example a MadeToPrint job is created, and the layer views are exported to a PDF/X-4 file.
Under Printer you can select the destination file (PDF). The PDF default settings are opened by clicking the Setup... button. In this example, the default PDF/X-4:2008 is used since it supports PDF/X as well as layers.
Under Layers you will find two options that allow you to open the layer views from MadeForLayers. Two modes are listed at the bottom: Print default layer view and Print all layer views separately.
Selecting the first option applies the default view (which you may have defined yourself) to the PDF file. The second option causes all layer views that were created in the original document to be included in the export. Finally, the selection is saved.
In the start window of MadeToPrint, you can then select and use the new setting by pressing the Print button.