Use One Layout but Hide or Reveal the Display of Prices in Different Currencies or Text in Multiple Languages

We at T+S apply the “conditional text” function in conjunction with InDesign scripting to manage various versions of a single document more easily. What is conditional text, and how can it be applied to simplify working with documents containing multiple prices or languages? In this blog post, we explain what conditional text does and give two examples of how using conditional text can simplify working with multiple versions of one layout.

Conditional text is a standard function in Adobe InDesign. It can be found in the Window menu > Type & Tables > Conditional Text. By using conditional text, a graphic designer can assign specific text to a category (condition) defined and given a name by the designer. For instance, in a price list, a given price (which appears as text in a document) can be categorized as “Euro price” or “American dollar price.” Once the relevant text is marked and assigned to the proper category, the text can be displayed or hidden by clicking to apply the condition. InDesign automatically hides the non-relevant text when the condition is applied.

Applying conditional text allows a designer to better manage changes to text in a single document, greatly simplifying workflows in the process. The alternative would be to create separate individual documents; say, one price list document containing only prices in Euros and another, separate price list containing only prices in American dollars. The advantage of using only one price list with conditional text is that when it comes time to update all prices, in the document with conditional text, there is only one document to manage. Changes are made only to one document. There is no need to save, locate, or update a second document.

When price lists come in not just two versions, but ten or more, updating prices is immensely simplified and faster when conditional text is used.

Our second example concerns a catalog to be produced in five languages. One document containing text in all five languages is created and managed. All English-language text in the catalog is assigned to the category (condition) “English,” the Spanish text is assigned to the category “Spanish,” the French text is assigned to “French,” and so on for the other two languages. When the Spanish-language catalog is to be output to a PDF file, the condition “Spanish” is applied. Immediately, the text of the other four languages is hidden and only the text marked “Spanish” can be seen. The Spanish catalog is then generated. The four remaining catalogs can be generated similarly by applying the respective condition in turn. Thus, one document is managed, but five versions of the catalog can be outputted.

Conditions can even be defined and then combined in sets. It is thus possible to create various versions of a catalog that match multiple conditions; for example, “price is in British pounds and language is GB-English,” “price is in American dollars and language is US-English,” and “price is in Euros and language is GB-English.”

In summary, using conditional text improves productivity by eliminating time spend updating multiple versions of a document when managing one would be simpler. It also obviates the need for dealing with layers.

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