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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Creating and Using Text Variables

A text variable is an element that varies based on circumstances in the document. You can use one of the preset text variables that comes with InDesign or you can create your own. Some of the preset variables include Running Header and Chapter Number. These are useful for adding information to master pages. Other variables, such as Creation Date, Modification Date, Output Date, and File Name, are useful for adding file information to the slug area for printing. To use a text variable, simply create a text box, place the insertion point in the box, and then insert the variable using the Text Variable submenu on the Type menu. You can also insert and format additional text along with the Running Header variable in the text box to create a header or footer across the top or bottom of the page on a document or master page.

Define a Text Variable

  • yellow_circle_01.jpg To define text variables for all documents, close all open documents. Otherwise, the text variable is only available for the current document.
  • yellow_circle_02.jpg Click the Type menu, point to Text Variables, and then click Define.
  • yellow_circle_03.jpg Click New, or select an existing variable, and then click Edit.
  • yellow_circle_04.jpg Type a name for the variable.
  • yellow_circle_05.jpg Click the Type list arrow, and then select a variable type.
  • yellow_circle_06.jpg Specify the options you want for the selected variable type.

    Options vary; some of the common options include:

    • Text Before or Text After. Insert text to add before or after the text variable.

    • Style. Select a style for the selected variable type.

  • yellow_circle_07.jpg Click OK.

Work with Text Variables

  • Insert Text Variables. Click to place the insertion point where you want the text variable (on a document or master page), click the Type menu, point to Text Variables, point to Insert Variable, and then select a variable.

  • Delete Text Variables. Click the Type menu, point to Text Variables, click Define, select the variable, and then click Delete.

  • Convert Text Variables to Text. Select the text variable in the document, click the Type menu, point to Text Variables, and then click Convert Variable to Text.

    • To convert all instances of the text variable, click the Type menu, point to Text Variables, click Define, select the variable, and then click Convert To Text.
  • Import Text Variables from Another Document. Click the Type menu, point to Text Variables, click Define, click Load, double-click the document with the variables, select the variables that you want in the Load Text Variables dialog box, and then click OK.

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