Friday, March 19, 2010

When InDesign Paste No Longer Works

My technical publishing workflow involves figures, lots and lots of figures. I often put callouts on the photos, with pointer lines. Then I group the whole bunch together and paste it inline into my text. But last night I ran into a problem. You see, it started because I like to try to find features that no one else has ever heard of or used. And a couple of times, my ideas were even featured on my favorite podcast, InDesign Secrets. In case you're curious, I came up with a couple of the "Obscure Feature of the Week (Eek, eek, eek!)"s. They were Shared Hyperlink Destination and Sort Bookmarks.

Well, I'm having so much fun hearing my name briefly mentioned on my favorite podcast, that I decided to see if I could come up with another Obscure Feature. This time I suggested "Autotag." 

To be honest, I've never used Autotag, nor XML publishing. I don't know that I ever will, and probably at least 99.9% of my fellow InDesign users never will either. But the nifty thing about Autotag is that it somehow automatically applies XML tags to the parts and pieces of your InDesign document. Interesting? Somewhat. Useful? Probably to somebody, somewhere in XML publishing land. But not to me...except for the fact that Autotag is so obscure that virtually no one except the publishing super heros have heard of it. And that level of feature obscurity could very well get me mentioned in another podcast. Which (for a geek like me) is pretty darn exciting!

So last night, I started playing around and I autotagged one of my text frames. Here is what I am usually able to achieve without any problem: Inline graphics.

But suddenly, last night, my Paste function no longer worked. After a restless night of sleep, and nearly posting this question to the entire world on the Adobe forums, I investigated a little further and found the problem: Autotag.

Autotag is easily accessible under the right-cick contextual menu when you select an object. Normally, nothing is tagged—because I don't do XML publishing. But late last night, as I was playing and dreaming of InDesign greatness, I autotagged a frame. See how "Story" is now highlighted in light blue?

Because the Rudder Angle Indicator frame is tagged, I will no longer be able to paste that text frame into another text frame. I can group with other frames, copy it, and paste it until the cows come home... just NOT inline into another text frame. InDesign cannot be fooled. And in case you're curious. If the frame is tagged as as Story, Root, and Graphic, it doesn't matter. You still can't paste it inline into another text frame.