…if you don’t understand this nuance!
We frequently package a project and keep on working. While packaging is typically an “end of the project” kind of activity, here are two reasons that you might want to package in the middle of the development process:
- To ensure that all images remain with the document. If you find yourself pulling images from other projects, this is particularly important.
- To separate all pieces associated with a specific document if you’ve been working on similar documents in the same folder.
For basics of packaging, see this blog.
We’ve found, though, that InDesign’s package feature has a nuance that can lead to errors if not managed properly. When you use the package feature, InDesign creates a copy of the InDesign file and all it’s linked files and places them in a new folder that you create. The file that remains open on your screen, however, is the original InDesign file, not the newly created packaged InDesign file. That means any changes you make after packaging will be made to your original file, not to your new packaged file. If you want to work on the InDesign file that is part of the package you just created, you must close the currently open file and then open the file in your package folder. Make this a habit to ensure that all changes you make to a file are reflected in your final printed document.
To our way of thinking, when we package a file, it’s because the project is reaching near-completion and we want to ensure that it will print properly and that all images are located with the file. It’s the “package” that we will eventually send off to the printer. So if you think the same way we do, and after packaging the file you notice something wrong on the page on your screen and quickly make the correction…that correction won’t appear in the packaged file you send off to the printer. Again, after packaging a project, ALWAYS close the open file then open the packaged file before hitting another key. You’ll be glad you did.