You can create templates in InDesign, decide what’s customizable, specify paragraph styles, and upload templates to the Widen Collective.

Create and manage templates in InDesign using the Templates InDesign extension then upload them to the Collective. You don’t need access to the Collective to upload templates. When the Templates app is enabled on your site, your customer success manager will provide the Templates InDesign extension and login credentials for you. Each designer will have different login credentials. When you use those credentials, a connection will be made between InDesign and your Collective site.

In InDesign, click Initialize Template to convert an InDesign document for use in Templates. After it’s converted, an empty background layer is created. The background layer helps you determine which elements should be customizable by users and which elements shouldn’t be. Elements that aren’t customizable are fixed into place and cannot be changed.

To indicate that an element is fixed, drag it into the background layer. Elements in any other layers will be customizable. In this example, the main image can be customized by users, but the Widen logo at the top cannot be changed.

You can also configure templates so users can upload images from their computers into customizable image areas. Allowing users to add their own logo to a document even if it’s not stored in the Collective, for example, is useful for co-branding.

Customizable text areas can be set up with a validation to prevent users from entering invalid data. For example, fields can be set up as phone numbers, dates, email addresses, or URLs. Users that enter text that doesn’t match these patterns will receive an error message.

Text areas can also be configured to fill text frames by decreasing the font size based on the amount of text a user enters. For example, the font size will start at the point size you define and shrink down as the user enters text that overfills the frame. It’ll shrink down to the minimum point size you’ve defined.

Any paragraph and character styles you define will be respected in the Templates Live Editor. When customizing text areas, users are given the option to format text using one of the preset styles instead of being allowed to choose any (possibly off-brand) font, color, or size.

TrueType and OpenType fonts that you use in the InDesign file can be uploaded to the Collective if you have valid server license. Fonts that are uploaded will display on the template in the Live Editor and in downloaded PDFs without users needing to have them installed on their computers.

Click the Test Template button to see how a template will display in the Collective. Testing a template allows you to verify that customizable and fixed areas are configured correctly for users.

Once you’re satisfied with the template, upload it to the Collective. Save your template using a filename that's descriptive, but as short as possible, then click the Upload button to have the image links and fonts packaged and the file checked for errors. The file will be uploaded as an unreleased template. Admins will need to release the template in order for users to customize it.

Delete templates

If you no longer want people to be able to customize a template or if a template is out of date and no longer should be used, you can delete the template from within InDesign. Click Remove Template in the PrintUI Management panel to delete it.

Check out our video to learn more about creating templates in InDesign.