Updated: Feb 11
Every designer goes through it.
There will come a time when you want to take content from a previous Adobe InDesign layout and bring into another project.
Whether it's a few images, text frames with formatted body copy or other assets within a layout, there's a more efficient way of importing content into another layout in Id than the traditional copy and paste method.
That's right, I am talking about the Content Collector Tool.
In this tutorial, I will go over how to take images and other content from a moodboard project using the Content Collector Tool and bring them into another project with the related Content Placer Tool.
Firstly, it's important to have two documents open — the original project and the new layout where we will add the content.
Content Collector and Placer Tool
The Content Collector Tool is the fifth from the top on the main toolbar. Click it or press B on the keyboard to access the Content Collector Tool.
Now, simply hover over the content and you'll notice a blue border light up around the image or text frame. Click on the images or other assets you'd like to collect.
As you will notice, the content is collecting into a loaded cursor as well as the Content Collector panel below. If you click on something you don't want to, press the Escape key and InDesign will remove the last piece of content collected.
Make your way to the document where you'd like to place this content. Once opened, press B on your keyboard or click and hold on the Content Collector Tool to access the flyout option. From here, go ahead and select the Content Placer Tool.
In the blank document, start placing your loaded content buy either clicking to place or drag the frame to the size preferred. As things are placed on a page, they're removed from the loaded cursor.
Here's a quick overview of the steps mentioned above:
When Content Placer Tool, there are options in content conveyor below to keep an eye on. InDesign gives you the option to place the content and keep it in the conveyor while going to the next piece of content. It also gives you the choice to remove the content from the conveyor once placed in the new document.
You will notice these icons located directly below the content thumbnails in the Content Collector window.
Once you've mastered the Content Collector Tool, you'll find yourself using it more often and incorporating it into workflows. It's a handy tool and and an easier way of bringing content from one layout to another without having to copy/paste.