K4 v6 Feature: Link an Article to Multiple Layouts

Articles can be linked to multiple layouts. This is a major change that should make designers happy and will be very important for publishing to print and tablets. It also means some headaches.

Let’s start with the headache. In K4 5.9 and earlier if you move a layout from one issue to another, the articles would also change issue. Articles do not have to be in the same issue as its parent layouts since these layouts may be from different issues. This isn’t too bad, but since K4 v6.3 does not include batch operations (I think that will be included in v6.4 in May) this means when you change the issue of a layout you then have to change each attached article individually.

But on to the good news. Designers can now work with multiple designs more easily. Each variation of a layout can be attached to the same live article. Each layout should have the same style names but can define them differently. The article will automatically pick up the style sheets associated with the layout. 

Every article has a preferred layout. By default this is what the InCopy user will see. While InCopy users can open an article and choose which layout to view it in most will just go with the preferred layout. We have a layout template that is blank, just 30 pages of 3 columns of text. If the designer doesn’t want the editors to view a very rough layout they just make a layout based on this template the default layout.

Those publishing in both print and tablets will find this invaluable. You can have your articles attached to both print and tablet layouts, making it much easier to release both versions at the same time. The alternative is for editors to update multiple versions of the same article at the same time or to work on the digital version after the print is completed (or visa versa).