While having a large number of InDesign files open concurrently can be a bit unwieldy there are times when it’s not only handy but downright necessary. Case in point: You need to make some type of  global change to a Digital Publishing Suite (DPS) project. Whether you want to add some type of interactivity to all of the articles or perform a global find/change, having all of the documents in your folio open is going to make it easier.

But what if you’ve got 20 or more files to open? You won’t find them all in the recent files list and not only do DPS projects require that each article not only be a stand alone InDesign file, but each of them must be in their own folder, as well. Because of that, opening all of those files can be a bit of pain requiring a search in the folio’s parent folder each time you need to work on them.

Bridge Smart Collections to the Rescue

Before I begin, I’m going to guess that most of you don’t even use Bridge. That’s really a shame since it’s a fabulous way to manage all of your files and hopefully this tip will convince you to explore Bridge a bit more. Now, back to the topic at hand.

While you can perform the aforementioned search for all INDD files in the parent folder from Finder or Windows Explorer, that gets a bit tedious after doing it say, 100 times or so. With a Smart Collection in Bridge, you do it once and save it. Here’s how it works.

If the Collections Panel isn’t a part of your Bridge workspace add it. You’ll find it under the Window Menu. Once the Collections panel is available, open it and click the New Smart Collection button in the bottom of the panel as shown in this screenshot:


This will bring up a dialog box allowing you to browse to the folder containing your folio files and to set to the criteria for the search. The settings appearing in the screenshot below should be suitable for you but if not, change them to whatever you need.:



Click the save button and you’ll be prompted to save your Smart Collection:


And all of the InDesign files will be displayed in the Content Panel:


From this point forward, you can easily open any or all InDesign files by going to the Collections Panel and opening your Smart Collection. Hopefully this little tip saves you some time. I know it has for me.

Finally, a little common sense should be put to use here. If you happen to have a folio with 75 articles in it, opening all of those files at once may not be a great idea. Stick to 15 or so at a time and you should be okay.