Synchronized swimming for captions

There’s an actor and DJ over here in the UK called Craig Charles. Fans of cult British TV shows might remember him playing Lister in the comedy sci-fi series ‘Red Dwarf’. One of Craig’s many memorable observations on life goes like this: if one synchronized swimmer drowns, do they all have to?

Talking of sci-fi, I am currently halfway through a year-long project for a publisher of Japanese animated sci-fi movies on DVD. The house style dictates that every movie still must be accompanied by a full copyright credit, even though all the credits are identical.

At first, I used to copy and paste the 20 or so text boxes containing the same credit line manually, then do it all over again for the next issue, and again the next, and so on. What a bore. If only those credit boxes were like synchronized swimmers and I could drown the lot of them…

Quark Caption Tip…which is pretty much what I do now. Several months ago, I added one of the credit boxes to the Shared Content palette (both content and attributes), then generated all the other credit lines from that unique shared item. Let me tell you, it’s a damn sight quicker than cutting and pasting 5pt text in tiny boxes scattered over eight pages. And when the next issue comes round, I type the new copyright credit in just one box, whereupon all the other credit boxes update automatically, ready for me to redesign the layout.

I’m sure QuarkXPress’ Shared Content feature was designed for much more sophisticated functions than that, but it’s a real time-saver just the same. And I don’t need waterproof makeup and nose-plugs, either.