What is a Live Copy?

These articles applies to: Designer Pro version 7 and above

Live Copy:

Live Copies

What Are Live Copies?

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Live Copies give you a way of having multiple copies of an object that are linked together so that if one Copy is changed they all change. However each Live Copy can be transformed independently, so for example you could have larger and smaller versions of the same Live Copy, or perhaps copies with different rotations.

How do Live Copies differ from Repeating Objects?

  • Live Copies allow for multiple instances of the same object on the same page.
  • Live Copies do not have to share a common position like Repeating obects do
  • Live Copies can be transformed independently unlike Repeating objects

Are Live Copies Groups?

In common with Repeating Objects and many other advanced object types in Designer Pro, Live Copies are a special type of group. The object or objects that constitute the Live Copy reside inside a ‘Live Copy Group’. You can see this structure if you examine a Live Copy in the Page & Layer Gallery where it’s called a “Live Copy Group”, but on the status line when selected the shorter term “Live Copy” is used.

Creating Live Copies

You can turn any object or group into a Live Copy. Just select the object and choose Arrange->Create Live Copy. A second Copy of the object appears and the two copies are ‘linked’ in that if either one is edited the other Copy updates to match. But you can move and transform the two objects independently, placing them on the same page or on different pages.

You can make more copies of the Live Copy the same way you Copy normal objects, using Copy/paste, duplicate, right-click drag, etc.. Each Copy you make belongs to the same ‘family’ of Live Copies and so editing one also changes all the others.

The keyboard shortcut for creating a Live Copy is Ctrl+Alt+Shift+c

Editing Live Copy groups

Global edits

Changes applied to one instance of a Live Copy are automatically applied to all other instances of the Live Copy.

The objects inside the Live Copy Group are common to all the linked Live Copies. So if you change objects inside the group those changes are reflected in all the linked Live Copies.

Local edits

Each instance of a Live Copy can be transformed independently (move, scale, rotate or skew it using the Selector Tool)

Selecting inside Live Copy groups

As with all groups, you need to select the object or objects inside the Live Copy to edit them directly, so that the changes are reflected in all copies. Double click the Live Copy group. This will cause a Edit inside document to open allowing you to select the objects inside the Live Copy group.

Alternatively Ctrl click on an object within a Live group to select it directly.

Stop Updating

The Arrange->”Stop updating” operation allows you to turn a Live Copy into a normal object that is no longer linked to others. When you apply this operation you are asked whether you want this to be done only to the Live Copy you selected, or also to all the Live Copies linked to it.

Example Assume you have a photo as a Live Copy, any edits you perform with the Photo Tool on the photo inside the Live Copy group are global edits - all copies of the Live Copy will get the same photo edit. But if you select the Live Copy, instead of the photo inside, and make it bigger by resizing it with the Selector Tool, only that Live Copy is resized. Other copies will not change in size.

Further Information

  • Feather, Shadow and Transparency can be applied to a group and not only to the objects inside the group. They are therefore treated as a Local Edit when applied to a Live Copy.
  • Live Copies force "Scale LineWidths" and "Transform Fills" switches to be on within themselves. So for instance, a thin line in a Live Copy will always become wider when you scale the Live Copy up, even if the "Scale line widths" switch is off. This is done to ensure that Live Copies can be reliably updated from each other without unexpected changes.
  • Ctrl+Delete will delete just the selected Live Copy without asking the question about whether you want to delete all or just this.
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