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Let's talk about checking stories in and out briefly. I want to focus on this because it's something that you do very often, sounds a little confusing if you're new to the workflow, and it's pretty simple. It's what prevents two users from editing the same story at the same time. You already know that you can have more than one InCopy user open up the same layout at once, and one InDesign user can also have that layout open at the same time that the InCopy users have it open. Now you don't all have to open it and work on it at once. Sometimes you might want to set up a schedule where the designers work on something, and then they go on to another project while the editors do their editing to it. That's up to you.
But regardless of what happens, you will have to check stories out in order to edit them when they've been added to the workflow. As you can see, this document, which I have opened in InCopy, and I'll zoom in with Ctrl+Plus a few times, has a number of stories that are editable to me, and I can tell that by this little icon on the frame that means that it's editable. If I go up to the View menu, and I go to Extras and choose Hide Frame Edges, or if the designer saved this layout with frame edges hidden, then you see I don't see the little icon. So it's another reason to always show frame edges.
However, even with the frame edges hidden, the Assignments panel, if I keep it open, will always tell me the status of the different stories, so that I can tell, at a glance, that all my stories are available to be checked out by me, because they all have the globe and piece of paper icon. I'm going to go ahead and go back to View and change that setting so that I can see the frame edges. To check out a story, there are so many ways to do it. One of the simplest way is to just start typing in the story.
Let's say that I wanted to delete the word Japonica, so I'm going to double-click it here in InCopy in the text frame and press the Delete key, or the Backspace key. And what happens is InCopy says, hey buddy, you got to check out the contents of that text frame, if you want to do any kind of editing. Shall I check it out now for you, master? Well yes, James, please do so. And then I can just press Enter or Return, and it checks it out for me. So, that's a very intuitive way, just to start typing inside of a story, and it'll check it out for you if it needs to be checked out.
When a story is checked out by you, then it appears with a pencil icon, meaning that you are currently editing it, and you'll see it with the pencil icon here in the Layout view and here in the Assignments panel. If you switch to Galley or Story view, you don't see any pencil icon, but the status tells you that you are currently editing the story, as opposed to Available, which is the globe and piece of paper. If another InCopy or InDesign user has this document open, what they would see is a pencil with a slash through it.
Here I'm in InDesign, and I'm going to zoom in with Command+Plus or Ctrl+Plus. There's a pencil icon here, and in my Assignments panel, I also see the pencil icon with a slash through it. The tooltip also tells me who is currently editing the story. That's that yellow tooltip, and it's something that you can turn off in Preferences if starts bugging you after a while. Here in InDesign, I would also need to check out a story if I want to edit it. If I want to get rid of the a at the end of this word and I press the Delete or Backspace key, I would get the prompt to check out the story. Yes please, check it out for me. And then I can go ahead and edit it if I wanted to.
Let's go back to InCopy, and so here's a story that I'm currently editing. There's the pencil icon, here is a story that Anne, the designer, is currently editing. If I couldn't tell it from the tooltip, I can tell it from the pencil icon with a slash through it. And this story is editable, because it has the globe and piece of paper, and that's what the tooltip tells me as well. So, those are the three main status symbols, I guess you call them, for InCopy workflow stories: editing, locked and available. And that's really all you need to know. Now there are much faster ways than just clicking inside every individual story and starting to type text.
You could also use keyboard shortcuts. You can right-click and choose Check Out. There's the keyboard shortcut there. Or what I usually do is I'll just click on the name of the Unassigned InCopy Content category and then click the little icon at the bottom of the Assignments panel, which will check out all stories that are available to me to be checked out. Nice and simple. And it's a toggle, so I can click it again to check them all back in. Because you can't undo that, you'll get this little warning that's - don't worry about it - that you can't undo checking in, and then that's the end of the story.
So checking in and checking out stories, while at first they may seem a little strange, pretty soon you are not even going to notice it anymore, and then it'll becomes second nature.
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