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Up and Running with InCopy CS5
Illustration by John Hersey

Delegating stories with assignments


From:

Up and Running with InCopy CS5

with Chad Chelius

Video: Delegating stories with assignments

When you have multiple users accessing the same layout, it can become a bit confusing as to who should be editing which piece of content in the layout. Assignments help you to deal with this situation, by delegating stories to specific users. I'm beginning this video with InDesign already open on my computer. And I'm going to go to the File menu and choose Open. And I'm going to navigate to the Collaborating 6 folder in my Project Files folder. And I'm going to open the Flowers_1.indd file.

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Up and Running with InCopy CS5
3h 8m Beginner Jul 28, 2011

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Many Adobe InDesign users create articles in programs like Microsoft Word, then place their content into an InDesign layout, which only the designer has access to. InCopy provides a two-way street where editors and writers can edit content in InDesign while a designer simultaneously works on the design portion of the project, and the text formatting is retained in both programs. In this course, learn how to write content using InCopy, style text appropriately so that it transfers to the InDesign layout, and make content available to writers and editors from within InDesign. Author Chad Chelius also ensures you get a handle working with tables, Track Changes, graphics, and templates in InCopy.

Topics include:
  • Understanding the role of InCopy
  • The InCopy interface and workspaces
  • Working with InCopy documents
  • Creating InCopy stories
  • Workflows between InCopy and InDesign
  • Using Track Changes and notes
  • Working faster with built-in tools
  • Printing and exporting
Subjects:
Design video2brain
Software:
InCopy
Author:
Chad Chelius

Delegating stories with assignments

When you have multiple users accessing the same layout, it can become a bit confusing as to who should be editing which piece of content in the layout. Assignments help you to deal with this situation, by delegating stories to specific users. I'm beginning this video with InDesign already open on my computer. And I'm going to go to the File menu and choose Open. And I'm going to navigate to the Collaborating 6 folder in my Project Files folder. And I'm going to open the Flowers_1.indd file.

Now this is a layout that has several stories in it. And I'd like to be able to have certain people edit certain stories. Now, in the workflow when you make stories available to a user, there's really no way to delegate to which user, which stories they should be editing. So Assignments allow me to have a little bit more control in dealing with that. So to begin, I'm going to come over here to the Assignments panel. And if I expand these disclosure triangles, we can see that I've got a total of five stories here, that I want to make available to certain users.

And you can see here that all these stories are underneath a category called Unassigned Incopy Content. So what I'm going to do for simplicity's sake, I thought what I would do is maybe make the perennials available to one person who's editing, and the annuals available to another. Maybe they have certain specialties and that's how we're going to delegate. So the way that this works is, I am going to come down here to the bottom of the Assignments panel, and I am going to click the New Assignment button, and what I am going to do is give this assignment a name. Now the name could be specific to an editor, it could be specific to a topic or category.

So maybe what I will do in this particular case, is I am just going to call this Editor 1 and I could assign it to a person if I wanted to, but I should also point out that there's really no permissions based management inside of this workflow. It's really the honor system up to a certain point. So I'm going to leave Assign To blank, and I could give it a color if I prefer, give it something, maybe a of little bit different color, if I make this one purple.

Now it also allows me to specify a Location for the Assignment File. You can see that by default, its automatically creating a folder for me. You can see its creating a folder called Collaborating_6flowers1 assignments, and then creating Assignment called editor1.ICMA. I'm going to go ahead and leave that at the default, and then for Include, here we have a couple of options. We have the option to include only place holder frames, which would be just where the actual photos are located.

We can do Assigned Spreads, which is only the spreads that contain stories in the Assignment. Or we can do All Spreads now, the default is a sign spreads and that is how I am going to leave this. At the bottom here we have a check box, to link Image Files from Packaging, and that allows me to include these Files, when I Package them. So, I am going to go ahead and click OK, and you are going to notice that it is a New Assignment. Now, what I am going to do is, I am going to create yet another Assignment. Let us click this button again, let's give this a name of Editor2, and we'll leave the defaults once again, at the same status, so we'll click OK.

Now, here's a step that you really need to remember to perform, because at this point in time, the Assignments have no stories in them, all they are is blank documents. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to select the tulips, the azaleas, and I'm just holding the Cmd key on Mac or the Ctrl key on Windows, to select these in a non-contiguous manner, and then I'll Cmd click on lilies to Select All of them. I'm going to assign them to Editor1, and then I'll select zinnias and sunflowers, and assign them to Editor2.. Now when I do that, you're going to notice that these two files are out of date. If you look at the message, it says the Assignment is out of date. So what we can do is we can click on one of these Assignments, and then if I come up to the panel menu, I can choose Update Selected Assignments, or if they all need to be updated we can just kill two birds with one stone and choose Update All Assignments.

Now you can see those assignments have been updated. So I'm going to Save my InDesign document, and now let's take a look at what the InCopy user sees. Now, here's a point to make, and that is, if you incorporate this into your workflow, at this point in time, the InCopy user is no longer going to open the InDesign document, they're going to open up the Assignment. And the assignment is essentially an instance of the layout. Now what I'm going to do, is I'm going to switch over the InCopy, I'm going to click the Open button, so I'll do a open document.

And in the collaborating six folder, you're now going to see that we have a Flowers Assignments Folder. And within there I have two separate Assignments, and this is where Editor1 would open up their assignment, and Editor2 theirs. So let's open up Editor1, I'll click Open, now if I go into Layout View you're going to notice that zennias and sunflowers is grayed out. Because those stories are not part of this assignment, and therefore I cannot edit it.

However, Tulips, Azaleas, and Lilies, are part of the assignment, I can see that over here, if I go to the Assignments panel. And I can check these out, any way I like. A quick way to check out all these stories in your Assignment is to click on the Assignment itself, and then click the Check Out selection button and then all three stories will be checked out. Now in addition I can go to the File menu and choose Open, and I'll select editor2 Assignment, go to Layout View.

And now you can see that the Editor2 Assignment would only allow me to edit zinnias and sunflowers, but not any of these stories, and this is really how this management works. You can delegate to certain users. Now I'm going to close the Editor2 Assignment. We'll go back to the Editor1 Assignment. And I should point out that you are not able to delegate Assignments within InCopy. That's one thing that I'm not able to do. So what I'll do is I'll check all these stories back in. So I can just click on the Assignment itself and say Check In Selection. And it tells me that it cannot reverse this change with an undo, 'cuz it's basically, if I made any changes it's committing it to that story file. So I'm going to click OK, now they're all checked back in. And let's say I return back to InDesign, and I'm realizing, oh, you know what, I made a mistake.

They all have different specialties, and I think I want Editor2 to also edit the tulips. Now what I'm going to do just to make sure I'm up to date in InDesign, is I'm going to click on the Editor1 Assignment, and then I'm going to come down here and choose Update Content, and that will update all of those stories at once. Well watch this. If I click on the tulip story, and I drag it and drop it onto the Editor2 Assignment, that story has now been moved to that Editor2 Assignment. Now what I can do is I need to update these assignments because they changed. So I will Cmd click on Mac or Cntl click on Windows, and then I'll go to the panel menu, and choose Update Selected Assignments.

Now they're up to date. So I'm going to return back to InCopy one more time, and in InCopy, look at this, the assignment is out of date, because the file was open. So in InCopy I need to recognize that, I'm seeing that it's out of date so I'm going to go to the panel menu and I'm going to choose Update Design. That is, in turn, going to update this assignment, and you'll notice now, that tulips is no longer available for me. One last thing to show you, is back in InDesign, if you are working, and especially if you decided, you know what, Zenia is now finished.

We're not going to let anybody edit this any longer, you can take this story, and you can drag it back to the Unassigned InCopy Content Category. We can then Update This Assignment, and now, this is not available to any of these assignments. And this is how you can delegate a little bit inside of InDesign and InCopy, and it's also one of the big reasons why you really need to be on a shared volume, to ensure that all of this can happen simultaneously.

As you can see, once these assignments are created, and you've incorporated them into your workflow, you add a level of control to your layout, and the directions become clear as to who should be editing certain content.

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