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In Collaborative Workflows with InDesign and InCopy Anne-Marie Concepción shows how Adobe InCopy and InDesign work together, helping editors and designers collaborate on publications, and save time and money, with no additional hardware, software, or expensive publication management systems. This course shows how to set up for the workflow, how to address cross-platform Mac and Windows issues when working in a mixed environment, how to work with remote writers and designers, and how to integrate with Microsoft Word. Exercise files are included with the course.
Let's talk about the rewards and challenges of moving to the workflow. It's always a big deal to change the way that you work, especially moving from a linear workflow to a parallel workflow, I know. So, you really need to get a handle on why should you do it, why should you move, what are the advantages? But also, it's not all peaches and cream. All right, I don't work for Adobe, so I feel perfectly fine in telling you about some of the challenges that I've seen some clients encounter, but also how they work through the challenges. So the rewards are, first of all, that it is a much more accurate workflow.
Because editors and writers can write to fit exactly, because they are writing within the layout using the same fonts and the same styles that the designers are, then if the story goes too long, they don't have to wait for the printout to come back, and be told, "This story is five lines too long. You need to edit it." They can edit it to fit. Obviously, this is not so critical for those kinds of publications where editorial pushes design, where if the editors write ten pages then the publication is ten pages long.
But in many cases, like magazines, newsletters, brochures, there are a finite number of pages that you can write to a finite amount of space. This alone saves so much time is turnarounds in editing is being able to see from the get-go how much room you have to write, and to write to fit. It gives the editors more power and more access. First of all, they can save hours of time in not having to handwrite all their markups. If you have ever tried to explain to somebody how to fix something by writing the instructions, rather than just doing the fix yourself, you know what I mean.
It takes a long time to write out exactly what you want done. It's a lot faster for editors to just make the change themselves. Plus, InCopy allows editors to open up any InDesign layout that they have access to. Even if the stories have not been made editable to them, they can still open it up. They can still print it out, and make a PDF out of it. They can still select copy in there, and copy it to the clipboard and paste it into the publication they are working on now or into a Word file or an e-mail. It's kind of like Reader is for PDFs. InCopy allows any person with InCopy to open up in InDesign layout, even if they don't have a fonts loaded.
They'll just see the substituted fonts. It's pretty cool that way. Another big reward of moving to this workflow are that designers are freed up to actually design. Now in many cases, a lot of their time is taking up with translating all this markups, and making sure they got the markup correct and having somebody compare proof two to proof three, and proof three to proof four where all that suggested or requested corrections were made; all that is out the window. So since the editors are making the vast majority of changes themselves, what are the designers doing? They're actually improving their design.
They're creating new projects that were always on the backburner. They're redesigning logos or mastheads. They can actually do what they are expert at. So because of all these factors, in the end you have far faster turnaround cycles in getting a job out the door. From inception to completion, I can tell you that most of my clients have told me that after they've moved to InCopy and InDesign, they've saved, no lie, between 50 and 80% of the turnaround time it used to take to get a job out. I've had book publishers tell me they feel much more confident in doing last-minute jobs, or jobs that they never would have considered before they moved to InCopy, because they know they can turn it around in a week or two, whereas, before it might have taken a month or two months.
It's a very flexible and forgiving kind of workflow. It's not a big investment. InCopy is about $250. You just need to install it on the editorial workstations. Once you do that, you're ready to go. InDesign is already set up, good to go, to work with InCopy. It already comes with the plug- ins and the commands necessary. So you could just have a few people try out InCopy, while everybody does it the normal way, or you can have people using InCopy just for the late stage edits, right? You continue using Word and paper proofs for the first two or three proofing rounds.
Then late stage edits, you start having the editors open them up in InCopy. You can always change your mind, or you can always combine it with Word. It's not like a huge publishing system that everybody has to buy into, and then you can't go back to your old of way working. I like its flexibility. So what about some of those challenges that I mentioned? Well, I think the main challenge, it has really nothing to do with technology, or having to memorize new keyboard shortcuts, or get used to new interface. It's actually a workplace culture shift. For some companies, not for everybody, but especially when all the art departments in one corner of the building and editorials in another corner of the building, they don't hang out together.
They don't talk with each other that much. They don't go to each other's baby showers, and not each others secret Santas. Putting everybody together with an InCopy InDesign workflow really throws everybody together. The editors and designers are constantly working together, like, for example, the designers might need to simplify and rename the styles used in their publications, so that the editors understand, this is a subhead, this is the first body paragraph, and so on. The editors sometimes they need to edit a story that the designers forgot to make editable for them in the layout.
So they'll have to call up the designer, and say, can you please export the caption on page three, and so on. So they're working much more closely than before. This can be disruptive for some companies, but it's definitely worth it. Another challenge is that it's less of a paper trail. You do not have first proof, second proof, third proof, ninth proof, nth proof. If you remember from when I talked abut showing the layout workflow, basically you have one version. When a story is made editable, then that is the final version that you're working on, even if the story is empty to begin with.
So if you're accustomed to doing Save As version one, version two, version three, you're not going to have that. It is possible to do some sort of export to PDFs, so you can see what it look like on a certain date. You can call that proof 1 or proof 2. But saving something as actually adds to the confusion. You do have Track Changes of course, which is available now InDesign and InCopy, so that people can change their mind about text edits. In general, what I found very interesting, among all the companies that I worked with who've moved to this workflow, is that a few months later when I follow up to see how they're doing, and I asked them about this issue, if this was an issue for them? They'll say, oh yeah, that's right.
Suddenly they're not worried about it anymore, because it has worked itself out. So while it may look like a huge obstacle in most cases, it really turns out to be a molehill. Another challenge, "is that editors can format type." Some designers and art directors freak out when they realize the editors could actually select all this text, and make it two points if they want to, and they're doing that to the InDesign layout. There is really no way, with the straight off-the-shelf InDesign InCopy Workflow, technically, that you can prevent an editor from doing that.
You can't lock them out from those commands. But I can tell you that in most cases, people are adults about it, that the designers work with the editors, and say, here are the styles that you can apply if you want to apply styles. You don't have to apply the styles. We can apply the styles if you want. You can work exactly how you're working now in Word and InDesign, where the designers apply all the formatting, and all that editors do is actually edit text, or you can give them more leeway and say, "If you want to go ahead and apply styles, here are the basic styles you need to apply." So it's usually just, everybody acts like adults and they go according to guidelines, just like in lots of other things.
Now another challenge that's sort of related is that editors cannot do layout. In some workplaces, editors have what they call a copyediting workstation, or sometimes the editors are working, they have their own copy of InDesign, or even of QuarkXPress, where they're doing some layout sort of work while they're editing text. You really can't do that with InCopy. InCopy doesn't have a Selection tool. If you know what InDesign is all about, you can see how significant that is. There is no way that an editor can select a text frame, and make it larger, or even add a new frame, or add a page.
All they can do is edit the contents of the frames that the designers have prepared for them. So that is the challenge. If editors are used to having that kind of control, they don't have that anymore. You might need additional software. There are answers for lack of a paper trail, editors can format type, that kind of thing. There are publishing systems that do allow you to set up user roles and privileges that do do automatic versioning, that kind of thing. They're built on top of InDesign and InCopy. Systems like the Zune or from WoodWing Software, or Smart Connection, and there are probably five or ten more that you might want to consider moving up to if this off-the-shelf workflow doesn't work for you.
So keep that in mind. Of course, you're going to have to create a new production flowchart, because once you bring an InCopy, everybody has to figure out, well, when do we start using InCopy? Who does what, when? When we can sign off and something? So you're going to have to come up with the new production flowchart. So yes, of course, moving to a new workflow, there are going to be some challenges. But just remember the rewards that I've never had a company moved to InCopy and decide, forget about it. We can't deal with it. We're going to go back to working with paper printouts. They've never done that. The rewards are far more significant than any challenges you'll encounter.
You're going to love it.
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