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Okay, boys and girls! We are going to really get into the nitty-gritty of the workflow in this video. I'm going to show you what happens when you check stories out and check them back in, not just what they look like in InDesign and InCopy, but what's happening on the server. Because it's actually pretty simple, but it's illuminating. It will help you understand what's happening when stories develop that little yellow triangle that says they are out of date, or when stories have the pencil with the red slash through it. This is the kind of stuff that you deal with everyday when you're working with InDesign and InCopy.
So what's happening here is I have the same layout open in both InCopy and InDesign. InCopy on Windows, InDesign on the Mac. Right now, we're in InCopy. We have a bunch of stories in the workflow, but I haven't checked anything out. So the first thing I'm going to do is I'm going to zoom in to this story with Command+Plus or Ctrl+Plus and we're going to check this story out. I'll do it this time just by right -clicking and choosing Check Out. Because I've checked this story out, it gets a little pencil icon in the layout, and also in the Assignments panel, which tells us the status of all of our stories.
In Story and Galley in InCopy, it says that we are Editing the story, okay, so you don't see icons in the story bars. Now if I switch over to InDesign, which has the same layout open, you'll see that the same story has a pencil with a red slash through it. Let's zoom in there with Command+Plus or Ctrl+Plus. The icon doesn't get any bigger. But somehow psychologically I think it is, when I'm zooming in.
You can see that it is now locked to the InDesign user. The tooltip, if I hover over the story, tells me that Joe is currently editing this story. It also tells me where on the server it's located. If I look in the Assignments panel, I'll see the same icon. If I hover over the status, I'll get the tooltip telling me who is actually working on the story. What if two editors had the same layout opened in InCopy at the same time on their respective computers? Why does one person see the pencil with the slash through it, while the other one has checked it out? Well, what's happening is that whenever you check out a story in InCopy or in InDesign, whenever you Check Out one of these stories, an invisible lock file is generated on the server.
I've got this little utility that lets us see these invisible files. If I open up the stories folder, you can see that this story, which was called Shrubs Lovely and started with the cat. All right, this story has this little invisible file that was generated. InDesign and every copy of InCopy, whenever you have a layout opened, it's constantly checking the stories folder to see if any of these invisible lock files appear. If they have appeared, then it says, oh, this story is locked to you.
There is actually some information inside this lock file. You can actually open it up in the text editor that identifies the user who opened it up. So this is why the user gets the pencil icon, and everybody else gets a pencil with a slash icon. When you check the story back in, let's do that. I'm going to check this story back in, all the way here. You can reverse this with Undo. That's fine. Then in InDesign, and in any other InCopy users' view, when if they have the same layout opened, the icon reverts to available, the globe with the piece of paper.
For some reason in InDesign, it also thinks it's out of date, which I personally think is a bug. There is probably some reason for it. But the editor made no changes. But I'm just going to go ahead and choose Update Content. So on the server that invisible lock file has disappeared. That actually disappeared as soon as the InCopy user checked the story in and out. All right, so that's how the magic happens. Now you know. It says lock files. You can't really see the log files. You can see the ones that InDesign creates, when you open up an InDesign file. But you can't see the ones that are created when you check out a story, the InCopy story lock files.
Unless you have the special utility that lets you see those invisible lock files. I will actually recommend that you get one. because those lock files can sometimes cause trouble if you crash and then they get left behind, that kind of thing. You need to actually go in there manually and delete them. So definitely get one of those. It will help you with troubleshooting. All right, let's go back to the story. I'm going to Check it Out again. I'm again in InCopy. Now I'm going to change some of this text. So instead of Shrubs, I'll call them Bushes, Lovely Bushes. Anybody else who has this layout, this text will immediately update. No! See just testing, see if you're on your toes.
No, it won't immediately update. You might think, well, it won't update, because you haven't chosen Update yet. But look, there is not even a little yellow triangle here. It's not even telling me that it's out of date. Why isn't it doing that? It's not doing that, because I haven't saved my changes yet in InCopy. You already know how that pencil icon appears and the pencil with the slash, because of the invisible lock file. What happens with that little yellow triangle that tells you your story is out of date or not is again a little file on the server, not invisible. I have it right here.
In Windows, in Windows Explorer, we're looking at the contents of the stories folder. Both InDesign and InCopy, whenever they have a layout open and there are workflow stories in that layout, they're constantly checking the stories folder to look at the date and time that that story was modified. From the first time that they showed you, if the date that it was modified is unchanged, then according to them it's up-to-date. The date does not modify, this does not change until you actually save the change.
Then it says oh, it was modified at a later time. So let's come back here and save the change to this story that was originally called shrubs if you remember. I'm going to go up to File and choose Save Content, or I can just press Ctrl+S, something like that. Then let's check again at that folder to look at the time change. So we can see the new date and timestamp for the date of modification for that story back in Windows Explorer. So I'll just go back to the stories folder. I need to close and open it to refresh the view, so that it updates its little timestamp.
Then we scroll down to where that story is located, cat-Shrubs, and see it was modified at 4:44, instead of 4:20. So now that it has a different modification date, I can go ahead and close this. We go back to InDesign and after a second or two the yellow triangle appears, because it has pinged to the server and found that it's a different modification time and it knows that it's out of date. So sometimes this little yellow triangle will appear immediately and sometimes it might take 10 or 20 seconds.
It really all depends on your network traffic. I've tried to ask the Adobe engineers how often do InDesign and InCopy check that stories folder for the invisible lock files and for the time and date stamps. I've never been able to get a straight answer, but I've heard estimates that it might be something like every five seconds or so. It's just a little tiny ping that it does. So now that I see the yellow triangle, I can update it. Now the thing is that in the real world, you're working in InDesign. If you have a couple of editors who're also hacking away the same layout while you're busy designing it, you're going to see this little yellow triangles appear all over the place as they save changes to the stories.
Do you need to update it all the time? No. Of course not, you can just ignore them if you want. But if for some reason, you want to see what they've done, what they've changed, you can always just update them one by one, or what I usually do is in the Assignments panel, I'll just select the name of the category, Unassigned InCopy Content, and then click the Update Content icon, which will update all the stories that you need updated at once in one fell swoop. The same is true in InCopy. Let me change the view to Fit-In Window. If there is another editor, who has the same layout opened and they are saving changes to stories that they've checked out, or maybe the designer has checked out stories in InDesign, and they're saving changes to those stories, I will also see those little yellow triangles popping up occasionally, as those changes are saved and as InCopy checks the modification dates and puts little yellow triangles up.
Do I need to update everything single story as soon as it appears? No. I can just ignore it. If I want to, I can close the document and nothing bad will happen at all. But if I do want to see, if I am curious what it is that they've changed, of course, I can do the same exact thing I just did in InDesign. I can update each individual story, or I can open up the Assignments panel, select the category Unassigned InCopy Content. Then well, nothing is out of date, so this is dimmed. But I can click Update Content and it'll update. Now when you open up a layout in InCopy that has some modified stories, it will automatically update those stories as it opens.
So whenever any InCopy user opens up a layout, they're always seeing the latest version of everything. It's a slightly different in InDesign. If I open up a layout that has modified stories since the last time I had it opened, because say, an editor was working in stories, then I'll get a prompt asking if I want to update the modified files or not when I open it. I can say Yes. It'll go ahead and update them all, or I can say No. Then I'll see the little yellow triangles in my layout. So you have a little bit more control in InDesign than you do in InCopy. Now you know what happens when you update stories. What happens when you update the design? I mean the designer could for example, decide that they need to add a couple of more pages to this, or maybe they want to add another frame or change something.
Maybe they take this frame here and make it little larger, maybe impinge on some of the story. So even changes that I make that don't affect any of the text frames. These are design changes. As soon as I save my change, then in InCopy, we will detect a later modification date for the actual layout. Now it's kind of hard to see here. Do you see any yellow triangles? No. But I see something right up here. In the title of this document window it says Out Of Date.
So it's a very subtle little cue that the design itself is out of date. If you happen to be scrolled up to the very top of the Assignments panel, you'll see the yellow triangle next to the INDD file entering itself. This is a feature request for me is that I wish that InDesign or Adobe would make a more obvious InCopy users when the design is out of date, rather than you always happen to keep an eye up here. But normally, in the real world what happens is that if the designer makes a change to a layout and they know that you're working on that spread, they'll probably call you and say, "I had to remove your frame, or I had to make a picture bigger.
If you want to update the design go ahead," or they'll just say, "you can ignore it, what I did has no effect on the stories that you're working with." But let's say that I do want to get the most up-to-date version of this layout in InCopy. How do I that? You go to the File menu and choose Update Design, or you can go to the top of the Assignments panel, right- click, and choose Update Design. When you do that, you're always going to get this alert. It warns you that it's going to have to close the file. It's not going to check the stories back in. You don't have to worry about that. But will have to save any changes that you've made to these stories that you haven't saved yet.
So it's asking, "are you sure? Is it okay for me to save all these things, buddy?" You'll say, "yeah, yeah, go ahead." So you click Yes. What happens is it saves your changes. It closes the document. It immediately reopens the document. Your stories are still checked out yourself, but that now you see the latest changes made by the designer. So it's nice and simple. The editors can update stories, and the design. The designers just need to worry about updating the stories. Everything is done by these little icons in the Layout View and in the Assignments panel.
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