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In InCopy, your best friend is the Assignments panel. You'll find the Assignments panel at the top of the panel dock, on the right-hand side. If you don't see the Assignments panel there, or if you don't see the panel dock at all, remember you should change the workspace from the default Essentials to Advanced. When you choose the Advanced workspace, then the Assignment panel will appear at the top of the panel dock. You might need to choose Reset Advanced if it says Advanced and you're not seeing it. Otherwise, the Assignments panel will always be the first one in the list under the Window menu, in the area where it lists all of the panels in alphabetical order.
You can always open and close it from there. So the Assignments panel tells you the name of the current document, and it lists all of the editable workflow stories in this file. You might need to twirl the triangle open. So here we've opened up an INDD, an actual InDesign file, and because we're using a layout-based workflow, we don't see any actual assignments. I will cover that in more detail in Chapter 14. Instead, we see a list of all of the editable stories in one category, called Unassigned InCopy Content.
So you twirl that open, and then you'll see all the editable stories here. If you click inside of a story in the Layout view, or actually in any view, that same story will be highlighted in the Assignments panel. If you double-click a story in the Assignments panel, like this one that says sidebar head, then the layout will move and put your cursor in that story. So here, it's actually inside a story called The Wildflowers of Joshua Tree. It's kind of hard to see, but it's blinking there on the left-hand side. So they kind of talk to each other.
The stories that you see in the document are the same stories that you see listed in the Assignments panel. If you happen to click in the story that is not editable to you, like the footer at the very bottom of the last page right here, then nothing becomes highlighted in the Assignments panel. So this story, though you can select text in it, is read-only to you. So it's another way that the Assignments panel can help you. If you click inside a story and nothing's highlighted, then you know that the designer didn't export the story to the InCopy workflow, and if you need to edit it, you can call up the designer and say, hey! What's this story man? You've got to export this.
I know that I'm using Layout to show you how the Assignments panel works, but it actually works in any of the three views. So on Story view, if I click inside of a different story, that gets highlighted there. If I double-click a story in the Assignments panel, my cursor jumps to the story called pull 1 here, as well. It's way down here at the bottom. At the bottom the Assignments panel, it tells you your user name, in case you forgot, and then there are icons to do things like update the design, update content of stories when they're out of date, and then also to check stories in and out. So there are many ways to check stories in and out.
This is something that I covered earlier. But one of the most convenient ways is simply to click at the top of the Assignments panel, right underneath the name of the actual file you have opened, click on the name Unassigned InCopy Contents, or if you're using an Assignments workflow, click on the name of the assignments and then click the little checkout icon. This will check out all of the stories in that category at once. It's the fastest way to work, if you're basically the only editor working in this layout. If I switch to Layout view, you can see the same pencil icons appear in all the stories.
I'm going to select the category and check them all back in, and that's something you can't undo, so you always get this alert. At some point you can choose Don't show again so it doesn't keep showing in that same thing, and now they are all available to be worked on again. Once you've checked out of story, like I'm going to check out of this story up here, this pull quote, I'm just going to click inside it and then click on the little icon down here. Once you check out a story, you can actually rename it in the Assignments panel. So I can click inside the Assignments panel right on the selected story name and call it national monuments pull quotes, and then press Enter or Return, and this might make it easier for me to find this pull quote in a long document if I had a really long list of stories, for example, I can just double-click here.
So anybody who can check out a story can rename the story in the Assignments panel. This is not renaming the actual linked InCopy file that's sitting on the server; you wouldn't want that to happen because otherwise all of these links would break, because we're linked to that InCopy file. This is kind of like a cosmetic change, and it is these cosmetic changes are saved in a little extra file that gets generated on the server in your stories folder, so that anybody who opens up this layout will see your new names. It's not just for you; it's for everybody. The Assignments panel has a panel menu, like most of the panels in InCopy, and it's at the upper right- hand corner of the panel.
If you click it, you'll see some useful commands, especially like if you're using a Remote workflow, we'll be talking about this in a later chapter. Here are some commands if you're not a big fan of buttons. You can always come to the Panel menu and choose these commands. And if the commands are dimmed, that means that they're not accessible to you at this point. So like Check In All just means whichever story you have checked out you can check them in all at once. So let's go ahead and do that, and again, you get that same alert. Both InDesign and InCopy have an Assignments panel, and it helps users focus on exactly what it is they're editing in a workflow.
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