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Working with assignments in InCopy

From: Collaborative Workflows with InDesign and InCopy

Video: Working with assignments in InCopy

When you're an InCopy user working with an InCopy workflow it's actually a little easier than working with layout based workflows, as long as you remember what it is that you need to open. Here I'm using Windows Explorer and I've navigated to the server. I am going to open up the Project folder and you have to remember you don't open up the InDesign layout. If you do, you just close it. What you want to do is go into the Assignments subfolder and then select the name of the assignment that you want to open. Notice that I'm not doing this from InCopy's File > Open menu, so this is an advantage of using Assignments that I can just double-click on the file that I want to open right from Explorer, because an ICMA file is associated with InCopy.

Working with assignments in InCopy

When you're an InCopy user working with an InCopy workflow it's actually a little easier than working with layout based workflows, as long as you remember what it is that you need to open. Here I'm using Windows Explorer and I've navigated to the server. I am going to open up the Project folder and you have to remember you don't open up the InDesign layout. If you do, you just close it. What you want to do is go into the Assignments subfolder and then select the name of the assignment that you want to open. Notice that I'm not doing this from InCopy's File > Open menu, so this is an advantage of using Assignments that I can just double-click on the file that I want to open right from Explorer, because an ICMA file is associated with InCopy.

The Assignment file opens up by default in Layout view, because this is what I had set it to in InCopy and it looks just like the Layout except that I am not seeing the rest of the pages of the layout. Now assuming I don't need to see those because they're not my responsibility, then this is great. It's fewer stories to deal with in the Story View. Just the ones on my spread. It opens up faster because there are fewer images to show. Everything else is about the same. I am going to go to the Assignments panel, and select the name in the category, the name of the assignment in this case. Check out guy at the bottom, and all the stories in the assignments are checked out.

Now, it is possible for the designer to associate these stories with a different assignment than with these stories. The smallest unit of assignment is a spread. So you'll never get an assignment that's just a single page if there is supposed to be a facing page next to it. But what would happen is that these stories would not be accessible to me. You can immediately see which stories are part of your assignments if you're having difficulty by going to the View menu, down to Extras, and choosing Show Assigned Frames.

Doing so will put a non-printing color overlay on top of the frames that are part of your assignments. So the frames that are not part of your assignment, they just appear normally. I don't find it particularly useful, but I suppose in a spread where some stories are not for you and some stories are it would be useful or if I went to the View menu and chose Hide Guides, I wouldn't be able to tell which stories had the adornments on them but here's a way that I can see which stories are editable to me even with Hide Guides on.

So that could be useful. There is another advantage of using assignments and let me show you what I mean. This has to do with when the designer saves changes to the InDesign file. I am in InDesign. One of my editors has this layout opened in InCopy, and I am going to go to the last page and change something on the last page, like I will take this frame and I'll just make it smaller, and then I am going to save the change to the InDesign file. Now if I look at my Assignments panel, you'll see that it's telling me that I also need to update this assignment lastspread, because the change that I made affected Kirk's spread.

So this is a little bit more work for the designer and that even after saving the InDesign file they have to remember to also save the assignment file. Why it doesn't update automatically? I don't know. A great feature request. But you always have to right-click and choose Update Selected Assignments, and here's a tip, designers. You should assign a keyboard shortcut to Update All Assignments. That way you can just press the keyboard shortcut whenever you do this. So now everything is up-to- date with the Assignments. But notice that if I go back to InCopy, the InCopy user was not notified that this layout is out-of-date.

We don't see an out-of-date thing appear. We don't see a little out-of-date icon at the top of the Assignments panel because the change that the designer made did not affect my assignments. Editors who are working in assignment based workflow are pestered less often if you're doing a lot of parallel work. If the designers often is working on the layout while the editors are editing stories in the layout. With their layout based workflow any change the designer makes to the layout even if they have no effect at all on the spread or stories that I'm working on, I'll never know that. It will always stay out-of-date and I'll wonder if she resized one of my frames.

I'll have to refresh the design or update the design in order to tell. But let's say that the designer did update something in this assignment. Let's do that. I'll go back to InDesign, and come over to Joe's assignments and we'll take the Shrubs story and move it over to just fit in one column. Then I'll save the change. The Assignments panel prompts me that this spread is out-of-date. I go back to InCopy. I'm not notified that it's out-of-date. All right! So this is like a little glitch or maybe something designers need to be careful is that when you are working with an assignments-based workflow, you have to remember to update the assignment every time you update the layout, if what you've updated affects the assignment.

Otherwise, your editor who has it opened will not know. Now, if the editor doesn't have it opened then don't worry about it. As soon as an editor opens up an assignment, it always shows as an up-to-date assignment. But if you're using the parallel workflow, then as a designer I'll need to remember to right-click on that assignment, choose Update, and I'll just say Update All Assignments and now in InCopy says out-of-date. I'll right-click and choose Update Design. It still says Design, it doesn't say Assignment, and now there is the smaller Shrubs text frame. From the InCopy perspective, six of one, a half dozen of the other if you're using a layout versus an assignment- based workflow, except the assignment workflow might have a few more advantages and that they're faster to open within the network, and they're not bothered so often by designers who are still working on the layout.

From the designer's perspective, it's a bit more work. There are more file formats to keep track of and to update.

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This video is part of

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  1. 3m 57s
    1. Welcome
      1m 25s
    2. Using the exercise files
      2m 32s
  2. 25m 58s
    1. Overview of this course
      3m 2s
    2. Understanding the parallel workflow
      6m 54s
    3. Rewards and challenges in the new workflow
      9m 3s
    4. Requirements and recommendations
      6m 59s
  3. 32m 52s
    1. Setting up projects and users
      3m 32s
    2. Understanding stories and frames
      7m 1s
    3. Making stories editable for InCopy from InDesign
      7m 25s
    4. Editing workflow stories in InCopy
      7m 32s
    5. Checking stories in and out
      4m 48s
    6. Completing a project in InDesign
      2m 34s
  4. 32m 34s
    1. Three main views of a file
      8m 37s
    2. Becoming familiar with default panels
      6m 4s
    3. Customizing the interface
      9m 4s
    4. Navigating stories and views
      8m 49s
  5. 43m 18s
    1. Working with the Assignments panel
      5m 15s
    2. Editing in Layout view
      8m 44s
    3. Editing in Story or Galley view
      10m 49s
    4. Copyfitting text
      5m 49s
    5. Inserting special characters
      6m 39s
    6. Importing text
      3m 34s
    7. Working with read-only layouts
      2m 28s
  6. 32m 6s
    1. Applying styles for copyfit
      7m 37s
    2. Applying local character formatting
      6m 53s
    3. Applying local paragraph formatting
      7m 10s
    4. Splitting and spanning columns
      5m 7s
    5. Using the Eyedropper tool to copy/paste formatting
      5m 19s
  7. 40m 27s
    1. Checking spelling
      4m 51s
    2. Using the language dictionaries
      3m 23s
    3. Using the thesaurus
      1m 46s
    4. Using Find/Change
      10m 34s
    5. Working with the Autocorrect feature
      2m 59s
    6. Building text macros
      4m 55s
    7. Using inline notes
      6m 22s
    8. Working with built-in scripts
      5m 37s
  8. 25m 36s
    1. Adding footnotes
      2m 22s
    2. Using conditional text
      6m 16s
    3. Creating hyperlinks
      3m 33s
    4. Inserting cross-references
      7m 29s
    5. Working with tables
      5m 56s
  9. 14m 25s
    1. Setting up and using Track Changes
      6m 4s
    2. Customizing the markup
      4m 7s
    3. Accepting and rejecting changes
      4m 14s
  10. 27m 30s
    1. Using the Position tool
      5m 14s
    2. Using the Object menu
      5m 58s
    3. Importing and replacing images
      6m 36s
    4. Inserting images into the story
      5m 22s
    5. Using Mini Bridge and Bridge
      4m 20s
  11. 25m 45s
    1. Creating new InCopy documents
      6m 54s
    2. Creating InCopy templates
      6m 10s
    3. Opening linked InCopy stories directly
      3m 20s
    4. Opening Word files in InCopy
      2m 59s
    5. Placing Buzzword files in InCopy
      6m 22s
  12. 23m 37s
    1. Exporting stories to Word, RTF, and Buzzword
      5m 2s
    2. Exporting layouts to PDF
      4m 36s
    3. Exporting galleys and stories to PDF
      7m 11s
    4. Printing from InCopy
      6m 48s
  13. 48m 17s
    1. Exporting stories from the layout
      10m 2s
    2. Working with the Assignments panel in InDesign
      7m 8s
    3. Editing and updating files
      7m 37s
    4. Using inline notes
      7m 39s
    5. Workflow features in the Links panel
      6m 0s
    6. Placing new InCopy files
      4m 15s
    7. Closing out of a project
      5m 36s
  14. 23m 29s
    1. Layout workflow overview
      8m 11s
    2. Updating stories and designs
      11m 38s
    3. Tips for successful layout workflows
      3m 40s
  15. 27m 16s
    1. Creating assignments in InDesign
      12m 19s
    2. Working with assignments in InCopy
      5m 22s
    3. Keeping layout files local
      2m 42s
    4. Solving common assignment issues
      6m 53s
  16. 19m 0s
    1. Creating assignment packages in InDesign
      4m 42s
    2. Working with assignment packages in InCopy
      5m 20s
    3. Keeping packages up to date
      2m 33s
    4. Using DropBox with an InCopy workflow
      6m 25s
  17. 4m 27s
    1. Community help and resources
      4m 11s
    2. Goodbye
      16s

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