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One of my favorite kind of quiet features about InCopy is how it's actually an InDesign reader. Even if your designers say, no way, I am not going to go to the trouble of exporting these stories to InCopy, you can still use InCopy to at least access all of your archives. So you can select text from there, you can export them to PDF, you can make your own printouts without having to bug the designers for it all the time. So let me show what I mean. I'm going to go ahead and open up an InDesign file that is completely unprepared for InCopy workflow, and if you're following along, you can do the same thing.
When you do so, what's going to happen is you're going to get an alert that says "Because this document contains no InCopy stories, Galley View and Story View are not available," because, as you know by now, Galley and Story View, their only purpose for being is to show you all of the editable content in the file. And if there's no editable content in the file, Adobe has decided, forget it. We are not even going to show you the views. I don't know why they can't just show the views with nothing in them. If you are actually thinking that you can edit text in here, if you are opening up a layout, and you are confronted by this alert, now you know why.
It's because the designers didn't export any of the content to InCopy format. They forgot to do a step. So you can ask them. But let's say that you knew this is going to happen, so you just click OK. So what good is it? Well, all this text, as I said, is read-only, meaning that you can actually get to it. I am going to click inside this text frame, and notice, by the way, you still get a word count and a copyfit, which I thought is kind of interesting. I am going to press Ctrl+Plus a few times to zoom in, and say, I don't know, you needed to know the early history. So I am going to select all this text and copy it, and then if I have an e-mail or a Word document or another InCopy file open, I can paste it right in.
So say that you are working on a layout and you want to pick up something from a previous issue, you don't have to ask the designer to send you that copy, or you don't have to go to your corporate library, look it up, and retype it. You can just choose File > Open in InCopy, navigate to a place on the server where it is located, and grab it yourself. Now, if you wanted to change the view to preview, this shows you what it is going to look like when you print or when you export to PDF, because even though none of these stories are editable to you, you can still print it out, and you can still export the entire thing to PDF.
If you need to send somebody a PDF of this, again, you can just open it in InCopy and make your own PDF. So that's all; just a cool little use for this program, a little utility that not a lot of people realize could be useful, but my clients tell me that they've come to rely on it quite a bit.
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