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Author David Blatner provides in-depth training on InDesign CS5, the print and interactive page layout application from Adobe, in InDesign CS5 Essential Training. The course shows how to create new documents with strong and flexible master pages, precisely position text and graphics, prepare documents for print, and export designs as interactive PDF or Flash SWF files. Exercise files are included with the course.
Let's say I send you this document and I want you to make some edits to the text. Then when you're done, you save it and send it back to me, how on earth am I supposed to see what you did? Well, if you had used the Track Changes feature, it would be a piece of cake. Here's what you need to do. First you go to the File menu and choose User. This is how you tell InDesign what your name is. I'll put my name in here and I will choose a color, how about Mustard? That's a pretty good, great. Click OK and then I'm ready to go.
I need it next turn on Track Changes and I do that in the Track Changes panel, which I get to by going to the Window menu and then I go down to Editorial and then choose Track Changes. Here's the Track Changes panel. Now, technically you can also find the Track Changes features in the Type menu, down here under Track Changes and here's all kinds of Track Changes features that you can choose but honestly I just find the menu to be so clunky to use that I would much rather have a floating panel.
It's right there in front of your face, much easier and faster to use. So Track Changes only tracks text changes, so in order to get Track Changes to work, I must have my cursor in the Text Story. So I'll double click inside of any Text Story and that switches to the Type tool, all right and it places the cursor right there and now I'm going to turn Track Changes on for All the Stories in my document. Actually you have different options here. You could turn on Track Changes for the Current Story. It let's look it's already been turned on and that's interesting.
That's a clue that might give us the information about changes that have already been made in this document and you can also turn on Track Changes for an entire document by turning it on here from the Track Changes flyout menu, just choose Enable tracking in All Stories. Now it will work for all of the stories. You can also turn Track Changes on and off for an individual story by clicking on that little Track Changes button here, the first button in the Track Changes menu. So for example I might click inside this frame right there and I can turn Track Changes off there.
So any changes I make inside here will not be tracked. It's up to you. You can turn them on or off. Now that I've turned on Track Changes for all my frames, except for that one, I just turned it off, I'm going to go ahead and make some changes. Maybe I'll change this to or again instead, not California, that's go to Oregon and let's go ahead and say this is going to go from Desert to Beach instead. Oh, I better make this frame a little bit bigger. I just got the Selection tool temporarily by holding down the Command key or the Ctrl key that gives me the selection tool temporarily, which let me drag that frame down, make it little bit taller to fit the word Beach in there.
Just in case you were wondering what I was doing there and then maybe I'll change this text up here to say what our customers are raving about. There we go. So, I've made some changes to this text, to this document but you'll notice that I can't see the changes. There's no indication here that any changes have actually been made and that's on purpose. Adobe did that, so that if I now make a PDF or I print this, I will not actually see any changes. It won't be messy on my output.
However the changes were tracked, so how do I see them? Well, that's where Story Editor comes in. In an earlier movie in this chapter, we talked about the Story Editor feature and how you can get it by going to the Edit menu and choosing Edit in Story Editor and up comes this little Word Processing window that shows us not just the story that I had my cursor in but also the changes that were made. Now notice here that there are two different colors going on. That means that two different people have edited this document and if I just select some text in one of them, you'll see that the Track Changes panel, let's move this over here, so we can see it better, shows us this change was made by someone named Joe Editor, all right.
Now down here we can see that the changes were made by me, David Blatner, all right. So we've got two different people working on the same file and handing it back and forth. It also shows that this text down here was deleted and this text here was added but of course I can tell that just because the highlighted stuff is added and the highlighted and struck through stuff is obviously deleted. So all text changes are saved but you can only see them in Story Editor. That's a key piece of information that you need to know when you're using the Track Changes feature.
Now you don't need to clean up these things before printing or exporting or saving it, you can just leave that in there if you want. Though in my opinion, it's not a bad idea to clean it up, just in case your boss later has to open this file, you wouldn't want your boss to see all this stuff in there, right? So let's go ahead and clean it up, I'll show you how to do that. There're several ways that you can clean this stuff up. First of all, I want to point out these other buttons along the top of the Track Changes panel. The first two buttons are the Previous and Next Change buttons and that lets you jump to the next change.
So I'll go ahead and click that and it jumped to select the whole change. Now I can click Except Change or Reject Change. It shows the two buttons, a checkbox or the X will let you accepted or change it. Now little trick shows up in that tooltip there which is important to pay attention to. If you hold on the Option or the Alt key, it will accept it and then automatically jump to the next change, which is very, very helpful. So I like that. I typically will just Option+click or Alt+ click on these to go through one at a time.
There we go. Now I accepted those changes and it jumped to the next one and look what happened. It opened a new Story Editor window. So for each different story in the document that has changes, it's going to open a new window. I'm just telling you now that can get messy, you typically have to go back and close these manually. I just clicked on this title bar and then I close this window just so I don't have too many windows open at any one time, but you can see here that there're some more changes from Joe Editor here. This one I'm not going to accept, I'll go ahead and hit Reject.
Actually I'll do the XX button. The XX button means reject everything in this story. All the changes in this story I could reject. So I'll go ahead and reject that. It says, are you sure you want to? Yes, I'm sure that I want to. Let's go ahead and find another one by clicking the Previous Change button. Here's another one that was changed by two different people, looks like Joe Editor changed Dessert to Desert and I changed Sea to Beach, so those are options that I can change. Now it looks like the Joe Editor edits are pretty reliable.
I'd seem to want to accept most of his and why don't I go ahead and just accept all of his throughout the document? And I can do that by going to the Track Changes flyout menu while the Story Editor is opened and I can look down at the very bottom. Here's an option Accept All Changes by This User, now it's grayed out, why? Well, because InDesign doesn't know which user I'm talking about. So to tell it which user I'm talking about, I need to place the cursor inside some of his edits. I'll just select that crossed out S there.
That's what I'm trying to find, so I'm going to say go ahead and accept all changes by this user the one that is currently selected, in his whole document. I'll go ahead and select all of those throughout the entire document and I'm done and you know I don't like these changes that I made, I'm going to go ahead and reject all the changes in this document that I had made and it's as simple as that. Once again, I have to close my windows manually and I'm back to where I was. Now when you're done with the document, you probably don't want Track Changes on anymore and you can disable it throughout the entire document by choosing Disable Tracking in All Stories from the Track Changes panel fly-out menu.
And now I won't have any changes tracked in this document. That's really up to you, I prefer doing it that way but you have to turn it off, if you don't want to. I've been waiting for a Track Changes feature in InDesign for a decade literally and I have to tell you, I am so excited that it's finally here in InDesign CS5.
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