Collaborate on Publications with Adobe InDesign and InCopy
Creating InCopy templates
If you've decided to use InCopy as a stand-alone word processor in order to write articles ahead of the layout, editorial driven workflow kind of thing, then wouldn't it be great to be able to create a document that has all the styles used in that InDesign document and the correct width? And that way, you could just keep using that same InCopy document as a template and doing Save As for every issue and then writing a new story for each issue. This is what we're going to look at and I'm going to show you how to do in this video.
So let's say that we have a magazine about California and we have a regular feature story and here is one instance of the feature story. We're going to be writing lots of stories for this feature series in the magazine and we want to use the styles that are used in this story. We want to use the same column width view, so we can sort of proof column breaks, and the same character count. The best thing to do then is to open up an issue of that publication, and it doesn't have to have stories exported to the workflow as you see here. We are not actually going to be editing anything in this layout.
So if you have an old one from before you guys moved to InCopy, you can open up that InCopy as a read-only file because you could still get basically what you need. For example if I click inside the story I can see what the word count is. The word count says 1431. So in my new document I want to set up a target word count of say 1400 or 1450, and that way I know it's going to roughly fit. Or maybe I will just say 1500 and I know the designer can add some scotch room.
The other thing I need to know in a new document is what is the text width? What's the width of a typical column? So I need to figure out what the column is here. Now it's a lot easier to measure stuff in InDesign. I can always ask the designer, "Please select this frame with your Selection tool and tell me the width," but here is a sneaky way you can do it in InCopy. Although you cannot drag guidelines out, you do have rulers that you're looking at, and in the upper left-hand corner you can change the zero point. So I'm going to move the zero point right smack up to the left of this first column and now that's where zero starts.
Then I will just move my cursor to align with the right edge of this frame. I can even zoom in a bit. Yeah, there we go, and put my cursor right here, and I am watching the ruler at the very top. I believe this is supposed to be 12-pica wide column. So now I know 1500 words or 1450 and 12 picas wide. Let's go ahead and create a new InCopy document. We are going to do a few more things to it in addition to setting up these attributes and then we'll save it as a template.
Not facing pages, 12 pica wide, I want a depth of we will say 1500 words. Page Size Letter. Let's say this is a preset and we'll call it California Magazine feature, click OK, and there is a typical column. Now unfortunately in an InCopy file you can't have more than one column of text. It's a great feature request. I wish they would do it one day. Maybe one day they will. But what's missing here, let's go ahead and like just fill some placeholder text, is we need to know the styles as well.
Even though we see the text breaking, this text might break completely differently once we change the correct typeface and type size. So how do you get the styles from this document into here? It's actually quite easy. Open of the Paragraph Styles panel and from the Paragraph Styles panel menu choose Load All Text Styles. That means load all paragraph and character styles. So what happens when you choose that command is it wants to know where is the InDesign document or the InCopy document that has these styles that you want to bring in, and I know it is from this example of the Joshua tree article.
So I will just click Open. It's not going to actually open up that file. It's going to suck in all the paragraph and character styles and present them here for me and say, "Which ones do you want?" So you don't have to bring all of them, like if I just-- I'll uncheck them all and I will say I want the body ones. I don't need the folio. I want the sidebar. Maybe I'll write a pull-quote. I need the subhead and then here are all the character ones. I want to start with an A, and I guess I'll take all those except for folio, I don't need those, end mark. That's good.
You can even see the definition of each style here in case you are not sure what it does and then click OK and then all those are imported into this document. So I could select all this text, I am pressing Ctrl+A to select it all, and turn it into body, and this is the same style that it uses in the actual magazine. But I actually don't need any of that text, so I am selecting all and pressing Delete. Now I have all of my character styles and paragraph styles. I could also import table styles and cell styles if that was this kind of publication. You can do the same thing with the Table Styles panel menu.
But now that I have my styles, my text width, and my target word count, I can say this is a template. I will go to File, choose Save Content As, and under Save as type I am going to choose InCopy Template, which is icmt. And then I'll call this featurestory- template and then save it some place like on the server where all my colleagues can grab it. Anybody who is in-charge of writing feature stories can go ahead and start writing right away without waiting for the layout.
So I will save it here on my Desktop just to show you how it works. Close that, close that. All right, so now I want to work on a feature story for the next issue. Going to File > Open, Desktop, there is the template, open it, and templates open as a copy of the document, only untitled, so I don't have to worry about accidentally overwriting the template. I can save that but check this out. It's got all the paragraph and character styles that I need, so I can not only write the content but I can also style it and then hand it off to the designer and all my work is done.
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