Join Anne-Marie Concepción for an in-depth discussion in this video Requirements and recommendations, part of InCopy CS4 and InDesign CS4 Workflow Essential Training.
There are just a few things you need to do in order to get your team started with InDesign and InCopy. First of all you really need to have a shared file server to us InCopy to its full advantage. It doesn't have to be dedicated to the InDesign/InCopy workflow. You're just using it to store files and folders. However, the designers and all the InCopy users need to have read/write access to the same folders on that server. It doesn't make a difference what platform the server is running on nor does it make a difference if the designers are on Macs and the editors are on PCs. They all just need read/write access to the same sections of the file server. And if you don't have a file server, as I said earlier there are some ways that you can use InDesign and InCopy such as with a remote workflow or if the designer, if the Macs for examples, this sometimes happens that the Macs can't get to the server. Then the designers can use in assignment-based workflow where they work locally and then they just save assignments to the server.
But in those cases with an assignment- based workflow, the editors still have to work directly off the server. Now, because you are using the server, you are working directly off the server, it's really good to have a fast network. Now I recommend a gigabit network. So that means not just that the server itself is capable of fast networking, but every little piece in between. The switch needs to be gigabit. The cables need to be Cat-6. The computers, the PCs, and the Macs need to be able to support gigabit networking. It's possible to do it with just a fast ethernet but it's much better to do it with a gigabit network.
Not only as it with that you are working off the server but also while you are working your computer is constantly pinging the server to see if files in that project have been updated. So it's something like at every second that it pings the servers so it needs to be able to support lot of traffic. The editors themselves by the way are not opening up the actual layout. It's more like a snapshot of the layout. So it's not like the editors needs to open up a 50 megabyte InDesign file, ten of them at the same time. It's much smaller than that. But still it does make a hit on the network.
The InDesign users should be experienced with Adobe InDesign. I really recommended that you don't move from a QuarkXpress and Word workflow directly to InDesign and InCopy, because there are too many variables and it's too new. There is too much to learn at once. It's much better if the designers move to InDesign first. They get a few projects under their belt. They understand how Adobe InDesign works; how the frames work and so on and then you add InCopy to the mix. So of course your publications need to be in InDesign format. You can't use InCopy with QuarkXPress or with publisher's files. It only works with Adobe in InDesign. For the InCopy users, they may need hardware upgrades. You can find on Adobe's website, what are the basic system requirements. And nothing special about them except that you have to remember that InCopy users will be opening up multiple page to page spread InDesign documents or snapshots of those layouts.
I have often found that at a publishing company very often the editors get the short stick as far as hardware is concerned. They get the slow old computers, they get the beige one that have burgeoned screens, they get tiny little dusty keyboards and now they are going to be working with large documents so they often need larger monitors like at least 17 or 19". They might need more RAM; I recommend 1 Gig of RAM at least in their computers. I think the Adobe recommendation is 512 or something like that. But that's ridiculous if you are running Vista or Leopard all right. So they really need to list the Gig of RAM.
They also need the fonts installed. So InCopy users can open up InDesign layouts or assignments that were created on a Mac and they are on the PC or in the same platform but they need the fonts installed that the designers used to layout that file. Now the InCopy users don't need every single font in the art department. They just need the typefaces that are used in stories that they will be editing and of course you have to install InCopy. Only the editors need InCopy installed. They could ask once in a while the InDesign users also need InCopy installed, no, they don't. Since InDesign CS3 and of course in InDesign CS4 the plug- ins for InCopy workflow are installed with a default installation. So they are good to go only the editor's need InCopy.
It might be useful for one or two designers to have a copy of InCopy so they can see what something looks like when it opening in InCopy but it's not required. You should give them training and support and of course I'm a big believer and pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps and empowering the end user. But I think with the move to a completely new workflow for producing your publications. It generates a lot of nervousness and anxiety with staff. And it really helps to say, we are going to bring in an expert to train you or somebody's is going to be there to answer your questions. Somebody who has seen this work at other publications and can tell you how other people are dealing with this. That really helps.
So if you can find that InCopy and InDesign workflow trainer, there are many out there. Just hire them and bring them on even for a day and give your staff that extra help that they need in order to make a successful transition. And finally, take it slowly, don't just jump into and say, next month the publications is going to produced with InCopy, learned it or get out of the building. I mean bring it in, add it to a couple of machines that's you are more adventurous, editors are using people who are very accustomed to working with new software and see how they like it.
Try it out with the publication that is not so critical to your business like the company newsletter or something like that. Just get your feet wet with it first and work it out. You'll find that maybe you don't need to have every single font. You'll find maybe you don't need to upgrade people's computers, that actually it is working pretty well. Just take it slowly. So the requirements are moving to in InCopy/InDesign workflow are not too onerous at all. Basically you just have a server, have InCopy installed, get the fonts available to them and you are good to go.
- Setting up a workflow: requirements and recommendations
- Allowing multiple InCopy users to access a single InDesign file
- Using InCopy's editorial tools and word processing features
- Managing an InDesign workflow
- Creating cross-references, hyperlinks, and footnotes
- Using InCopy as a standalone word processor