Join Anne-Marie Concepción for an in-depth discussion in this video Rewards and challenges in the new workflow, part of InCopy CS4 and InDesign CS4 Workflow Essential Training.
As with everything in life and especially with computers, there are rewards involved and there are challenges involved. Let me go through the rewards first. Moving to InDesign and InCopy first of all is great, because it is much more accurate. The main thing is that because editors and writers are opening up the layout, they can write to fit. There is an end to stories that are too long and being continued on additional pages, or stories they are too short. They can copyfit exactly. And also they can apply the correct formatting so they can get accurate line breaks. They can proof line breaks right on-screen right from the get-go.
It gives the editors more power and access and control. It saves editors hours of work and having to markup paper printouts in a way that a designer will understand that. If you have ever made multiple corrections via markup to a document you'll know that it almost takes twice as long then just making the change yourself. So, just that alone is a great reason to move to InCopy. Also, InCopy acts like an InDesign reader. So if you have an archive of all of your InDesign documents on the server then the editors can go ahead and use InCopy to open those directly, even if they have no editable stories inside. And it's a fantastic way for editors to quickly look up an old issue to pull some copy from, to check the spelling, grab a caption from, instead of them always having to go to the designers and say, can you please open InDesign and you know that issue we did last year on page nine? Can you please put that out for me, because I got to check something? No! Now the entire library of all of your InDesign assets are available and accessible to the InCopy user. What does that mean? That means the designers are freed up to actually design. They are not spending days and days translating markup and going back to the editors and saying what did you mean here and what did you mean there? Instead with their free time they are able to do new projects or to actually concentrate on the actual page layout and making things look good and make sense to the reader.
Because of these two things how designers are freed up and editors have more control? In the end you gain far faster turn around cycles for your publications. I thought 100 of clients how to move to InDesign and InCopy and I frequently hear not just from a one or two, but I frequently hear turnarounds is cut by 50-80%, 80% essentially, because the editors and writers are editing the final version of the layout. They are able to write to fit from the get-go. So you'll have a living room full of proof printouts. Instead everybody is working on the first version is the final version and so on. Instead everybody is working on the first/final version at the same time and getting it done in record time. And one of my favorite features of moving to InCopy with an InDesign is that it's a very flexible and forgiving program.
All you need to do is install InCopy on the editorial workstations. It doesn't have to be everybody. It could just be a couple editors who want to see what it's all about. And they can open up the layouts and if the designers prep them before them they can edit some of the stories while everybody else is using your traditional linear workflow, or you could say in InCopy for a late stage edits and then in the beginning everybody continue with your Microsoft Word or marking up printouts, a kind of workflow and it's just at the very last week that if their editorial changes that need to be made then the editors can open up the layout in InCopy.
If you change your mind you can move InCopy over to somebody else computer or is everybody is excited about it you could go ahead and put it in place today. So if unlike just about any other content management system, CMS on the planet giving InCopy installed is very easy to do, very flexible to do and is unlike any other content management system on the planet. Installing InCopy is as simple as installing of single piece of software on an editor's computer. Those are the rewards of these. Of course there are some challenges involved.
In think that the main challenge that I have encountered in working with publications is that there is a significant culture shift in your work place. At a lot of companies, editors and designers really don't mingle. They don't go to each other's baby-showers. They are not each other secret Santas, they often work at different corners of the building, they don't eat lunch together. But in this workflow you are thrown together for better, for worse. I mean the designers have to create styling for example, that an editor would understand rather than some sort of weird internal jargon that a lot of design departments have.
They have to know that there is going to be somebody who is not a designer that needs interact with that document. And the editors themselves, because in InCopy you cannot make a frame larger or add a page, remove a page. Very quickly the editors will realize that there are limits to what they can do with the layout in InCopy. And I'll need to ask the designer to please, make the change and if they can ask the designer to do it right away then the editor can immediately update what they are looking at in InCopy and go on with their work. So you are constantly working together and that is a shift in the way a lot of publications work. But it's a shift for the better, another challenge less of the paper trail. This is a big one. You don't have a room full of paper printouts. You don't have a proof number nine and proof number eight and somebody is sitting there saying with their changes requested in proof number eight made in proof number nine. You could possibly do that if you wanted to but not really. In this workflow when an editor opens up a layout or an assignment and checks out the story, there is no Save As command.
When they check out a story and they are making changes, they are making changes to the only version of that story. Now there are manual solutions to that. But in the end really that's what you are doing; that's where all that turnaround time is saved. I have talked with many clients who could not imagine ever working in a workflow where they don't have all that documentation behind them. I have asked them in months later how it's going and how did you work that out? And they often look at me like; we don't know what you are talking about. Oh! Was, Right! Right! That was a concern. It became a non-issue. So the designer or an editor can export the document to PDF or you can printout or track changes. There is different ways of providing a record of were you are going But it's definitely less of the paper trail then in the normal linear workflow.
Here its double-edged sword, editor can format type in InCopy, and there is no way to technically stopped them. On the other hand they cannot do layout and so I put in good or bad here on the slide, because let's look at the first part of this. Editors can format type. Now I have talked to some managing editors who say that they don't want their writers and editors to have to worry about formatting. They just want them to concentrate on the words, and that's perfectly fine. They can go ahead and do that and leave the formatting of text up to the designers. But editors do have the full Character panel and Paragraph panel available to them that InDesign does. And so designers you know, that means of the editors if they wanted to they can select a couple of sentences that are making a story go a little long and squeeze them in by tracking them in by negative 100.
In the InDesign/InCopy workflow right off-the-shelf there is no way to setup privileges or user roles to say certain writers can apply formats, certain other one can't. Everybody gets the same rights, which is to do everything. And I now know that people work it out by just coming to an agreement. They say, editors, you can use the Character and Paragraph panel to make something Italic or Bold or to center a paragraph if we didn't create a style for you before hand but you cannot use the Tracking command. Or you cannot use the Horizontal Scale command or something like that. And they work it out like adults. See that goes back to that workplace culture shift part where you actually come up with an agreement. And it actually works out fine.
On the other hand editors will find that they can only apply the styles that the designers included. But that allows them to make a subhead look like an actual subhead, a caption to look like an actual caption and that's how they can get accurate copy fitting. Now that's other part can't do layout. I'm only putting that in, because there are some workflows where management or the designers have given a copy of InDesign or even QuarkXPress if you are still using that, to-be editors as copy editing workstation. So at some point editors are able to take a look at the publications and if the sentence is too long they can make a frame with different size. They can make a picture little bit smaller; you cannot do that in InCopy.
So with InCopy all the editors can do is edit the contents of the frames that the designers said they could. If designers are the one who decide which frames are editable by the editors and the editors don't even have a selection tool to change sizes or remove thing things around. They don't even have a pages panel to add pages or remove pages. All those things they need to ask that the designers to do for them. Now of course there might be managing editors in charge of the whole process who tell the designers which stories to make editable. But this is only the person using InDesign who can make a story editable to an InCopy user. You'll see that later on and all these videos. But I want to give you an idea of these are the things that some of my clients have run up against that they have had to work out. So the fact that editors can format type but they cannot do layout.
So what if anyone one of these items are an interminable problem, that means you can't use InCopy, of course not. Why you can throw money at the problem? No, seriously there are full-blown publications management systems that you may have heard about, such as K4. That is distributed by managing editor in North America that's developed by SoftCare in Europe. Or WoodWings, Smart Connection Pro. These are server-based solutions where it requires a dedicated server and the publications are de-compiled into pieces that exist in a database.
And by using this system and by installing the plug-ins required for InDesign and InCopy, users were able to use InDesign and InCopy but with a database management system. And it includes these features like versioning, rollbacks, editorial privileges, and user levels and things like that. So you can certainly move to that if you would like to. You can start with InDesign and InCopy off-the-shelf and see how it works and if you decide that there is no way that you can live without the content management system, go ahead. Of course they are very expensive, and some publications the expense is worth it.
During this entire video tutorial series I'm going to show you how to use InDesign and InCopy without the third party plug-ins, without the K4 or WoodWing or there is a number of other one like for newspapers publication. I called up the going Commando workflow. You are not working with any net; just InCopy off-the-shelf for $259 is all that's required. And finally you are going to need a new production flowchart, obviously. You are not going to have to sit down. You can't just install the software and say go. You have to figure out when are people going to use in InCopy. Are they going to use it right from the get go to write articles from scratch, because you can use it like a word processor? Are they going to waiting for late stage edits? Are you going to buy a copy of InCopy for your frequent freelance contributors, that kind of thing? So you do need to sit down and think about it for a little while. But it is fluid, remember one of those rewards is that it is a very flexible solutions. So you can try something, see how it works. If it doesn't work right then try a little differently.
So as I said, as with everything in life, especially with software there are rewards and challenges. And I can tell you that out of all of the people that I have worked with that use InDesign and InCopy the rewards are far greater than any challenges that came their way and I think you'll find it too.
- 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