Join Anne-Marie Concepción for an in-depth discussion in this video Understanding the parallel workflow, part of InDesign and InCopy: Collaborative Workflows.
Okay. Let's talk about the traditional linear workflow, which is the workflow that most people are accustomed to, and it normally starts with the designer. The designer has, in InDesign, a semblance of a layout, a first proof of the layout. There are articles picked up from previous issues and some more text has been poured into different text frames from articles that they received from their editorial colleagues - usually it's Microsoft Word documents. Some pictures have been placed. Other ones that are there for position only. Anyway, they make a printout, right? So the designer makes a printout of the first proof, and the printout goes to the editor.
Now I'm going to call it the editor. You might call yourself the writer or the boss or whatever, but somebody who needs to look at the printout of the publication before it gets into press. That's where I'm going to be calling the editor, and the editor is also synonymous with the InCopy user, as we go on in this video. So the editor goes through the printout and marks it up, right? And when they're done marking it up, they may return to the designer, or in many cases it goes on to another editorial staff member, like the copyeditor or the author, or both, and if there're multiple people who are marking up this printout, they often use different colored pens and they tape, or they staple things to various pages, they put posted notes on them, and then this humongous work of art with all of the marked up comments to the first proof gets handed back to the designer for round two.
So the designer translates all the markup from those printouts into the layout, which is going to be version two in InDesign, right? Then when they're done, the designer prints out proof number 2, and the proofing round continues, again, perhaps going back to the same editor as before, but maybe also including additional people. This proofing round of people marking up paper printouts, even if you give them a PDF, people print out the PDF, mark it up and then give it back to the designer, happens over and over and over again, often 8, 10, 12 times, until finally there's nothing else to markup, and the designer has the final version of the layout on their computer.
At that point, they prep it for the commercial printer, and they sent it off to, of course, the most modern commercial press that they can find. That is the traditional linear workflow. Now let's compare that with the InDesign, InCopy Workflow. It's not parallel; it's more like a hub, as you can see. The idea is that the InDesign file sits on the network server, on a server that all the designers and all the editors can access. Now, if you don't have a server, or the designers aren't working off the server yet, don't worry about it. There are ways to work with InCopy and InDesign where you don't even need a server, and I'll be talking about that later.
But I would say, probably in 80 to 90% of the cases, most people are using InDesign and InCopy in this way. There is a central server, it could be either Mac or PC server, everybody has read/write access to the same folder on there, where they keep all the projects. The Designer, when they want to work on the InDesign file, opens up the InDesign file off of the network server. They don't copy it to their local computer. The editors, using InCopy, also open up the layout - yes, the actual layout, the InDesign file in InCopy, from their local PC or local Macintosh, right.
They don't copy to the server. The way the workflow works is that one InDesign user can have the layout open, while one or more in InCopy users can have it open. So many people can be working on the same layout concurrently, which saves a huge amount of time. If you remember that linear workflow, where it's kind of like a stack of dominoes, and you have to wait until the domino in front of you falls before you can take your turn. You don't have to do that with the parallel workflow with InDesign and InCopy. There is a built-in check-in and checkout system that prevents more than one person from editing the same story inside that layout at once.
So you don't have to worry about overwriting each other's content, but if you're working on page 3, and I'm working on page 12, there's no issue with that. Now it doesn't mean that InCopy users always have to do their editing onscreen. As you can see, we have some printouts sitting next to a couple of the PC users. That's just a little indication to you that the InCopy users can always markup paper proofs, if they want to, just as in a linear workflow. It's just that they're going to make their printouts or their PDFs from within InCopy. In fact, I have a whole video talking about how to print out and make PDFs from InCopy.
They mark it up, but the big difference here is that they are the ones who then take that markup copy, they open up the layout in InCopy on their screen, and they translate the markup to what's on the screen. They can't change everything, like if they want to make a picture bigger or add a page, some things only the InDesign user can build, and we'll be getting into that more in later videos. But this is the basic concept is that everybody works on the layout at once. They can make printouts. They can call things proofs if they want, but basically everything sits on the server. There's always one version of the file. It is that layout file.
When all of the editors and the authors and so on have completed their work on the layout, the designer prepares the file for the commercial printers before and sends it off. This layout-based workflow is the simplest and most direct way to work with InDesign and InCopy, but it is not the way, really, that Adobe pushes in more recent versions of the InDesign-InCopy Workflow. If you look at the documentation, they will assume that you're using something called an assignment-based workflow, and I will be talking about assignment-based workflows in-depth later on in this video, and I want to show you what this is all about, but it's a little bit more complicated, and in my experience not really necessary for most people who are using InCopy and InDesign.
Let me talk about what this is all about. An issue with the layout-based workflow is that sometimes the layouts are so big that they take forever to open up over the network, and so InDesign users are splitting those up into smaller InDesign files. So you have like five different InDesign files, each one 4 to 8 pages long, and they were using that and trying to manage page numbering and printing and all that kind of stuff. So instead, what Adobe did was they said, well, you know what you can do is you can split up a long InDesign file into smaller assignments, each one, it could be as small as one spread from a huge InDesign document, but all this is done through a panel within InDesign.
These are not actually separate InDesign files, and this can all be managed from the Assignments panel. So the designer puts assignment files - as you can see those individual spreads indicating three different assignments sitting on the server - and the InCopy users open up an assignment. The designer can keep the layout on their local computer if they'd like, or they can keep the layout on the server; either way, it works it works fine. That's an assignment-based workflow, and in fact, you need to create an assignment if you want to create something called an InDesign package to send to a remote editor.
We have an entire video chapter on talking about using the remote workflow later on in this video title. Whichever way you set up your network, either via using the layout-based workflow or the assignment-based workflow, you're going to realize huge time savings over the traditional linear workflow.
- Setting up projects and users on a local network
- Using e-mail-based assignments and Dropbox to manage remote users
- Copyfitting and formatting text
- Using advanced editing tools
- Working with paragraph, character, and table styles
- Tracking changes in InCopy and InDesign
- Creating cross-references and hyperlinks
- Creating InCopy templates
- Combining InCopy with Microsoft Word
- Inserting and formatting images
- Reviewing features specific to InDesign