Join Anne-Marie Concepción for an in-depth discussion in this video Understanding the parallel workflow, part of InCopy CS4 and InDesign CS4 Workflow Essential Training.
Here is the way that a lot of publications are put together today, what we call the traditional linear workflow. It starts with the designer over here at the upper left in the beautiful multi- colored computer who has some sort of layout. It's Version 1, proof number one of the layout. Maybe it has some stories that have already been placed and formatted. There might be empty placeholder frames for text accounts and images. Anyway, she creates a printout and gives it to editorial to look at and to markup. So in my little diagram here we might have multiple editors that it winds its way through or maybe there's just one editor. Depends on your particular publication. But this printout is seen and written on and things stapled to it and email taped to it saying, "Please paragraph B from that email that I got yesterday, and insert and replace with this caption" and so on. It gets marked up quiet a bit.
And when there are multiple editorial people, who are marking up the same first proof or the same proof, then they often have different colored inks. They have different colored inks so that the designer knows who to go back to with a question. So this work of art makes it way back to the designer at some point. Where the designer needs to go and translate the markup to the changes on electronic file. Then maybe the designer does a more changes to the design like adding additional pages, bringing in more Word files, getting things to fit as best you can, and then proof number two gets printed out and sent around to the same people, maybe different people. Or again, if an article is too long or too short, then the editor is making a guess about what to cut and what to add to give stuff to fit and so on.
This round of proofing can repeat itself 3, 4, 10, 12 times sometimes. That's what this little jagged line means. I walked in client's offices where they have an entire room larger than my living room full of proof printouts from their last major series project. But at some point everything is perfect. The document is good to go. So the designer wraps that all up and packages it up and makes a beautiful PDF and sends it off to their high-tech 21st century commercial printer over here. That's the traditional workflow.
Even if this proofreader is ready to do his work, he can't until gives him the printout. So, people have to wait until the domino before them falls down before they can take their turn. In the parallel workflow that is InCopy and InDesign, the layout itself exists on the network server and everybody works off the server including the designer. Now, you may already be working off the server, designers, and so this is not a big deal to you. I have found that at about half of publications, the designers are always working locally and so this is a major stumbling block for them. There is a solution with InCopy and InDesign if you don't have access to a server.
However, there is absolutely no problem with working off a server with InDesign. In fact, that's the recommended way to use this. The server has this layout and all the editors as well as the designer are opening up that layout from their computer, from InCopy. So InCopy can open up in InDesign layout, an innd file. Even if the designer has it open, you can have multiple editors opening up the same exact InDesign file. Only one designer can have that file open at once.
And so these editors are able to work on their stories in the document when it's convenient to them, when they have time to work on something. They don't have to wait for somebody else to give them the printout. Now, a lot of editorial workers would say, I could not edit on screen, that's impossible. And I agree, very difficult. If you prefer the markup a paper printout, no problem! InCopy has a very robust printing engine so you can make little printouts like I show here. And go ahead and bring them to lunch or bring them home over the weekend and mark them up to your heart's consent. The main difference here though is that you yourself as an editor will be translating that markup that you made to the electronic file that's sitting on the server through InCopy. The system alerts everybody when things have changed. So as this editor saves changes to a story they are editing, anybody else who has that open is alerted that that story has been modified and can update it or they can ignore it if they want. Whenever you open a file the latest version always opens.
The designer too can make changes to the InDesign layout while editors are working on it. The editors are notified that the design has changed and they can update the design as they are working on it without skipping a beat. At some point all the editorial fits and all the pages look beautiful, the design is perfect. And again as in the linear workflow the designer then wraps it all up and packages it for their high-end printer. What we are looking at here is what we called a layout-based workflow, where the layout sits on the server. There is another workflow called an assignment-based workflow. Adobe introduced assignments back in CS2. They are optional to use and offer a number of advantages. I'll be talking in-depth about how assignments work later on in this tutorial.
In the assignment-based workflow the layout can be local. And the designer can work on the layout locally and export assignments, which are like subsets of the layout to the server. So, the editors are still working off the server and they are opening up assignments in InCopy, which look like the layout, but the designer does not have to work off the server. However, as before, as editors are making changes to the assignments they are working on, those edits are being communicated to the designer using InDesign on their local computer who can update them. And again, in the end when everything is perfect, all the copy fits and the publications looks great, the designer packages the file or exports it to PDF and sends it off to their high-end commercial printer.
So now that you are little bit more familiar with what I mean by a parallel workflow, where many people are working at once on the same publications, let me talk about some of the advantages and challenges that you'll encounter in moving to this kind of a workflow.
- 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