Retaining important formatting when importing Word documents

As I’ve written in the past, Word is often an integral part of any InCopy workflow. In many situations, content is authored in Microsoft Word due to its widespread availability as an application on most computers. Editorial staff often keep content in the Word format when working with authors because it’s easy to go back and forth with changes until the final content has been completed. Once the content has been finalized, the designer can flow that Word document into InDesign or an editor can flow the content into an InCopy file in preparation for layout.

Although the process of bringing a Word document into an InDesign or InCopy file may seem like a simple process, retaining the desired formatting of that Word document can present some unique challenges. Notice that I said “desired” formatting. I say this because authors are known for applying their own formatting to documents to “enhance” the visual appearance of the file while they’re writing. Often making headlines bigger or changing their color to make it easier to view and read. This is much more easily accomplished by using styles in Word but that’s an entirely different blog post. When you bring Word content into InDesign or InCopy the goal is to remove the undesirable formatting but retain the formatting you wish to keep such as bold and italic styling.

Preserving Formatting

Many users will select all of the text in a Word document, copy the text, then paste it into InDesign or InCopy. In essence, this strips all of the formatting from the text including any formatting you wish to keep. This can be detrimental because work has been lost and will need to be performed by someone a second time.

Instead of copy and paste, InDesign provides some options for retaining the formatting of text when you choose File > Place. In the Place dialog box, select the Word document that you want to place, then enable the Show Import Options checkbox and click Open. This will display the Microsoft Word Import Options dialog box.

Microsoft Word Import Options

We’ll focus on the Formatting section located at the bottom of the dialog box. This section offers you two main choices for dealing with text imported from Microsoft Word.

  1. Remove Styles and Formatting from Text and Tables – This will strip out all formatting from the Word document and use the current style in the InDesign or InCopy document.
  2. Preserve Styles and Formatting from Text and Tables – This will retain any formatting applied in the Word document and also gives you the option to import any Word styles or map them to existing InDesign or InCopy styles.

Option 1 is tempting but remember, this will remove all formatting including bold, italics, and anything else you actually want to retain. Therefore, more often than not, I take advantage of option 2 in order to retain all of the formatting in the document. Once placed in the InDesign or InCopy document, all formatting is retained.

Cleaning Up the Formatting

Now that you have the Word text in the InDesign or InCopy document, you need to keep the formatting you want and get rid of the formatting you don’t want. To do this, I create a character style for all of the formatting options that I want to retain. Usually this consists of bold, italic, and bold italic formatting although depending on the type of content that you’re working with, you may want to create more. When creating the Character styles, only define the properties necessary within the style. For example, when you create your Italic Character style, only define “Italic” as part of the style. No need to define the font, size or other formatting unless it is very unique formatting.

InCopy Character Styles panel

In order to retain the formatting that you want to keep, open the Find/Change dialog box by choosing Edit > Find/Change. Leave the Find what and Change to fields empty, but click on the More Options button to display the Find and Change format sections of the dialog box. Click on the Specify Attributes to Find button word_003 and click on the Basic Character Formats section on the left side of the dialog box. Now choose “Italic” from the Font Style drop-down menu and click OK. Now in the Change Formatting section, click on the Specify Attributes to Change button word_003 and choose the Italic character style from the Character Style drop down menu.


Click the Change All button and you’ll be notified how many changes have been made. Not that you have options to make this change in all open documents, the current document, the current story, and to the end of the story. Repeat this process for the other styling that you want to retain.

Apply Paragraph Styles

Remember, character styles have more power than paragraph styles. So with your character styles applied to the text formatting that you want to retain, you are free to apply the appropriate paragraph styles, and clear any formatting that you wish to remove. Looking at the figures below, you can see the original Word document that was used as well as the final InCopy file that has been cleaned up using the described method in this article. We’ve highlighted the italicized text to make it easier to see.



Saving Content

As a computer user, most of us have gotten into the habit of saving our work on a regular basis. It only takes one instance where you lose power, or quickly close a document and accidentally choose no when it asks you to save for you to realize that it’s not a good idea to go any length of time without saving your file. I’m a keyboard shortcut nut, so my method is to periodically press Cmd+S (Mac) or Ctrl+S (Win) on a regular basis to ensure that my changes have been saved.

Saving in InCopy

InCopy is no different when it comes to periodically saving while you’re working on a file. Although technically, there is no “save” command, it’s actually “save content” instead, but it performs the same operation as the traditional save does. When you have a file checked out when working on an InDesign or Assignment file, choosing save content from the file menu or pressing Cmd+S (Mac) or Ctrl+S (Win) will perform the save content operation in the current story. This is also what happens when you check a file back in, but the save content command saves any changes to the current story and allows you to keep working.

Choosing Save Content from the File menu

The limitation of the Save Content command, is that it only saves the current story (i.e. the story that you’re currently clicked in). When you have several stories checked out, this could give users a false sense of security because you’d think that performing a save, would save everything. Not so.

Saving All Content

InCopy addresses this limitation by providing another save option found in the File menu called Save All Content that does exactly what you would expect, it saves any changes in all checked out stories. The shortcut for Save All Content is Option+Shift+Cmd+S (Mac) or Alt+Shift+Ctrl+S (Win). Whew that’s a hand twister! Ann-Marie reminded me of this during a recent discussion and we both agreed that the Save All Content command is much more useful than the Save Content command.

Choosing Save All Content from the File menu.

Making Save All Content the Default

Rather than using the hand twisting shortcut that is assigned to the Save All Content command, you can customize the keyboard shortcut so that Cmd+S (Mac) or Ctrl+S (Win) initiates the Save All Content command. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Choose Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts.
  2. In the Keyboard Shortcuts dialog box, choose File Menu from the Product Area drop-down menu.
  3. In the list of commands that appears, scroll down to the Save All Content listing, and click on it to select it.
  4. In the Current Shortcuts section, click on the current keyboard shortcut that is assigned and click on the Remove button to remove the shortcut. Click yes to confirm that you want to remove it and then enter a name for the customized set of shortcuts that you’re currently creating. You can’t modify the default shortcut set in InCopy so you are prompted to create a new set.
  5. Click in the New Shortcut field, and type Cmd+S (Mac) or Ctrl+S (Win) on your keyboard, then click the Assign button. (You’ll notice a message below the shortcut field that indicates that the shortcut is assigned to another command, which is fine as you want to override that currently assigned shortcut).
  6. Click OK to close the Keyboard shortcuts dialog box.

The File menu with the new keyboard shortcut assigned.

Now using the trusty Cmd+S (Mac) or Ctrl+S (Win) shortcut will save any files currently checked out in the open InDesign or Assignment file. We’d love to know what your favorite InCopy shortcuts or customized InCopy shortcuts are. Please share them with us in the comments section below.

Making Use of the Info in Galley and Story Views

Sometimes the things that are most obvious, go completely unnoticed because we’re focusing too hard on the task at hand. This became apparent to me when I found myself constantly looking at the Assignment panel for the stories that I needed to check out. It seemed inefficient to be bouncing over there all the time when most of what I was looking for was right there in Galley and Story view.

Identifying a story

For example, I had named all of the stories that I was working with using an easily identifiable name. I kept going over to the Assignments panel and double clicking on the name of the story to locate it in Galley view. That’s when it hit me, that information is displayed in a gray bar at the top of every story in both Galley and Story view. Right there in front of me!

Galley View

That gray bar not only tells you the name of the story, but did you notice that it also let’s you know if the story is available to check out or not. That is convenient information to see at a quick glance. You want to check out the story to work on it? Simply right-click anywhere in the story and choose Check Out.


Once you check out a story, it also let’s you know that you are editing the story and if someone else has the story checked out, it let’s you know who has it checked out as well.


Checking in content is equally as easy, simply right-click anywhere within a story and choose Check In. Galley and Story view also show you if a story is out of date, and provides an easy way to update that content if needed. Just right-click and choose Update Content.


Taking Control of the View

Those gray bars can be a bit overwhelming. By default when you open an InDesign document or Assignment, every story is expanded forcing you to scroll down the page to see the various stories that are available. If you option+click (Mac OS) or alt+click (Windows) on a triangle located on the left side of the gray bar in an expanded story, it will collapse all stories except the one in which you click. Expand another story by clicking on the triangle, then option click on the triangle again to collapse all but the current story.


Realizing that there were some great features right in front of me has caused me to work a little bit differently in InCopy and a little more efficiently. I hope these techniques help you to work a little faster and more efficiently as well.

TypeKit Fonts in an InCopy Workflow

One of the concerns that InCopy users often have in an InCopy workflow, is the need to have the same fonts loaded for every InCopy user that the designer is using in InDesign. It’s a valid concern for sure, and one that is difficult to provide a straight answer for. Here are some of the variables that make answering this question difficult:

  1. Consistency – If your team works on a product that is fairly consistent form one product to the next, then you need to load the fonts needed on all of the InCopy users machines so that they’ll be able to accurately see copyfit status and the visual appearance of the job.
  2. Platform – In cross-platform environments (Mac and Windows), it’s imperative that OpenType fonts are used. TrueType and PostScript fonts are platform specific and therefore cannot be shared between Mac and Windows computers.
  3. Logistics – In some environments, users don’t have permission to load fonts onto their computers so when fonts change regularly, it involves a call to IT which can sometimes take more time than we all have. Document Fonts is an alternative solution to this problem as it doesn’t require manually installing fonts on a computer. Read this post to learn more about the document fonts feature.

What is TypeKit?

TypeKit is a collection of more than 1,000 fonts that are available to anyone with a Creative Cloud subscription or a single app plan which would include users who only subscribe to InCopy. Read more about TypeKit fonts that are included with single app plans on the TypeKit blog. TypeKit fonts use the OpenType format which makes them cross-platform and the fonts are available to sync to your desktop via an internet connection. No manual installation is required.

How does TypeKit Work?

TypeKit fonts are activated using the Creative Cloud desktop application. You can find this in the menu bar in the upper-right corner of your screen on the Mac platform or in the lower-right corner of your screen in the Taskbar on the Windows platform. In a typical workflow, the designer would activate and use the fonts that they need for a project.

When an InCopy user opens the InDesign file or the Assignment (depending on your workflow), they’ll receive the Missing Fonts dialog box listing the missing fonts. InCopy checks to see if the missing fonts are available in the TypeKit library and if they are, you’ll see a checkbox to the right of the font in the Sync column. To sync (load) the fonts, simply click the Sync button.

Screen Shot 2015-10-14 at 9.25.17 AM

You’ll see a status wheel appear for a few seconds while the fonts are syncing to your computer.

Screen Shot 2015-10-14 at 9.25.33 AM

When all of the fonts have been synced, you’ll see a final dialog box letting you know that the synchronization has been completed and you can now work as normal on your file.

Screen Shot 2015-10-14 at 9.25.41 AM


TypeKit isn’t perfect. After all, if your organization uses a specific font for their products that isn’t available from TypeKit, it won’t do you much good. However, if you load the standard fonts on your computer that are used for the majority of your work, but then the designer utilizes TypeKit for features and unique elements, it will streamline and simplify the workflow for everyone involved. Give TypeKit fonts a try!

We’d love to know how you’re using TypeKit fonts as well as any hurdles you’ve encountered. Let us know in the comments below!

Repurposing Projects in an InCopy Workflow

One of the questions that always seems to come up when I’m teaching or implementing an InCopy workflow, is how can users re-purpose projects. What they’re referring to, is the ability to take an existing project and save it as a starting point for another project. I know this sounds easy enough, we do it all the time with InDesign files. But the InCopy workflow presents a unique set of challenges that need to be considered when repurposing files.

The Problem

To understand why this requires special attention, we need to take a look at why it isn’t as easy as doing a “save as” or making a duplicate of a file for another project. Let’s start with the simplest situation which would be the layout-based workflow. In this situation, you have an InDesign document that contains linked InCopy stories that can be checked out, edited, and checked back in. If you were to create a copy of the InDesign document for another version of the project with a different name, you might think that all is fine until you begin making edits to the linked stories. The problem in this situation is that even though you’ve made a copy of the InDesign document, It’s still linked to the stories in the original file. The figure below illustrates this concept.

Screen Shot 2015-09-30 at 7.02.23 AM

What happens in this situation, is that if a user edits the story in either of the InDesign files, the corresponding story will get edited essentially making the change in both layouts. Not exactly what everyone is expecting in this situation. If you use an assignment based workflow, you encounter the same problem as the assignments are also still linked to the new InDesign document.

Solving the Problem

To achieve the expected result, you need to take a slightly different approach than the traditional “save as” that everyone is used to.

Solution 1

In this solution you can perform the “save as” as usual, but then you need to break the links to all of the stories that are currently linked to the document. This is accomplished by right-clicking on each story in the Assignment panel and choosing Unlink Content from the resulting list. This unlinks the stories, leaving the text as basic static text in InDesign. Now, you’ll want to re-export all of the text in the InDesign document as stories to a new location on your server so that you have a separate instance of each story specific to this document. In the case of an Assignment-based workflow, you’ll also want to delete the Assignments from the layout and recreate them, again in a new location on your server.

Solution 2

In this solution, you duplicate the entire project folder to create an entire copy of the project. Open the duplicated InDesign file and and go to the Links panel. If you look at the Link info for all of the stories, you’ll notice that InDesign is still looking at the ones at the original location. Select all of the InCopy stories in the Links panel and choose “Relink to Folder” from the panel menu. Navigate to the folder that contains the duplicated stories and click OK. Indesign will relink all of the stories to the new location making this project completely separate from the original one.

Note: You may also want to do this to all of the graphics in the Links panel if you truly want this project to be completely separate from the original one. Also, if you are using an Assignment based workflow, you’ll want to relink the assignment to the new location by double-clicking on the Assignment in the Assignments panel and changing the location to the new location. This step can be misleading as you’re really not relinking the assignment, you’re really just saving a new copy to the new location and overwriting the old one.

Using one of the above techniques will allow you to repurpose projects without the need to start over from scratch. A similar technique can be used when you have projects of a similar look and feel that need to be created at regular intervals. You can create an InDesign file with linked blank stories each saved in their own project folder. With this technique, InCopy users can actually begin a new project as needed before the designer even receives the file.

It’s important to understand that in all of the instances mentioned above, only the InDesign user can perform the necessary steps to repurpose the project. Even still, this technique will save a considerable amount of time compared to starting over from scratch.

Adding Hyperlinks in InCopy

Although InCopy is used heavily for products destined for print, more and more the content that we produce in InCopy ends up in one digital format or another. Very often a copy of a product is exported to a PDF file and posted on the web, but InCopy is being used for other digital formats as well such as DPS, EPUB, and even HTML. These digital formats have some different requirements and possibilities that don’t apply to print output. One of these is hyperlinks. Although hyperlinks display in print, they aren’t interactive, but in digital they are. Because of this, we should make sure that we define hyperlinks in documents intended for digital output and fortunately, we can do this in InCopy!

The Hyperlinks Panel

The Hyperlinks panel can be found in InCopy by choosing Window > Hyperlinks. It may not look like much, but it’s a powerful tool that makes it easy to add hyperlinks to web url’s, e-mail addresses, files, pages, text anchors, and shared destinations. Likely, more hyperlink options than you’ll ever possibly need.

The InCopy Hyperlinks panel

Creating Hyperlinks

To create a hyperlink in InCopy, select the text in which you want to become a hyperlink with the Type tool and click the “Create New Hyperlink” button at the bottom of the Hyperlinks panel or right click on the selected text and choose Hyperlinks > New Hyperlink. This displays the New Hyperlink dialog box where you can define the properties of the new hyperlink.

The New Hyperlink dialog box

In the Link To drop-down menu, you can choose the type of hyperlink you with to create. You have the following choices:

  • URL – Links to a web URL.
  • File – Links to a file of your choosing on your computer or on a server. Only works when the final file is exported to PDF or SWF.
  • Email – Links to an e-mail address. When a user clicks on this link, it will launch their default e-mail application and compose a new message to the e-mail defined in the hyperlink. You can also define a default subject for the message of the e-mail.
  • Page – Links to a page in the file. This only works when exporting to PDF or SWF.
  • Text Anchor – Links to a specific text anchor previously defined in the document.
  • Shared Destination – Links to a shared destination. A shared destination has to be created in advance and is useful if you have several links in a document that link to the same location (i.e. your company’s url).

Most commonly, you’ll be using URL, E-mail, or shared destination. I’ve chosen URL for this example. By default, InCopy (and InDesign) inserts the selected text after the http:// in the URL field. Remove the text that is inserted and type the actual URL of the hyperlink you are creating. You can copy and paste from another location if you wish to save time.

As a default, InCopy wants to make every new URL a shared destination. Unless you intend to use this URL more than once, I recommend that you uncheck this option.

In the Character Style section, you’ll see Hyperlink listed in the drop-down menu. InCopy creates a hyperlink character style by default that colors the hyperlink text blue and underlines it. If you’re into the retro early-90’s blue hyperlink look, you can leave it, otherwise you can create your own or simply choose none from the drop-down menu.

Finally, in the PDF appearance section of the dialog box, you have limited control of how that hyperlink will appear when exported to a PDF file. I typically leave this set to invisible rectangle, but if you’d like the hyperlink to have a rectangle around it, you can choose that option and then define the properties of that rectangle in the other values found in this section.


Navigating the Hyperlinks panel

After adding hyperlinks, you’ll see them listed in the Hyperlinks panel. One of the great features of this panel is the “traffic lights” that appear to the right of the hyperlink indicating whether the hyperlink is valid or not. InCopy actually uses your internet connection to go out and verify that it can access the hyperlink. If it can it displays a green light, if it can’t it displays a red light. Brilliant! You can click on the Refresh URL status button at the bottom of the Hyperlinks panel at any time to force the updating of the URL status. Clicking on the traffic light will open the URL in your default web browser.


Also to the right of each hyperlink is a number indicating the page of the document that the hyperlink appears on. Clicking that number highlights the text that the hyperlink is applied to giving you quick visual confirmation of where the hyperlink is used.

Implicit hyperlinks will automatically populate the URL field when you create a new hyperlink but they appear implicitly in the Hyperlinks panel as well and can make them difficult to identify. You can easily rename a hyperlink by selecting the hyperlink in the Hyperlinks panel and choosing Rename Hyperlink. In the Rename Hyperlink dialog box, give the hyperlink a more appropriate name, and click OK.


Your list of hyperlinks can grow lengthy depending on depending on the document you are working on so InCopy provides a way to sort the list of hyperlinks in a number of different ways. From the panel menu of the Hyperlinks panel, choose Sort and then one of three options which include:

  • Manually – The default option which allows you to manually drag the hyperlinks up and down in the Hyperlinks panel in the order that you wish.
  • By Name – Sorts the hyperlinks by name.
  • By Type – Sorts the hyperlinks by type.

Adding hyperlinks in InCopy will make your interactive documents more user friendly and provide an enhanced user experience for your readers.

InCopy Packaging Pitfalls

Several posts ago, I described the remote InCopy workflow that allows remote InCopy users to check out stories, make edits and check them back in without ever having to step foot in the office. It’s a powerful workflow but at a recent engagement with a client I was reminded of a few pitfalls with this workflow that can really wreak havoc and potentially cause lost time and work. So in this post I’d like to describe some of these pitfalls and how you can avoid them when working in a remote workflow.

Remote Workflow Process

In a remote workflow, an InDesign user can use the Package for InCopy or Package for InCopy and Email commands to generate a package file (see figure below) that when sent to an InCopy user allows them to check out, edit, check back in, and return content to the designer. For remote editors and writers, this is an amazingly powerful feature.


The Pitfall

The package workflow works perfectly if you double click on the package (an .icap file), make your edits and immediately use the Return for InDesign or Return for InDesign and Email commands. The problem occurs if you don’t make all of your edits in one sitting and close the file to make more edits later. Upon opening the package again, you receive the error message in the figure below.


It doesn’t matter if you open the package from the attachment in an e-mail or if you open it from a saved location on your hard drive, this message rears its ugly head. The message is confusing and leaves InCopy users wondering why they are receiving the message and unsure which option to choose.

To understand the message you need to understand that when you open a package, you’re really not opening the package at all. You’re merely decompressing it to a default location on your hard drive. Where is that default location? It’s stored in a folder within your Documents folder called InCopy Assignments. Within that folder is a folder for each package that you expand by opening or double-clicking on a package file and that folder contains the assignment and any stories contained within that assignment along with some other pertinent files. All of this is transparent to the user initially. When you first open a package, it is decompressed and the assignment is opened in InCopy, ready to be worked on.


The problem occurs when a user doesn’t complete all edits in one sitting and closes the assignment. When the InCopy user comes back to the project to perform the remaining edits, they instinctively go back to the package file and re-open it. What they are really doing is decompressing the package file and re-expanding it’s components to the Documents/InCopy Assignments folder. If that folder already exists, they get the error message above telling them that one or more stories already exist. If they choose yes, they are overwriting the newer story with the story contained in the package file and thus will lose any edits previously made to that story (not good). The correct choice would be to choose no in which case the newer story (i.e. the one that they previously made edits to) will not be replaced and will be opened in InCopy with the previous edits intact.

Possible Solutions

To avoid the confusion of the displayed error message, you can directly open the assignment file from the Documents/InCopy Assignments folder. Because you are accessing the assignment and stories directly, there is no error message displayed. Conversely, if it’s inconvenient to remember when edits have been made to a story after launching the package file, simply instruct users to choose no if they receive an error message when re-opening the package file. Doing so will avoid lost edits in the workflow.

Despite these inconveniences in the workflow, the Package for InCopy feature is one that remote users just can’t live without. With a little education, your team can easily avoid the pitfalls of the remote InCopy workflow.

Easy font activation using Document Fonts

One of the challenges of the InCopy workflow can be making sure that all users participating in the workflow have access to all of the fonts used in the InDesign document(s). Many companies have a set of standard fonts that are used for projects within an organization and will load those fonts onto everyone’s computer so that they are available for use in InCopy. In some workflows however, this consistency doesn’t exist and fonts change on a regular basis or there’s a feature in a publication that uses a font that is different from the norm. This can create a lot of frustration because in order to edit content that uses one of these fonts with copyfit accuracy, the font needs to be loaded so it’s available to InCopy. This often requires a call to IT which often takes more time than most of us have to spare.

InDesign document with pink highlighting indicating missing fonts.

The dreaded pink highlighting of missing fonts.

Document Fonts

The Document Fonts feature in InDesign is a great way to activate fonts without having to activate them using a font management program or having to install them on your system. What many people forget or are unaware of is that Document Fonts can be a great benefit to InCopy users as well. Here’s how the feature works. If you put fonts into a folder called Document Fonts (spelling is important) and that Document Fonts folder lives in the same folder as the InDesign file, InDesign will automatically activate those fonts when the InDesign document is opened. Now the same thing works for InCopy in a layout based workflow. If you open the InDesign document using InCopy, the fonts will be automatically activated when the file is opened.

The waters get a little muddied however in an assignment based workflow because the assignments are stored in a separate folder than the InDesign document by default and therefore will not be able to activate the fonts when the assignment file is opened.

Finder window showing the files used in a project.

Typical organization of files in an InCopy workflow.

Making Document Fonts available to the assignments

The solution is to simply make sure that the Document Fonts folder is available to the assignment file. You don’t want to simply move the folder because then the fonts won’t be available to InDesign although if the designer has all of the fonts loaded on their computer this may not even be an issue. A simple solution is to copy the Document Fonts folder into the Assignments folder or whichever folder you are using to store your assignments. Now when you open the assignment file, the fonts are loaded and the document looks as expected.

With the Document Fonts available, the fonts are loaded and the layout looks as expected.

With the Document Fonts available, the fonts are loaded and the layout looks as expected.

The downside to this method is that if you need to add a font to the Document Fonts folder, you need to add it in two places. I thought that we might be able to solve this problem by creating an alias of the Document Fonts folder and putting it in the Assignments folder but the alias unfortunately didn’t work. If you really want to be efficient and have one folder appear in two places, you’ll need to create a symbolic link. You can do this on both Mac and Windows platforms and it solves the problem of having two separate folders. This last part might be overkill for some users and a savior to others. Either way, Document Fonts takes the headache out of the InCopy workflow allowing users to focus on the task at hand.

Easy Access to InCopy Styles

One of the great benefits of the InCopy workflow, is the ability to apply Paragraph and Character styles to text when working in a story. One of the challenges when applying those styles however is that the list of styles can be quite lengthy especially once the story is assigned (connected) to an InDesign layout. Every style created by the designer also appears in the Character and Paragraph Styles panel.

Floating Paragraph Styles panel

Although the panel can easily display all of the styles, it takes up a fair amount of real estate on your screen. Even in the docked position, it occupies real estate and also requires the user to click the button to expand the panel if it is in the collapsed state.

Taming the Styles Panel

In a previous post, I wrote about taking advantage of the features of the InCopy workspace in order to work more efficiently and to simply stay organized in InCopy. One feature that is often overlooked, is the ability to dock the character and paragraph styles panels at the top or bottom of the InCopy workspace. To do this, simply click on the tab of the panel that you wish to dock, and drag up or down (you choose) until you see a vertical or horizontal blue bar appear. A vertical blue bar indicates that you’re docking next to an existing panel, a horizontal blue bar indicates that you’re creating a new row of panels at the desired location.

Docking a panel in InCopy

Once the panel(s) are docked, they occupy virtually no additional screen real estate and they’re always available. Clicking on the drop-down arrow next to the panel displays a list of all of the styles available in the panel that you can choose from to apply the appropriate style to text in the document.


Save it!

Remember, once you position the panels the way that you like them, save the panel configuration by creating a new workspace so that the panels are easily accessed moving forward. Interestingly enough, none of the default workspaces in InCopy contains any of the styles panels which makes this feature difficult to discover.

Hopefully this little tip provides a fresh way to access and apply styles to text in your workflow!