I thought it was appropriate to add a post to let people know — if you haven’t been able to tell from the dates on the posts here — that this blog has gone on sabbatical for the time being. There have simply been too many demands on my time, and other blogs that I write for (InDesignSecrets.com, mostly), that I haven’t been able to post here as regularly as I used to. I’ll leave all the blog posts up (though I’ve turned off comments) because most of them are still quite useful for anyone using InCopy, even the latest version from Adobe.
I’m still very much involved in the InCopy and InDesign workflow, however, and continue to do consulting, training and workflow implementations for clients large and small around the country. In fact, we use InCopy daily at my design/publishing studio, via Dropbox, with remote writers and editors, and multiple versions of InDesign. I also monitor Twitter for InCopy mentions (follow me @amarie), and the InCopy forums on Adobe.com, and jump in with helpful advice when I can.
If you have a problem or question about InCopy or how InDesign works with InCopy, I’m happy to help you out. Just email me directly at amarie |at| senecadesign.com. If you’re looking for a trainer or implementation help, contact me and I can provide a referral to someone or talk to you myself, whichever you prefer. I would also suggest you subscribe to the InDesignSecrets.com mailing list (even if you’re just an InCopy user) to keep in touch with any InCopy-related news or events that I may be announcing.
Many users want to know if editors — the InCopy users — can use the program to create “final” PDFs of the InDesign layouts they’re editing. I don’t mean press-ready PDFs for a commercial printer (they’ll leave that up to the InDesign users); but the “straight to DVD” ones that are going to be distributed electronically, such as a PDF version of a newsletter or white paper that people can download or attach to an email.
The answer is yes, BUT. There are two gotchas that I know of, built-in trade-offs: High resolutions photos get dumbed down to medium-res JPEGs, and all interactivity is stripped out. It makes no difference if the images or stories with hyperlinked text are editable to the InCopy user or not. Why does Adobe hobble InCopy output? I really don’t know, it was a decision their engineers made long ago. I wonder if anyone over there remembers, actually.
Images in InCopy PDFs
Vector graphics (Illustrator or Corel Draw-like) are fine, as is type, since that’s also vector. InCopy exports those elements as paths with fills, which are by nature resolution independent. That is, they’ll print at the highest resolution your device can manage; and if you’re looking at them on a monitor, the preview will appear as sharp as the type, even as you zoom in to 4,000 percent.
It’s only the raster images (scans, photographs, Photoshop art) that InCopy modifies on output. And not just outputting to PDFs, but also when you print to the office printer.
A hard-working staffer asked for help with InCopy templates:
We are a simple mass market paperback company and would like to create InCopy templates that mimics our final book. I do not seem to be able to create an InCopy document that has a proper Text area. E.g. Document Setup: Text Area should be 23p by 39p, Page Size should be 32p3 by 49p6. The idea is to have the editors get a good idea of page count right from the manuscript stage, but so far Im seeing a document that does not have a centered text area nor a proper depth. This should be a cakewalk so I must be missing something.
InCopy can’t really “mimic” an InDesign layout, as much as we’d like it to … but in this scenario, you can get pretty close. Read more
Have you been to the InCopy product page on Adobe.com lately? If so you’ll note that they just posted a 20-page white paper explaining how the basic InCopy and InDesign workflow happens, updated for CS5:
(Click the cover image to download the 3.3 MB PDF, or go to the InCopy product page and download it there. It will be in the Resources section.)
“Adobe InCopy CS5 and InDesign CS5 Collaborative Editorial Workflow” (what a mouthful, huh?) is the third such white paper I’ve written for Adobe. It’s not a Reviewer’s Guide (like the CS4 paper was); it’s more of a general, take-you-by-your-hand approach to how editors and designers actually use the software. In that way, it’s very similar to the CS3 white paper. In fact, we received permission from the same good people at Chicago Wilderness magazine that we used in the CS3 paper to use their content for the screen shots in the CS5 version.
If you know of someone who’s mulling over moving to InCopy; or you want something that new hires can read to give them an idea about how your company’s design and editorial departments work together, have them read this paper. (And if they have any questions, they can post them here!)
Q: Can you only create packages in InDesign?
A: I know you’re referring to e-mail-based Assignments, aka InCopy packages (INCP in CS3, or ICAP in CS4) or assignment packages; and the answer is “essentially, yes.” Only InDesign can initiate the remote workflow by creating an InCopy package “from scratch,” that is, from a regular assignment in a layout. An InCopy user can’t do this; they can’t decide on the fly, “Oh I think I’ll work on this from home, I’ll send it to myself.” However, if an InCopy user receives a package from a designer and opens it in InCopy; then she can create another package from it. She can either return it to the designer as an InDesign package, or repackage it into another InCopy package, assumably for another editor (by choosing Forward to InCopy from her Assignments panel).
Can you explain again why the remote workflow won’t work with remote designers?
We had a great crowd at last month’s webinar, InCopy/InDesign Tips and Tricks! People logged in from all over the world and with all sorts of publishing backgrounds. Since no one dropped out during the 90 minute session, and everyone rated the session “good” or “great” in the poll at the end, I’d say it was a success! (You can sign up to access and watch the recording here, if you like. )
As promised, attendees, I grabbed the entire transcript from the Chat window so I could make sure and answer all your questions, which I do so below to the first section. Some of these I already covered during the 30 minute Q&A — I’ll still reprise the answers here for the benefit of my blog readers.
Q: Would you say again how do you set up layout view as default?
A: Start up InCopy but don’t open any files. Choose Layout View from the View menu. It should now carry a checkmark (before, Story View had the checkmark). From now on, when you open files they’ll open in Layout view. Read more
This morning, Adobe released the “6.04″ updater, a significant bug fix for the Mac and Windows versions of InDesign CS4 and InCopy CS4. You can download the updater application directly from within either program — look for the “Check for Updates” command — or go to Adobe’s Download > Updates section of their web site and download it manually. If you haven’t been keeping up with your CS4 bug fixes and you’re not quite up to 6.03 yet, don’t worry, the 6.04 updater is cumulative: it can update any 6.x version of InDesign or InCopy. Read more
September 2009 is Learn InCopy month at InCopySecrets.com! Whether you’re a newbie wondering if InCopy could possibly work at your company; or you’re a veteran InCopy workflow team member in need of higher-level training, tips, tricks and troubleshooting help, I’ve got something for you.
Full-day InCopy seminars
First, I’m really excited to be able to do two full days of InCopy/InDesign workshops on September 15 and 16. (Finally, I’ll have the time to cover everything I want to cover!) I’ll be doing these in one of the beautiful presentation halls at the Institute for Graphics and Imaging, just west of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It’s the same place where I did a 2-day InDesign Master Class a couple years ago, if any of you were there. Read more
Tom, a journalism professor and InDesign/InCopy user, e-mailed me about his interesting use of InCopy as kind of a “Word cleaner plug-in:”
Because I like and understand InDesign and have had quirky problems using Word files, I’ve come up with a new workflow that puts InCopy in the middle. Quickly: I edit in Word then later open the file in InCopy where I do all of my formatting, knowing it will be there when I place the InCopy file in InDesign.
That was pretty neat … and I know that using InCopy to “prep” Word files for InDesign is standard practice in a lot of my client’s workflows.
Tom had a question about something, though:
I have a workspace named Newsletter, and InCopy opens in that workspace. But when I open a story from Word, all of my paragraph styles, etc., disappear and I have to take a second to reload them. I’ve tried saving the workspace with the paragraph styles open, but it doesn’t seem to matter.
As Tom discovered, paragraph styles (or any styles) that are within the panel are ignored when you create and save a workspace. Read more
When Mac users and Windows users need to share the same files, it’s important to use “lowest common denominator” types of filenames to avoid platform-specific problems with special characters. The Mac is perfectly fine with, say, a “greater than” symbol (OurLayout>v2.indd), while Windows most definitely is not. And when files are saved to and opened from a Windows server, making sure their names comply with the server OS’s rules is even more important.
When you run into an issue where users on one platform can check out stories from a layout or assignment, but users on the other platform cannot, look at the filenames to make sure they’re not the root of the problem. (After making sure everyone’s server permissions are correct, of course.) Read more