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Panpa Bulletin : August September 2007
50 PANPA Bulletin August-September 2007 InCopy can breakdown the operational barriers between designers, editors and journalists, writes Kevin Slimp If you've been reading this column for long, you know that I'm a big fan of Adobe InDesign. If you've been paying close attention, you've probably heard me mention InDesign's companion application, InCopy. Paginators know InDesign as one of the tools of choice for creating newspaper pages. For others, like editors and reporters, InDesign can be overkill. Sure, you could use InDesign as a word processor if you wanted to, but it's a lot more application than most people need to place text on a page. This is where InCopy comes in. InCopy has been around for quite a while, but most folks in the newspaper business didn't be- come familiar with it until recent versions. Working in conjunction with InDesign, InCopy creates an editorial workflow, allow- ing writers, editors and paginators to work in harmony with each other. Basically, the InDesign/InCopy (LiveEdit) workflow functions one of two ways. More commonly, a paginator lays out the basic design of a page, leaving room for text frames, photos and other elements. Next, they "assign" each element to be available to InCopy users. Using a check-in/check-out procedure common to other editorial work- flow systems, LiveEdit users can then open a file in either InDesign or InCopy to view or make changes. Next, a reporter might open the file in InCopy, write a story in the allotted space and check the file in, mak- ing it available to anyone in the workflow. Immediately, the paginator receives a cue that a story has been changed, then accepts the change (with the click of a button) in the InDesign document. The second method of creating LiveEdit workflows begins with the reporter. They write the story, then checks the file in. After the file is checked in, an editor might check out the story to edit and suggest corrections. In addition to removing, adding and making corrections, InCopy users can create "notes" that can be seen throughout the workflow but don't end up on the printed page. Next, the paginator opens a blank InDesign page (or template) and places the InCopy text files in frames throughout the page, creating a workflow between her page and the text from InCopy. Still, anyone along the workflow could check out, edit and check in text, with the changes appear- ing on the InDesign page. As I speak about new technology at industry and press association gatherings, I generally receive more questions concern- ing InCopy than any other software prod- uct. Generally, publishers who haven't seen the application have heard of it and want to know how it works. "Can you really see how the text is going to appear on the final InDesign page while you're working in InCopy?" "InDesign as a word proces- sor is a lot more application than most people need to place text on a page" Those who write cutlines and headlines love the ability to see how their text will to appear on the page, allowing them to create visual, as well as literary, masterpieces. This can be done from within InCopy. There are a few reasons InCopy users should consider upgrading to the CS3 ver- sion. Primarily, you want to use the same version of InCopy and InDesign. If your designers are using InDesign CS3, your editorial staff should be using InCopy CS3. It makes the workflow run smoothly. An interesting addition to the CS3 ver- sion of InCopy is the ability to work with email-based assignments. This allows the paginator to send stories and graphics as single assignment via email. Basically, this means you could create a LiveEdit workflow between persons in different locations, using email where a server isn't present to share their files. Assignments have also been improved in InCopy CS3 (and InDesign CS3), making it easier to keep related stories together. This makes it easier for InCopy users who want to open an indi- vidual story rather than an assignment file containing several stories. I've worked with several newspapers over the past three years to implement the LiveEdit workflow. With each upgrade, the workflow continues to improve in ease of use and capabilities. With InCopy CS3's ability to convert Excel spreadsheets into ables, work with email assignments and performance improvements, the reasons o consider the LiveEdit workflow continue o grow. Upgrades from previous versions are available for US$89. The full version of nCopy CS3 is US$249. For more informa- ion, visit www.adobe.com. Kevin Slimp, Institute of Newspaper Technology. InCopy and InDesign: a match made in work ow heaven software matters fo v c o L w u a ta p to to aIn ti The left-hand page is from InDesign. Next to it is the same page as it appears to another user in InCopy. InCopy allows users to see how their text and other elements appear on the InDesign page.