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Good News for Layout-based Workflow Users!

One of the things that I love about the InCopy workflow is how complex or simple the workflow can be. On the simple side of things, is what is often referred to as the layout-based workflow. With this workflow, no assignments are used but instead InCopy users open the InDesign document directly which still allows both designers and editors to work on the same document simultaneously. It’s a brilliant and simple workflow that is used by many.

With the release of InCopy and InDesign CC an unfortunate problem occurred where this workflow broke. Users would receive a message “This file is already open by another user or another application” if the InDesign document was already open by a designer using InDesign. You can read more about the details of the problem in this post on the Adobe forums.

The fix for this problem has been to either revert back to CS6, or to move to an assignment-based workflow, neither of which was an acceptable fix for many users. The good news is that as of the 2014 release of Creative Cloud, this problem has been fixed! According to testing that I’ve done and based on the post mentioned above, the latest release solves the problem so that the layout-based workflow works as expected.

To update your copy of InDesign and InCopy to the 2014 release of Creative Cloud, launch the Creative Cloud Desktop application and run the update to InDesign CC and/or InCopy CC which will actually install a new copy of the applications. The new versions will be named InDesign CC (2014) and InCopy CC (2014). There have been a few random reports of users having difficulties running the latest updates, so if you encounter any problems with installation from the Creative Cloud Desktop application, point your web browser to, choose your application, and initiate the download from here. You will need to sign in using your Adobe ID to initiate the download.

So if you were one of the users affected by this unfortunate situation, hopefully you’ll now be happily back to the workflow that you’ve trusted and loved for so long! Enjoy!

Chad Chelius

Chad Chelius

Chad Chelius is an Adobe Certified Instructor, Author, and Consultant in the Philadelphia area and works with clients to improve their creative workflows using Adobe products. He's also the author of several courses on He specializes in PDF accessibility using Adobe InDesign and is a regular speaker at The InDesign Conference and PePcon.
Chad Chelius

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