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InCopy in the Age of the Cloud

A lot has happened in the past 12 months that have changed how users get their hands on Adobe InCopy. Namely, the fact that Adobe is now offering their software via a subscription model as opposed to the traditional perpetual license that everyone was familiar with.

With the release of the Creative Cloud, Adobe is no longer selling a physical version of their products. Instead, you must purchase a subscription which provides access to Creative Cloud software that can be downloaded and installed on your computer. As a Creative Cloud member, all of the Creative Cloud software is available via a download. If a project arises that requires software not yet installed on your computer, you can download it from the Creative Cloud and install it which is a pretty simple process.

InCopy Users Rejoice!

InCopy CC LogoInCopy has never actually been a part of the Creative Suite of applications that we’ve been using for the past 10 years. If you wanted InCopy, you had to purchase a separate license for the additional software. Now however, InCopy CC is included as part of a Creative Cloud membership opening up the features of the InCopy workflow to the masses! This is great news for users who have considered implementing an InCopy workflow but were hesitant due to the additional cost of the software. One of the not so highly publicized  benefits of Creative Cloud membership is that you actually get two licenses of each application with your membership and they don’t have to be for the same platform. The only restriction is that both computers need to be for the same primary user of the software. So whether you’re running OS X, Windows, or both, Creative Cloud membership has you covered!

Creative Cloud Membership

To become a Creative Cloud member,  head on over to the Adobe website and sign up. The cost of a full Creative Cloud membership is $49.99/month. To see a full list of included software, click here. For a limited time, you can upgrade to the Creative Cloud at a cost of $29.99/month for the first year as long as you have purchased one of the Creative Suite products (version CS3 or greater).

So what do you do if all you want is Adobe InCopy? Well, you can also subscribe to individual products including InCopy if you wish at a cost of $19.99/month. This offers a relatively affordable solution for companies who have a lot of InCopy users. Keep in mind that the minute you need three individual applications, it’s cheaper to purchase a full Creative Cloud membership. But if you only need one or two applications, it’s cheaper to subscribe to the individual products. Many InCopy users that I work with spend most of their time in InCopy and Acrobat so purchasing those two products is still cheaper than the full membership. In a few companies that I’ve worked with, editorial folks are also tasked with making edits to Illustrator graphs and related artwork. In this situation the full Cloud membership makes more economical sense.

It should be mentioned that each of the plans discussed above requires an annual commitment at the prices listed. You can choose to subscribe on a monthly basis which allows you to cancel at any time however the prices jump to $29.99/month for individual applications and $74.99/month for the full membership. Not a bad deal if you need a product for only a few months during a busy production cycle.

Always up-to-date

A drastic shift from traditional software “ownership” is that starting with the Adobe Creative Cloud, updates to CC software including fixes and new features will be released on a regular basis. These updates are included as part of your CC subscription. Traditionally InCopy users would have to justify the additional cost of upgrading to a newer version, but now these upgrades are included with your subscription.

In a future post, I plan on discussing dealing with mixed versions of InCopy and InDesign in a typical workflow. What to watch out for, and what does and doesn’t work.

I look forward to hearing from all of you on what you like and don’t like about the Creative Cloud and what it means to your company and your workflow. Till next time!

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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5 Comments on “InCopy in the Age of the Cloud

  1. I just got InDesign CC installed. I don’t see Incopy in the Edit drop-down menu like I did on my CS5.5. Also the “Assignments” panel is not available. Is there anything extra that we have to install? I don’t use Incopy directly, only the editors so I didn’t get it installed in my computer, should i?

  2. You shouldn’t need to install anything other than InDesign Mari. I installed InDesign CC on some training computers last week for a client and it showed up without a problem. You didn’t happen to customize your menus did you? Go to Edit > Menus and make sure that InDesign Defaults is chosen.

  3. Mari,

    The Assignments panel is still available in InDesign, just a slightly different access from the previous Window> Assignments. It is now Window>Editorial>Assignments.


  4. It should be realized that it’s not unusual for Adobe to release a new version of a product with features depricated. The subscription model is, by-and-large, a lose for the end user. Consider:

    My philosophy, born out working prepress production, is to never use release 1 of new software (every time a new feature is implemented, you’re at release 1). It is simply too great a risk for something you rely on to be right. For instance, InDesign took 4 releases (CS2) before they got reliable color separations (absolutely essential for a page layout program) that the printing industry could accept. What makes this even worse is that Adobe got it’s start with the software that does color separations—the PostScript printer language. Go figure.

    Whatever minor front-end convenience the user sees with a subscription-based model, it is entirely and overwhelmingly eclipsed by the pay-me-until-you-die price tag.

    I am, historically, an Adobe fan. When companies like Quark were putting big pricetags and

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