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Jump Stories Between InDesign Files

Sumil wrote:

How can two newspaper pages (in two InDesign files) share a common InCopy file. So that one half of the story flows in the first page and rest in the second page.

These are called jump stories in my part of the world. Is such a thing possible without using any additional plug-ins?

Sumil’s question reminded me of the ingenious solution that Russell Viers, InDesign trainer/newspaper expert extraordinaire, came up with recently for this exact situation.

Essentially, you link the same InCopy file (ICML) to the two InDesign layouts, and then use the Conditional Text feature in InDesign/InCopy CS4 to show/hide text at the jump. So, no plug-in is necessary (nor do I know of any that would do this), but you do need the current CS4 version of InDesign and InCopy .

You can read Russell’s step-by-step instructions in this post on, the sister site to this one.

Curious about the Conditional Text feature? You’ll find a 10-minute video on using Conditional Text in InCopy CS4 in my ID/IC CS4 Workflow title on (Scroll down to Chapter 7, “Advanced Text Editing in InCopy” to find the link.) But to really do a deep dive into the topic, check out the five videos (about 40 minutes total) in the Chapter 4: Conditional Text chapter in my InDesign CS4 New Features title.

In neither case, though, do I show that uber-cool solution that Russell Viers came up with. The guy’s a genius!

Anne-Marie Concepcion

Anne-Marie Concepcion

Anne-Marie “Her Geekness” Concepción is the co-founder (with David Blatner) and CEO of Creative Publishing Network, which produces InDesignSecrets, InDesign Magazine, and other resources for creative professionals. Through her cross-media design studio, Seneca Design & Training, Anne-Marie develops ebooks and trains and consults with companies who want to master the tools and workflows of digital publishing. She has authored over 20 courses on on these topics and others. Keep up with Anne-Marie by subscribing to her ezine, HerGeekness Gazette, and contact her by email at or on Twitter @amarie
Anne-Marie Concepcion

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7 Comments on “Jump Stories Between InDesign Files

  1. My client is more than frustrated with their InCopy workflow. It seems the art department is having problems being consistent in their exporting, assignments etc. leaving the Editors with outdated assignments, or broken links. Since they produce 5-10 high end magazines at a time, time is of the essence. Also, with their varied network speed, the InCopy files open very slowly only adding to the stress.

    They are considering giving up the workflow of both Editorial and Art working simultaneously and just have the Editors open the indd. docs in InCopy and edit the incx.s. In testing this scenario, they find the files open faster, and the Assignment issue is removed from the problem.

    Other than going back to a linear workflow do you foresee any potential problems with this?

  2. There is nothing wrong with having the editors open the ID layouts, that’s how most of my clients work. Hardly anyone uses assignments. Just make sure the layouts and exported stories are on the local network server … don’t let people copy stuff back to their computers.

    I assume you know that multiple editors can open the INDD file simultaneously, even if the designer is working on it? So it’s not necessary to forego the parallel workflow.

    On the other hand, for logistical reasons, some companies prefer not to have the designer and the editor working on the same layout simultaneously. Using InCopy still makes life dramatically easier (easier than marking up paper proofs).

    Hope that helps!

  3. 5-10 high-end magazines? How large is this operation? Sounds like it’s too big for a pure InCopy/InDesign assignments workflow. Not sure what Adobe is recommending these days, but they do recommend a maximum number of seats, if I recall. Wonder if these people need (a) a more robust network and (b) some sort of third-party Integration solution to automate the InCopy/InDesign workflow AND track/provide audit of changes whatsoever. There are several of these out there.

  4. Massey, you could be right, that Allison (the first commenter) might be asking too much of the off-the-shelf IC/ID workflow. Adding Smart Connection or K4 as a management system on top of IC ID would give them a lot of support.

    As far as I know there is no practical limit on the # of users for IC/ID. If you’ve got the network speed baby, they’ve got the time. ;-) But I believe Adobe recommends if you have more than 15 people working on the *the same publication concurrently* then you’re probably going to need the features of a full-blown publication management system.

    I have a number of clients whose art and editorial staffs number 50+ and are doing great with just IC and ID. However they produce a variety of pubs with smaller teams .. they seldom have more than 5 or 10 designers/editors working on a given publication at the same time.

  5. Hi
    I have Incopy for PC and work with 2 designers who both use Indesign on apple mac. Both of them have sent me an INX file to edit text but when i open the files all I get is code. what is happening here?

    Please help as we are on deadline and I thought buuying Incopy would help speed things up!


  6. Here’s my last problem.
    I need to work on two different computers at the same time for the design of a magazine.

    Can the designers use only one document, just a .IND file both at the same time?
    Or do they have to work separately and at the end, just link the two .IND files contents together???

  7. An InDesign document can only be opened by one InDesign user at a time. So you can use either the Book feature to help manage the two files, or perhaps try Marthino da Gloria’s very cool free script for CS3 or CS4 called “Layout Zone”.

    Here’s Martinho’s web site where he discusses the script and lets you download it:

    On, we wrote about his script when the CS3 version first came out:

    hope that helps!

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