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My InCopy CS3 Workflow White Paper

Last fall, one of my favorite clients — Adobe Systems themselves, woo-hoo! — hired me to write up their official InCopy CS3 Workflow white paper. You’re probably familiar with an earlier version (like CS or CS2) of this white paper. It’s the PDF document prospective users download from the main InCopy product page on the web site to get an idea of how the workflow works.

Look for the link on the InCopy product page [edit: Adobe removed the link when InCopy CS4 was released], or cut to the chase and download the PDF here (4 MB).

On the InCopy product page, note that the official title of the PDF is “The Collaborative Editorial Workflow using Adobe InCopy CS3 and InDesign CS3.” They were paying me by the word so I was as verbose as possible … heh. I’m kidding, Adobe, just kidding!

Actually our aim was to reduce the jargon and verbosity, and make the workflow as clear as possible for users. Of course, it’s just an overview, so I had to continually cut, cut, and cut some more so as not to overwhelm the newbies. ;-)

But I am quite happy with the end result. There are many more screen shots of actual projects (from a “real” publication, not one created for Adobe demos), new information on using layout-based, remote, and XML workflows, and (with a tip of the hat to LensWork magazine, discussed in an earlier issue of InCopyFlow) a neat little sidebar about using InCopy in photo editing departments.

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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5 Comments on “My InCopy CS3 Workflow White Paper

  1. Bravo, Anne-Marie

    As cool and as simple as InCopy is, I find some people have a hard time getting their head around the concepts involved in the workflow. This is a superb paper – very clearly written. Thank you!


  2. Hi,

    (I put a note on ID Secrets about this, but no one’s responded, so I thought I’d try it here.)

    I’m trying to figure out the best way to design a workflow where everyone–designers and editors–can work remotely.

    Right now, we’re running ID and IC, with everyone working directly on a local server.

    I’m assuming that if we all worked remotely, working directly on the server (as we do now) would be very slow. I understand how the packaging thing works, so it seems like the basic workflow would be:
    1. Designer pulls the ID file off the server to work on it.
    2. Designer packages ID file for IC and e-mails to editor for editor to work on it.
    3. Editor works on it, then e-mails it back to the designer.
    4. Designer puts it back on the server.
    Is this the most sensible way to think about this?
    My main worry is that the designers are the gatekeepers to the server. If they forget to put something back, no one else can get to it.
    Also, what happens if an editor needs to work on a file that’s on the server? Can they pull it off the server, open it with IC, work on it, and then put it back without major repercussions? (Jason Blair, on ID Secrets, seemed to imply that he ran into trouble.)
    I don’t know anything about how servers work. Perhaps the solution actually lies in how we set ours up?
    Any thoughts on how this might work best would be appreciated.

  3. Hi there… the only problem would occur when people move files off the server to work on them locally, then move them back. Links and assignments are easily messed up. You’d have to zip entire project folders, copy them, unzip them, change assignment locations, etc.

    The remote workflow is meant for *InCopy* users working from home, not designers. (Or at least, designers only work from one location … either home or on-site.) That’s because everything works best when the ID file stays where it is.

    So the designer working from home could keep the ID file on her (or his) computer, and generate assignments and assignment packages from there, and editors email her their return packages, where she updates the ID layout locally on her computer with the updated content. I know a bunch of companies where the whole workflow is done remotely.

    If you’re trying to come up with a workflow where the ID file can be moved from the server to a designer’s local computer and back again, I’m sure it’s possible but there are too many factors to consider in coming up with the safest, easiest strategy for you here in a comment.

    Perhaps other readers can chime in? (Soon the site’s redesign will make it easier for people to find recent comments to older posts … sorry!) In the meantime you might try asking on the Adobe InCopy user-to-user forums.

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