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New User Finds New Use for InCopy

Brooks Jensen is the editor and publisher of LensWork magazine — an elegant, perfect-bound periodical that focuses on “photography and the creative process.” LensWork, by the way, was included in the Chicago Tribune’s recent feature, “Our 50 Favorite Magazines.”
Trib article:

Brooks recently converted his publication’s 7-member editorial/design staff to the InCopy/InDesign workflow, and we’ve been trading a few e-mails back and forth. A couple days after the switch, he e-mailed me, “The advantages of the parallel workflow are a Godsend. I am not exaggerating when I say that we have leapt four days ahead in our production schedule in the last 48 hours.”

I just love hearing that, you know? There aren’t too many software applications that people call a “Godsend” these days. ;-) I trust all of you know exactly what Brooks is talking about and why he’s so excited. I hear the same thing from my publishing clients who’ve made the transition — production schedules slashed by days, and even weeks.

But that’s not the point of this story, just the scene-setting. Read on …


A few weeks later, I e-mailed Brooks to see how it was going, if “the bloom was off the rose” yet. You know that’s gotta happen… once the dazzle departs, you get used the new workflow, and then start seeing things that could be improved.

And while he did reply with a couple of common wishlist items, what struck me was his detailed explanation of a completely new use for InCopy (new to me, at least) that they’re finding indispensable for their photocentric publication.

Call it “InPhoto.” Equip the artists and Photoshop retouchers at your publication with InCopy, and they too can edit within the layout. Not the text, but the artwork.

Brooks gave me permission to reprint his explanation of LensWork’s image-editing workflow, pre- and post-InCopy:

“Old way with InDesign only: We would layout the magazine with all the images (sometimes a hundred or more) that a photographer sends us. We would then edit down to the final cut. Next, every image that makes the final cut needs to be examined and tweaked in Photoshop for perfect tonalities, color corrections, and other image issues. We would do this from InDesign using EDIT ORIGINAL on each image in the final layout, working our way through the portfolio one image at a time. While doing this, the layout and editorial folks would not have access to the InDesign file — which was a frustration for all of us.

“New way with InCopy: We simply assigned the image layer of the InDesign document to an InCopy assignment. The person doing the photo editing could then use InCopy to access the final cut images rather than InDesign. They could still review and port images to Photoshop one at a time using InCopy’s EDIT ORIGINAL command just as in InDesign. This obviously left the text editors and layout people free to do their work while the photo editor was tweaking the Photoshop files for perfect reproduction. Voila — a perfect workflow for image editing that didn’t interrupt anyone else. A thing of beauty!”

Yes, Brooks, beautiful! And thank you for letting me share that with everyone.

Who else is using managed images in their InCopy/InDesign workflow? I’d love to know how it’s being used at your publication. E-mail me at and let me know the details, if you get a chance.

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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