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Saving Content

As a computer user, most of us have gotten into the habit of saving our work on a regular basis. It only takes one instance where you lose power, or quickly close a document and accidentally choose no when it asks you to save for you to realize that it’s not a good idea to go any length of time without saving your file. I’m a keyboard shortcut nut, so my method is to periodically press Cmd+S (Mac) or Ctrl+S (Win) on a regular basis to ensure that my changes have been saved.

Saving in InCopy

InCopy is no different when it comes to periodically saving while you’re working on a file. Although technically, there is no “save” command, it’s actually “save content” instead, but it performs the same operation as the traditional save does. When you have a file checked out when working on an InDesign or Assignment file, choosing save content from the file menu or pressing Cmd+S (Mac) or Ctrl+S (Win) will perform the save content operation in the current story. This is also what happens when you check a file back in, but the save content command saves any changes to the current story and allows you to keep working.

Choosing Save Content from the File menu

The limitation of the Save Content command, is that it only saves the current story (i.e. the story that you’re currently clicked in). When you have several stories checked out, this could give users a false sense of security because you’d think that performing a save, would save everything. Not so.

Saving All Content

InCopy addresses this limitation by providing another save option found in the File menu called Save All Content that does exactly what you would expect, it saves any changes in all checked out stories. The shortcut for Save All Content is Option+Shift+Cmd+S (Mac) or Alt+Shift+Ctrl+S (Win). Whew that’s a hand twister! Ann-Marie reminded me of this during a recent discussion and we both agreed that the Save All Content command is much more useful than the Save Content command.

Choosing Save All Content from the File menu.

Making Save All Content the Default

Rather than using the hand twisting shortcut that is assigned to the Save All Content command, you can customize the keyboard shortcut so that Cmd+S (Mac) or Ctrl+S (Win) initiates the Save All Content command. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Choose Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts.
  2. In the Keyboard Shortcuts dialog box, choose File Menu from the Product Area drop-down menu.
  3. In the list of commands that appears, scroll down to the Save All Content listing, and click on it to select it.
  4. In the Current Shortcuts section, click on the current keyboard shortcut that is assigned and click on the Remove button to remove the shortcut. Click yes to confirm that you want to remove it and then enter a name for the customized set of shortcuts that you’re currently creating. You can’t modify the default shortcut set in InCopy so you are prompted to create a new set.
  5. Click in the New Shortcut field, and type Cmd+S (Mac) or Ctrl+S (Win) on your keyboard, then click the Assign button. (You’ll notice a message below the shortcut field that indicates that the shortcut is assigned to another command, which is fine as you want to override that currently assigned shortcut).
  6. Click OK to close the Keyboard shortcuts dialog box.

The File menu with the new keyboard shortcut assigned.

Now using the trusty Cmd+S (Mac) or Ctrl+S (Win) shortcut will save any files currently checked out in the open InDesign or Assignment file. We’d love to know what your favorite InCopy shortcuts or customized InCopy shortcuts are. Please share them with us in the comments section below.

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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