InDesignSecrets Podcast 179

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  • Creative Cloud subscription special offer ends Aug. 31!
  • How to collaborate with non-InDesign users
    • PDF solutions: useful plug-ins, little-known features
    • Microsoft Word, Google Docs, InCopy
    • MediaTrad, Story Tweaker, more
  • Quizzler! How many ways can you …
  • Obscure InDesign Feature of the Week: Complex Rasterized Regions

17 Comments on “InDesignSecrets Podcast 179

  1. I still lament the untimely loss of the Review that was available for part of CS5.5’s time. This was one of the best new products I’ve seen come out of Adobe in recent times. You could initiate a review from within your InDesign document, which uploaded images of your pages to There, users could markup those images collaboratively, and their comments would appear directly back in InDesign. It worked great. It was very much in the spirit of Acrobat’s PDF reviews, but the interface and online component made a far superior experience for all involved.

    It was killed shortly before Creative Cloud hit to wails of disappointment from its users on the forums. I’m still holding out hope that it might make a reappearance sometime because I think the user experience of Acrobat’s PDF review function is just too fiddly and crufty for time-pressed bosses and clients to actually bother with.

    I suspect there is probably a decent opportunity for a startup to create an online, collaborative PDF/document review app.

  2. I just winced at Anne-Marie’s suggestion of converting a web page to PDF, then to Excel. While it is a possible workflow, you can more simply save the web page from the browser and open the HTML in Excel. One less program may mean a fewer conversion issues.

  3. Jim, you’re right, wince away. :D Fewer cooks = better broth.

    Did you just publish an article (blog post) about getting tables into InDesign in this way? Someone did and sent me the URL but I neglected to bookmark it.

    I remember that the article pointed out that you can go to Source mode of any web page that has a table, copy the table code (from opening to closing table tags), save it as a plain asci file with an HTML extension, and Excel will open this and convert it to a spreadsheet.

    Great way to extract just the table, and none of the other text or divs or formatting from a web page.

  4. Believe it or not, there are actually still paper-based workflows in existence (but not in my office!). For those InDesign users who have to print out their documents for collaborative review, there are tools to help with that as well.

    SpellProof works in conjunction with dynamic spelling to highlight misspelled words, both on screen, in print, and in the PDF.

    Another one, EditMarks, is sort of like Track Changes, but it allows you to view the changes in Layout Mode and (using their PDF Stickies plugin) export them as sticky notes.

    Another great episode! I look forward to each and every one.

    Another one that deserves mentioning is Rotohiko’s BarredText, which was designed to mimic the FrameMaker’s “change bars.” Basically, you can use it to insert a dynamical expanding bar to one side of the text. In one of my old workflows, the bar on the side was for whoever was proof reading the hard copy; the bar indicated what text had changed since the last time the document was proofed, and the proof reader knew just to proof that barred text, and ignore everything else.

  5. I wouldn’t be able to get by without PDF Annotations. It’s a brilliant tool. I send the PDFs to an external proofreader, who then marks the PDFs up using PDF annotations, stickies and comments etc. – I then receive the PDF back, the PDF Annotations are read and directly applied in InDesign via a Annotations panel – which can import all the changes in one go.

    It saves me hours of work.

  6. Anne-Marie – credit where it’s due. It’s something that Adobe should consider implementing as a standard feature.

  7. There is one caveat – after you generate the PDF and send it for Annotations (Annotating?) you can’t make changes to it again yourself. So if someone comes along and asks to put a change through it’s best to wait until the PDF annotations are imported.

    It’s very clever though :)

  8. About the Word version and importing that to InDesign.

    We have magazine articles written in Word – they come from people that wouldn’t have access to design tools etc.

    We setup a Word Template that has all the styles that the InDesign file has, except the styles in Word would say have Heading 1 as 18pt in Red. And Heading 2 as 14pt in Green etc. Body text is set in 12pt times etc.

    But all the style names are included in the Word file.

    I import the Word file to my template and all the styles come in, except with some overrides.

    One extra step is to run the preptext.jsx script (I don’t have a link :( ) Then hit the Override button and all the styles are automagically updated.

    All the paragraph styles are applied in Word before sending to the proofreader, so the proofreader can decide if Heading 1 should be Heading 2, and it’s very visual having them colourised.

    There are other things in the Word file to help with the flow – but it works for us and with so many people handling the files, it’s best to have them updated as much as possible in Word before processing the documents in the layout in InDesign.

  9. Anne-Marie, (re: wincing at HTML…) I don’t blog so it was not me. The whole import HTML into ID runaround seems to be changing with CS6. One may not even need Excel now.

  10. Google Docs is a great concept, but it has a major bug. Several times I’ve had it go wrong. For example, I converted a tabbed paragraph to a table and my writer added questions marks to the copy that should have been in column one, but it ended up starting the paragraph in column 2. I work on 200+ page manuals. I can’t risk errors like this. I WISH there were a function like Google Docs that could keep the style mapping in a linked Word doc.

    I will be trying DTP Annotations. I currently use a two-screen setup with the PDF on one side and the InDesign file on the other.

  11. Yup…enabling collaborative editing, translation and review of InDesign docs online is what we do. Perfect for non-InDesign/InCopy users who need to edit or comment on InDesign docs, and when you have teams spread around the world and need an online solution for managed edit and review workflows.

  12. DocsFlow for CS4 on a Mac works very well for me – I linked to several separate text documents and updated from the links palette. My changes from within InD text frames also updated seamlessly. For quick layout review I took a screenshot on the Mac of a page and sent that small, easily viewed PNG in email for comments on layout or photo placements. It was only at sign-off point I needed to make PDFs for review and comment. This saved everyone a lot of time and confusion, and allowed several people to view and edit the text at the same time from their browsers. Because of a Javascript problem in my browser I had a little difficulty saving custom style mapping from DocsFlow to InD on linking, but once text was linked to the InD document frame and styled in InD it retained all the styling through the automatic updates. Everyone involved preferred this process to the exchange of many PDFs we used to do.

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