Automating InDesign CS6


Adobe InCopy Coming to Creative Cloud

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Creative Cloud and CC Apps

If you tuned into Adobe MAX you were made aware of the new generation of Adobe applications (CC) that will soon be available from the Creative Cloud. It's an exciting time to be a graphic designer as change and innovation is happening at such a rapid pace. Keeping up with it all can be a challenge, but with Creative Cloud you have all the latest at your fingertips.

Don't have Creative Cloud yet? Take a look at some of the sneak peeks Adobe has for you at tv.adobe.com/watch/creative-cloud-for-design. Cool stuff! There is no better time to get connected.

What's New For InDesign CC

The big news for me is that InDesign has been completely rewritten from the ground up for 64 bit. But there are new features too. My top picks for InDesign CC are:

  • QR code support
    Inside InDesign enter a URL for a web hyperlink, email address, or business card information and have InDesign create a vector object that can be scanned with a Smart Phone to take the user to the link.
  • More Support for Type Fonts
    Over $20,000 worth of type fonts at your beck and call.
  • Improved Support for Export to EPub.
    Includes support for an Index as well as Table of Contents.
  • And, InCopy
    The word processor built specifically for working with InDesign.

Adobe InCopy CC

Although not an InDesign feature, the lineup of CC applications that will be available for Creative Cloud will include InCopy. Yes, finally, InCopy is part of the suite, available to users at no additional cost. And it's about time. Maybe now, savvy design shops will start using InCopy instead of the big "M".

Why InCopy?

Text in InCopy is generated with the same composition engine as InDesign. This means pixel-for-pixel seamless integration between the two applications providing perfect copy fitting, text style support, version control, and more!

What's more, the InDesign/InCopy workflow is versatile. You can set up your workflow just the way you want it. And, InCopy is scriptable.

InCopy Workflow

For starters, suppose you need copy to fit a 12 inch hole in your newsletter. You, or an editor, can fire up InCopy and with little more effort than actually typing the copy, have a file that links to InDesign and fits the required space perfectly.

For your workflow, you could:

1. Start with InCopy

Create a new document. Designate the column width and depth for the text. (For our example text width would be 14p4 wide and 12 inches deep.) Click OK.

The InCopy workspace should open in Story view by default.

To see how column width will affect line endings, switch to Galley view.

Import paragraph styles from a stylesheet or from your newsletter document. Using the paragraph styles imported, select the style for your first paragraph (Headline) and start typing. If the style is chained (next paragraph style designated), the next style in the "chain" becomes active when you enter a line return (Byline). Otherwise you will need to click on Byline in the paragraph style panel to select the style.

Type your byline and then return. From there on, the style will be Body.

As you type, the type fitting display at the bottom of the edit window will keep track of the amount of space left for copy. It you enter too much copy, the copy fit indicator turns red and shows the amount of overset. When you have the amount of text needed, you may want to switch to Layout view to see just how the text will display.

Save your file. You or a designer can then place the file in InDesign.

2. Start with InDesign (Layout workflow)

In your newsletter document, create the text frame for the desired copy. Drag the text frame to the Assignment panel. Drop the text frame on the Unassigned InCopy Content heading. When prompted, save the file to a folder named Content inside your project folder. (The project folder must be on a network or in another shared folder location.) Any InCopy user with access to the folder can then open the InDesign (.indd) file, check out the story from the Assignment panel, and enter the copy using the paragraph styles that are provided.

When through entering text, the story is checked back in from the Assignment panel. In InDesign, the designer can then click the Update Content button in the Assignment panel to bring the story in to its associated text frame.

3. Start with InDesign (Assignment workflow)

In the newsletter document, create the text frame for the desired text. Right-click (Control-click) on the text frame and choose InCopy > Add to Assignment > New and give the assignment a name (or select an existing assignment to add to). Save the document when prompted. The assignment will be saved to a folder named Assignments inside the project folder. Any InCopy user with access to the Assignment folder can check the assignment out and work on any one of the stories in the assignment. The user can switch to any one of the three views while editing (Layout, Galley, or Story). When through, the story is checked back in. The InDesign user can then update the story to have it fill the designated text frame.

Just the Tip of the Iceberg

Although the three workflow examples above show how one might use InCopy to create text for a single story in InDesign, any one or a combination of all workflows could be used for an entire project. And, best of all, InCopy can be scripted to customize your automated workflow. Our blog for the next few weeks will cover these workflows in more depth complete with scripts to automate the process. So keep tuned and check out some of the new features for InDesign and the other Creative Cloud applications at the URL above and TV.adobe.com/show/adobe-technology-sneaks-2013/.

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