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Software Review: InCopy CS5 From Adobe Systems

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Adobe InCopy is a professional writing and editing workflow program from Adobe Systems. It was first released in 1991 and it is tightly integrated with Adobe InDesign. It is meant to enable enhanced collaboration between design and editorial teams who are working between the two products.

It contains three viewing modes. The Story view is for text reading where it works like a word processor without the publication page formatting. The Galley view is where it works like a word processor with line numbers and line breaks as in the layout, but without the actual formatting, and the Layout view is where shows the true page design layout displaying every format applied to the page.

While it can be used as a word processor, Adobe InCopy’s real strength is as an integral part of the InDesign workflow where writers, editors, and designers can simultaneously work the same page. In this workflow, the designer creates the page layout in InDesign while the editors simultaneously edit different stories from within InCopy. For more on what it takes to run InCopy CS5, visit the Adobe InCopy site.

 InCopy CS5

So what is new with Adobe InCopy CS5?

• Parallel collaborative workflow will provide much tighter integration between Adobe InCopy and Adobe InDesign giving a smoother workflow in which local and remote writers, editors and designers can simultaneously work on a single document without worry of losing each other’s changes.

• Additional tools have been added for better editorial productivity including the Eyedropper tool for quick text styling, the Links panel for easy management of placed image and text files, and paragraph and character styles for typographical consistency.

• Adobe Mini Bridge now not only provides more flexible access to your workspace, but you will work more productively with easy access to key controls and tools. Through the use the Adobe Mini Bridge panel to browse and open files without leaving InCopy you will spend less time finding stuff, and more time creating. You can also create custom workspaces that can be used for specific editorial tasks.

• Adobe CS Live online is a separate service that you can take advantage of collaborative services available through Acrobat.com. This will let you import content from Buzzword, Adobe’s online word processing tool, as editable InCopy stories as well as work with others in real time by sharing your screen via Adobe ConnectNow.

• Span Columns can be achieved by making single-column text span multiple columns with no dedicated text frame needed You can also have paragraphs that split columns allowing you to quickly turn any text selection into multiple columns within an existing text frame.

 InCopy CS5

• Multi-threading support will let you take advantage of todays advanced multithreading technology to close documents and save changes to multiple stories faster.

• Document installed fonts will give you the ability to avoid the inconvenience of missing fonts. When you open an InCopy story, InCopy CS5 automatically looks for an associated document fonts folder, installs the folder’s fonts temporarily for use in the story, and then uninstalls the fonts when you close the story. The appropriate font licenses are still required for any party opening, editing, or printing the story.

While I would not call this a revolutionary upgrade for InCopy CS5, Adobe has added a couple of nice features with the Eyedropper, and Layers panel, as well as the ability to span columns. If you use CS Live, that integration will be welcomed as well, as will the Mini Bridge.

Obviously if you are working with InDesign, then this is a no-brainer especially if those you work with are upgrading to InCopy CS5. The integration is just too good not to use it and adding the document installed fonts, and the increase to  multi-threading, I think that it is worth a look.

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About T. Michael Testi

Photographer, writer, software engineer, educator, and maker of fine images.