Writing and editing program streamlines editorial workflow

On magazine or newspaper layouts, edits are usually marked up by hand and then given back to production to change. This back-and-forth might continue numerous times until text is correct and fits properly, causing a production bottleneck. Enter InCopy CS–at least for InDesign CS users. Essentially, InCopy is a text-editing-only version of InDesign.

The designer exports the layout using the Stories menu and then users can check out stories to edit using InDesign’s Link palette and InCopy’s Story List. Even though the stories are exported into the InCopy format (which is really XML), InCopy users must open up the original InDesign file to make edits. Once a user checks out a story, it’s unavailable for other users to edit. As stories are edited, other users are notified of the updates through the Link and Story List palettes, allowing them to update the story in their systems. If the designer updates the layout, InCopy users are notified via the Story List palette.

InCopy offers editors and writers three views: Layout, which looks just like the InDesign layout; Story, which looks similar InDesign’s Story Editor except that all the stories are listed in the window; and Galley, which is like a word-processor view, but with the layout’s actual line breaks and line counts. The Layout and Galley view give the user feedback as to how many lines of text the story is short or long based on the current design.

The program offers typographic controls, such as Paragraph Style, Character Style, Glyph, and Table palettes, and it has a dynamic spell checker. If you know InDesign, you can learn InCopy fairly quickly. Adobe recommends the standard InCopy (available as a 30-day download demo) for workgroups of 2-7 people. For larger workgroups, more advanced InCopy options are available, such as SmartConnection Pro from

PRICE: $249 ($259 on CD)
FROM: Adobe Systems Incorporated
PHONE: 800-833-6687