iPad Acrobat+Acrobat Desktop+InDesign workflow

Community Beginner ,
Jan 18, 2022 Jan 18, 2022

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I work as an editor and copyeditor. Therefore, I have to make large books revisions that will later go to the hands of a graphic designer that has to introduce them on InDesign. It appears that Adobe hasn't imagined at all a workflow that could be really useful for proffessionals as myself. If someone has figured out how to do this, your insights would be really appreciated.

 

I use an iPad Pro + Pencil + PDF Expert to mark my pages. The bigger iPad screen, plus the precision of the pencil, alouds me to work almost as I did on paper, using correction marks, handwritten annotations, and all kind of visual marks requiered (such as "lower the picture" or just circling something. By doing this by hand, the process is more intuitive and way faster than on the computer, on many levels (posture, interface, etc.). So far, what I have done is using PDF more or less the same way I would use a paper sheet. But, considering the power of Acrobat to send changes to InDesign that can be simply applied by the designer, I would like to have the best of both worls: handwritten marks combined with direct changes on the text. The marks would address graphic problems, and the text changes would address all the rest. 

 

Note: I hate using the "notes" feature, because it makes tiny little, pale notes that can be missed on the revision process. 

 

But, with Adobe products, I have found these problems:

 

1. The iOS app doesn't have a basic feature: palm rejection. Therefore, it can be a nightmare to use when annotating extensively a text. Something as easy as alternating the pencil with the finger makes the document way more easy to navigate, instead of the problem that it will create random lines when I was simply trying to scroll down.

 

2. The iOS app lacks key annotation features, only found on the desktop app, such as "insert text" and "replace text". Therefore, I cannot make everything on a single process. Let's say I'm reading, and find a typo. I would like to correct that typo right there, from my iPad (I also have an external keyboard, for longer text), and keep reading on, annotating everything, rather than read once for general annotations, and then go to the computer to fix things.

 

3. No matter what app I use (iOS Acrobat, PDF Expert, desktop Acrobat), when those annotations are imported into InDesign, the line looks thicker (way too thick), and it defeats the purpose of having handwritten annotations, since they're illegible.

 

4. When importing the annotations into de desktop app, I haven't found select-erase tools that work in a practical way (there are selection and erasing tools, but with zero control, just too basic) to fit in a workflow where, for example, I can make handwritten annotations on the iPad, and then, in a different process, insert all the text corrections on the page. I would require to errase single annotations easily, select the text below without problem, and erase whatever I consider unnecesary for the designer to see. But, after experimenting around a little bit, I found that all the annotations become a single block (or erratic blocks), that I cannot select in a smart way (it's like "all or nothing, rather than small or medium size sectors), and I wasn't even able to change the eraser size (if this can be done, please tell me where). I had problems such as being unable to select the text below the mark to make the text change, or to delete una single mark over one word without deleting all the rest of the marks of the page, and using the eraser was just a nightmare (slow, inaccurate).

 

5. As a last attempt to make this work, I connected my iPad as an external monitor to the Mac, in order to use the Desktop App combined with the Pencil. It worked slow, not intuitively, consuming a lot of resources, and not as easy as just correcting on PDF Expert (which I have chosen over other PDF software because, for this, it just works).

 

After a few hours trying to create an efficent workflow from PDF annotation to InDesign, I declare myself unsuccessful. But I also think that Adobe hasn't considered any of these scenarios to design their apps. I know maybe InCopy would be the best solution for me, right now, but it leaves out an important part of the experience, which is using pen and paper to simple read a text in order to correct it, translated into a digital medium. 

 

So, if any of you has figured this out, I would appreciate the input. 

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Community Beginner ,
Jul 06, 2022 Jul 06, 2022

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I have the exact same issues. It would be enough from Adobe to support the "insert text" and "replace text" annotations on the iPad version... how came this has never been done? I tried several alternative pdf readers on iOS but none of them works. Did you find a solution to this issue?

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Community Beginner ,
Jul 08, 2022 Jul 08, 2022

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What I did was using PDF Expert Pro, using a combination of live annotations, and margin notes (they have a particularly useful one that hast a line and a box) for longer texts. (I love the variety of tools that it has for annotation, and the customizable tool bar, where I added several different color pens, highlights, seals, and everything I use when annotating a book for proofreading.) 

 

The designer wasn't able to import the PDF right into InDesign, because it was too risky. Too many changes got lost in the in between. So he copied and pasted the text that I typed for him on the PDF. It made it easier for him, but it's hardly a good workflow. By the way, PDF Expert is what Adobe Acrobat should be, in my personal opinion. Too bad that they "redesigned" Acrobat a few years ago and made it so unusable, at least for me.

I hope this helps. And I certainly hope someone in Adobe is taking note of this. It's frustrating that Acrobat is not the tool we need it to be.

 

 

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LEGEND ,
Jul 08, 2022 Jul 08, 2022

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The Designer MUST freeze the InDesign work until the copyedits come back. Absolutely freeze: no edits, anywhere, no saves. If they can't work this way (and often they can't) the automatic function is basically useless, as I understand it.

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Community Beginner ,
Jul 08, 2022 Jul 08, 2022

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Yes. That's usually how it is. Even with automatic functions, some order must exist. For example, if I correct a PDF version that is different from the one the designer has, and he changes something wrongly, and I don't see it because that error is not on my PDF revised version, a huge mistake may get to print. Some publishing houses use InCopy. That alouds the designer and the copyeditor to work at the same time, but it also has its perks. Maybe that works for you. In my case, it doesn't work, because the publishing house doesn't even want to hear about it. They feel that the learning curve is too high. 

 

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