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Indesign & novel for a photographer.

Community Beginner ,
Apr 05, 2020

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I’m a music photographer who after building a horribly large archive, wrote a couple of rock n roll orientated novels, to promote said archive. Novels were written in Word, and laid out in Scrivener.

I now need to get formatting spot on, and a Freelancer formatting hot shot tells me the novel should get laid out in InDesign.

My question: is it relatively easy to get a remote design guy to lay out the novels in InDesign, then use InDesign my end, so I can keep making minor changed – modification to the text?

I would only be amending typos, and making minor grammatical changes as well as the odd clever modification, however, nothing major.

Meaning, I spose, can I cut and paste chapters from  InDesign to Word, then back to InDesign easy enough, or is that a challenge. I’m not trying to use InDesign as an editor, just ascertain how easy it is to make minor changes.
THANKS

Adobe Community Professional
Correct answer by Randy Hagan | Adobe Community Professional

I guess the questions are: Do you want to invest in a subscription to In Design/Creative Cloud for this process? And is it worth it to you to take on the resposibility/liability of doing your own revisions and submitting those spot on layouts yourself?

 

InDesign is probably the best tool available for creating "press-ready" book production materials. I'm biased, of course, since I use the program for regularly doing that work. As I suspect your freelancing formatting hot shot does and most folks do in the production graphics industry. It's not necessarily the end product for those materials — InDesign is used to create them, but most workflows export InDesign layouts to Acrobat PDF files for printing — but I'd strongly suggest that there's no better software tool for getting your layouts spot on.

 

Similarly, for review and revision of your layouts before submitting the final layouts for printing, it may or may not be the best solution for you.

 

If you trust your layout freelancer, or want to trust but verify his work, using Acrobat PDFs has real advantages.

 

  • First and foremost, is that any changes are made on a level above the critical page layouts, using PDF commenting tools.Which protects your layouts from being inadvertently damaged by problematic edits/changes.
  • Second, and nearly as important, is that you can create, track and confirm those requested changes both on your side and your freelancer's side. This makes it easy on the administrative side to specify exactly what changes need to be made, run a separate "punch list" broken down by page and individual comment that makes it easy to track down those change requests one by one and have your freelancer make them, and, when you get the revised version, easily confirm the changes have been made correctly and/or have a documented record to discuss on the occasion when your changes didn't go the way you expected.
  • Third, and significantly, with Reader-enabled PDFs you don't have to invest in buying InDesign on your end of the process. All you have to do is download the free Adobe Reader utility and you can use that program, or most all web browsers, to take advantage of the first two advantages.

 

If you want to take on control — and the responsibility/liability — of making those changes to your layouts yourself, using InDesign to make changes yourself will do that.

 

  • You have very good text editing tools. It's much easier to edit text in layouts with InDesign — especially when using InDesign's Edit with Story Editor functions. The tools to spell-check, find/change and format text with Story Editor are far superior to what you get in Acrobat, and rival (as well as somewhat mirror) the functionality for doing that work in MSWord and/or Scrivener.
  • You have tools to find/track changes within InDesign, though I'd contend that they're not as robust as the tools available in Adobe Acrobat/Reader. That's my personal impression. I wouldn't be surprised to find others may contend differently.
  • One downside is that if everybody's working in their edits/changes on InDesign documents, version control becomes a real issue. Scrupulous workflow processing and meticulous file management can mitigate the issue, but passing PDF files for review and revisions completely sidestep those issues with a minimum of effort.
  • Another downside is that even minor changes to your copy can conceivably affect your layouts. Maybe even significantly. And I mean no disrespect by offering that most every time an author says there are only a few "minor changes" the end result turns out to be more significant to page layout than anyone intends. Especially as the cycles of review/revisions grows.

 

If you do choose to use InDesign yourself, I strongly recommend that you take Eugene Tyson's last statement to heart and keep your book designer in the loop to ensure your formatting is spot on when you present your final press-ready materials to your printer. And if you plan to be doing this kind of work on a regular basis, it may be worth considering the additional tools (InCopy/WordsFlow) mentioned by the folks at IDEAS_Training. But if you're only doing this a couple of times, or only once or twice a year, I'd strongly recommend for file control and layout integrity reasons that you use a PDF-based review/revisions process.

 

Hope this helps,

 

Randy

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Indesign & novel for a photographer.

Community Beginner ,
Apr 05, 2020

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I’m a music photographer who after building a horribly large archive, wrote a couple of rock n roll orientated novels, to promote said archive. Novels were written in Word, and laid out in Scrivener.

I now need to get formatting spot on, and a Freelancer formatting hot shot tells me the novel should get laid out in InDesign.

My question: is it relatively easy to get a remote design guy to lay out the novels in InDesign, then use InDesign my end, so I can keep making minor changed – modification to the text?

I would only be amending typos, and making minor grammatical changes as well as the odd clever modification, however, nothing major.

Meaning, I spose, can I cut and paste chapters from  InDesign to Word, then back to InDesign easy enough, or is that a challenge. I’m not trying to use InDesign as an editor, just ascertain how easy it is to make minor changes.
THANKS

Adobe Community Professional
Correct answer by Randy Hagan | Adobe Community Professional

I guess the questions are: Do you want to invest in a subscription to In Design/Creative Cloud for this process? And is it worth it to you to take on the resposibility/liability of doing your own revisions and submitting those spot on layouts yourself?

 

InDesign is probably the best tool available for creating "press-ready" book production materials. I'm biased, of course, since I use the program for regularly doing that work. As I suspect your freelancing formatting hot shot does and most folks do in the production graphics industry. It's not necessarily the end product for those materials — InDesign is used to create them, but most workflows export InDesign layouts to Acrobat PDF files for printing — but I'd strongly suggest that there's no better software tool for getting your layouts spot on.

 

Similarly, for review and revision of your layouts before submitting the final layouts for printing, it may or may not be the best solution for you.

 

If you trust your layout freelancer, or want to trust but verify his work, using Acrobat PDFs has real advantages.

 

  • First and foremost, is that any changes are made on a level above the critical page layouts, using PDF commenting tools.Which protects your layouts from being inadvertently damaged by problematic edits/changes.
  • Second, and nearly as important, is that you can create, track and confirm those requested changes both on your side and your freelancer's side. This makes it easy on the administrative side to specify exactly what changes need to be made, run a separate "punch list" broken down by page and individual comment that makes it easy to track down those change requests one by one and have your freelancer make them, and, when you get the revised version, easily confirm the changes have been made correctly and/or have a documented record to discuss on the occasion when your changes didn't go the way you expected.
  • Third, and significantly, with Reader-enabled PDFs you don't have to invest in buying InDesign on your end of the process. All you have to do is download the free Adobe Reader utility and you can use that program, or most all web browsers, to take advantage of the first two advantages.

 

If you want to take on control — and the responsibility/liability — of making those changes to your layouts yourself, using InDesign to make changes yourself will do that.

 

  • You have very good text editing tools. It's much easier to edit text in layouts with InDesign — especially when using InDesign's Edit with Story Editor functions. The tools to spell-check, find/change and format text with Story Editor are far superior to what you get in Acrobat, and rival (as well as somewhat mirror) the functionality for doing that work in MSWord and/or Scrivener.
  • You have tools to find/track changes within InDesign, though I'd contend that they're not as robust as the tools available in Adobe Acrobat/Reader. That's my personal impression. I wouldn't be surprised to find others may contend differently.
  • One downside is that if everybody's working in their edits/changes on InDesign documents, version control becomes a real issue. Scrupulous workflow processing and meticulous file management can mitigate the issue, but passing PDF files for review and revisions completely sidestep those issues with a minimum of effort.
  • Another downside is that even minor changes to your copy can conceivably affect your layouts. Maybe even significantly. And I mean no disrespect by offering that most every time an author says there are only a few "minor changes" the end result turns out to be more significant to page layout than anyone intends. Especially as the cycles of review/revisions grows.

 

If you do choose to use InDesign yourself, I strongly recommend that you take Eugene Tyson's last statement to heart and keep your book designer in the loop to ensure your formatting is spot on when you present your final press-ready materials to your printer. And if you plan to be doing this kind of work on a regular basis, it may be worth considering the additional tools (InCopy/WordsFlow) mentioned by the folks at IDEAS_Training. But if you're only doing this a couple of times, or only once or twice a year, I'd strongly recommend for file control and layout integrity reasons that you use a PDF-based review/revisions process.

 

Hope this helps,

 

Randy

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 05, 2020

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Once it's in InDesign I'd leave it in InDesign. No need to go back and forward to Word.

Yes, you can easily make text changes once it's laid out and designed. 

I'd keep the designer on hand to finalise the book though - once you've finished your edits.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 05, 2020

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Hi Michael, 

There are several possible workflows you could use, but if your edits are light, I think the most straightforward way would be for your designer to send you PDFs exported from InDesign. You can mark these up using Adobe Reader or Acrobat. Return the marked up PDFs to your designer, who can integrate your comments into the InDesign document using the PDF Comments panel.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 05, 2020

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You could:

  1. Subscribe to (only) InCopy for about $5 US/month and edit the InDesign text directly. Don't subscribe until you are ready to edit. There is a realitively minor cost but the biggest thing would be you learning to edit and format correctly in InCopy.
  2. The freelancer could get EmSoftware's WordsFlow plugin for Indesign; you could continue to do your edits in Word. Downside is the cost but the freelancer can use the plugin with all their clients, so the cost could be spread out.
  3. My last choice would be the PDF commenting workflow; it works for simple edits but you may not find it as satisfying for larger edits. Best option for cost--none for you.

 

The freelancer and you could set up a shared folder using the Creative Cloud folder or Dropbox. 

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 09, 2020

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Thanks mate. I’ve had a glance at In copy, am I correct in surmising $5 a month gets me the ability to edit text, in collaboration with a designer.

 

InCopy is a word-based process where editors can edit, design as well as write the document whereas in Indesign designers can only visualize the design. ... Though InCopy can be used separately but if it gets integrated with InDesign then the editors and designers can work together simultaneously.

 

If this is the case, I hope someone from Adobe gets in touch to amend my account, so I can get this set up. No answer from them thus far.

 

Thanks bud.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 10, 2020

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The workflow between InDesign and InCopy is not hard per se, but it can be confusing initially. You will need a shared "drive" like OneDrive or similar service. The editing features in IC are virtually identical to ID. LinkedIn Learning (aka Lynda.com) has some tutorials on YouTube at:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JSA2ks_iLOo

 

If you already have the Creative Cloud subscription, you have ID and IC as Randy mentioned. (Technically, if you have CC, you could do the editing in ID directly.) If you don't have CC, you can subscribe to just IC to save money. 

This overview explores the parallel workflow of using InDesign and InCopy together. Watch more at http://www.lynda.com/InDesign-CS5-tutorials/collaborative-w...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 05, 2020

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I guess the questions are: Do you want to invest in a subscription to In Design/Creative Cloud for this process? And is it worth it to you to take on the resposibility/liability of doing your own revisions and submitting those spot on layouts yourself?

 

InDesign is probably the best tool available for creating "press-ready" book production materials. I'm biased, of course, since I use the program for regularly doing that work. As I suspect your freelancing formatting hot shot does and most folks do in the production graphics industry. It's not necessarily the end product for those materials — InDesign is used to create them, but most workflows export InDesign layouts to Acrobat PDF files for printing — but I'd strongly suggest that there's no better software tool for getting your layouts spot on.

 

Similarly, for review and revision of your layouts before submitting the final layouts for printing, it may or may not be the best solution for you.

 

If you trust your layout freelancer, or want to trust but verify his work, using Acrobat PDFs has real advantages.

 

  • First and foremost, is that any changes are made on a level above the critical page layouts, using PDF commenting tools.Which protects your layouts from being inadvertently damaged by problematic edits/changes.
  • Second, and nearly as important, is that you can create, track and confirm those requested changes both on your side and your freelancer's side. This makes it easy on the administrative side to specify exactly what changes need to be made, run a separate "punch list" broken down by page and individual comment that makes it easy to track down those change requests one by one and have your freelancer make them, and, when you get the revised version, easily confirm the changes have been made correctly and/or have a documented record to discuss on the occasion when your changes didn't go the way you expected.
  • Third, and significantly, with Reader-enabled PDFs you don't have to invest in buying InDesign on your end of the process. All you have to do is download the free Adobe Reader utility and you can use that program, or most all web browsers, to take advantage of the first two advantages.

 

If you want to take on control — and the responsibility/liability — of making those changes to your layouts yourself, using InDesign to make changes yourself will do that.

 

  • You have very good text editing tools. It's much easier to edit text in layouts with InDesign — especially when using InDesign's Edit with Story Editor functions. The tools to spell-check, find/change and format text with Story Editor are far superior to what you get in Acrobat, and rival (as well as somewhat mirror) the functionality for doing that work in MSWord and/or Scrivener.
  • You have tools to find/track changes within InDesign, though I'd contend that they're not as robust as the tools available in Adobe Acrobat/Reader. That's my personal impression. I wouldn't be surprised to find others may contend differently.
  • One downside is that if everybody's working in their edits/changes on InDesign documents, version control becomes a real issue. Scrupulous workflow processing and meticulous file management can mitigate the issue, but passing PDF files for review and revisions completely sidestep those issues with a minimum of effort.
  • Another downside is that even minor changes to your copy can conceivably affect your layouts. Maybe even significantly. And I mean no disrespect by offering that most every time an author says there are only a few "minor changes" the end result turns out to be more significant to page layout than anyone intends. Especially as the cycles of review/revisions grows.

 

If you do choose to use InDesign yourself, I strongly recommend that you take Eugene Tyson's last statement to heart and keep your book designer in the loop to ensure your formatting is spot on when you present your final press-ready materials to your printer. And if you plan to be doing this kind of work on a regular basis, it may be worth considering the additional tools (InCopy/WordsFlow) mentioned by the folks at IDEAS_Training. But if you're only doing this a couple of times, or only once or twice a year, I'd strongly recommend for file control and layout integrity reasons that you use a PDF-based review/revisions process.

 

Hope this helps,

 

Randy

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 09, 2020

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Heya Randy,

Thanks for this excellent reply.

Eugene covered it, however you’ve given me plenty more intel. I also had no idea InCopy existed, as per IDEAS-Training answer. This looks like the fix, for this text only novel.

The novel is only needing to be edited to test reader level: any advancement into production will be taken over by a publisher, so my key focus is getting a professional epub product.

First point of frustration, Adobe have not replied to my query as to what it will actually cost to add InDesign to my CC package. On a month to month basis for a few months it will not break the bank, however they have not responded.

 

When a novel gets to 300 00 words (disaster) you are correct,

One downside is that if everybody's working in their edits/changes on InDesign documents, version control becomes a real issue.

So I would only want me to be tweaking the words. It sounds like Incopy will be the solution here.

In these grim pandemic times, with the planet in lockdowm, this is the time to get this project done. I’ve just rebuilt my site, using a remarkably ugly platform called Piwago, however it does allow the relatively easy display of vast amount of filed live music images.

https://projectphotography.com/

Now I just have to get the words right so somebody cares.

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 09, 2020

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Thanks again Randy, hope all’s well in your world in these strange times.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 10, 2020

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If you have the full Creative Cloud package, The cost for InDesign and/or InCopy is free. If you're running on the CC for Photographers package, it's not available with that program. The good news is, you wouldn't need these programs forever if we're talking about a one shot project. I don't know where you're located, but here in the US the monthly program for subscribing to both InDesign and InCopy is on the order of $26 US/mo. And as you noted, with the monthly subscriptions you can kill the bills when you get to the end of your project.

 

Please don't hold it against Adobe for not promptly getting back to you; like most every other business right now work-at-home systems, furloughs and business continuity are being set up, managed and revised on the fly.

 

Though I would say if you're looking to massage the text, it's important to get that the way you want it before you place it in your final layout. Microsoft Word has powerful tools for editing copy, a really excellent readability tool for not only measuring the readability of your book as it stands, but the ability to make suggestions on how to adjust those levels to easier (a better term than lower) standards.

 

If speed of production is your goal, editing/changing copy when you get to the layout stage is a productivity killer.

 

I realize that this rule is violated all the time, and if time is irrelevant for you and your freelancer, this may not be an issue. Please realize I'm not being facetious and I mean no disrespect when I offer that. But if you get your copy exactly the way you want it to be before you lay out your book, it won't be hard to produce the print-ready pages and go through a couple rounds of proofing/revisions in two weeks time. Easily. With focused projects, I've managed to pull off book production and two rounds of proofing with motivated clients inside a week.

 

If you don't, and edits/changes require revising page layouts of your press-ready materials, the process gets exponentially more complex. And the potential for critical problems entering the process compound with each substantial edit. They can be fixed, of course, but only with considerable extra time and effort.

 

I'll get down off my soapbox now.

 

Thanks for your kind words as well. Respecting stay at home orders makes me bored, and steadily going broke, but I'm safe and healthy (*knocks on wood table*) so I feel pretty fortunate.

 

Goold luck on your labor of love, and stay safe.

 

Randy

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 13, 2020

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Hey buddy,

OK, I reckon I have the info I need.

I reckon anyone getting too fired up over E book layout is wasting their time. I have read so many books from self-publish to major releases, whose formatting has exploded on my kindle.

It didn’t really bother me until I looked into it.

Like all projects, if you have a plan, and don’t mess with the schedule, you will stay on budget. But when you make changes…. Yep, things fall to pieces…

This is all the rock n roll photos you will ever need…

 

Thanks Randy, stay safe mate.

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