Hi all. I'm having some major issues using the InCopy workflow and was hoping someone could help me out with a few items.
I've helped a client out with their workflow, proposing, demoing and promoting the InCopy workflow which seemed to be the best solution. And don't get me wrong when posting this message on the forum: I love the InCopy workflow and think it's briliant.
The scenario is that a design agency needs to deliver the layout for a big annual report for their client, who then makes changes in the text etc. The design agency is on a mac (ofcourse), but the endclient is on a PC. Now after some training and trying this all works fine. They are using the remote workflow, using icap and idap files (which they place on dropbox for easy transfer)
But they've been having so many issues these last few weeks, it's been crazy. And I'm actually starting to feel a bit uncomfortable every time they call me. Just to make clear, they love InCopy (... when it works). And eventhough I'm a huge supporter of the program I just wanted to make sure if there are any other glitches that I should know about. The thing is that (because I work for an IT company), every time they need support they get billed ofcourse. But the problem is that everytime they run into some kind of problem, production just stops and they need me to fix everything.
Issues that they are having:
- the endclient (so copywriter) works on a project all weekend (an icap file). Saves everything, checks in, closes, goes to bed. Next morning (monday) she opens up the same file to continue working and gets the "cannot recover..." error (see attachment). And she looses her edits. You need to understand that these copywriters really know what they're doing with InCopy.
- when a colleague of hers is working with InCopy, and InCopy crashes and she reopens her file then it also happens that the checked-out stories from before remain checked out and she cannot continue (because the story has already been checked out by "another user" (herself)). I managed to resolve this by opening up the individual icml files in incopy and just closing them again. That seemed to remove the "lock" status of the icmls. But still they need me for support. This also happened in the design agency. They are working on a layout, check out stories, InDesign crashes, reopen file and stories remain checkout and they cannot continue because InDesign thinks that they're checked out to another user. And they do not have InCopy themselves so I cannot use my "open icml in incopy and close"-workaround.
- after a few extra InCopy crashes (where InCopy.exe just doesn't feel like doing anything anymore and quits), I decided to place their files (unpacked icma and icmls from the icap) on the C drive instead of on their server and this seemed to resolve a bit of the trouble. The workflow seems to be a lot more stable now. I did this because they also received the dreaded "Error: code 0" message when starting up (and again) she lost her work). After some creative googling I was able to find out that this might have something to do with disk permissions and copy-paste issues on a PC server. Anyway, it was worth a try
- only yesterday the client called me stating she couldn't start up her icap files anymore. I was able to recover the indiviual icml files and send these back to the design agency and recover part of her work. (after combing out the files I discovered on of the icml files was damaged and could not be opened, that is why opening the icap file failed).
- and one last issue (which isn't really a problem but just a bit of a rant ;-). Why does it take 8 full minutes to open up a 2,6Mb icap file on a fast laptop (from the HD)? Even on my own laptop it takes several minutes? I know that the waiting time has something to do with the complexity of the files (images, how many styles, how many icmls, etc). But it seems ridiculously long.
They've been having issues like this on a weekly basis and they're starting to loose faith in the solution because it's costing them more money (via support) then it's saving them.
Does anyone have any experience with this? Is this because it's a mac-pc workflow? I understand that this is officially supported, but it practice teaches us that it's in fact not that stable I'd rather just recommend the client to get a mac from the start. Every client would rather hear that than having to deal with all these issues. And I have to say I'm very happy with the client for being so understanding, but I think they'll run out of patience soon if this keeps up. I've also included some other "postcards from InCopy" ;-) and so you must understand if you get all these errors during the last 3 weeks losing hours of work ... well it's just not fun anymore.
Thank you all very much, and hopefully see you guys at PepCon this year.
Unless I missed something you never gave any system specs or InDesign/InCopy versions.
That said, since you mentioned Dropbox, I recommend you that you try using a straight up layout or assignment workflow with all files being worked on via Dropbox. Skip the ICAP/IDAP routine.
Make sure that everyone is using OpenType fonts and if anyone is running Suitcase Fusion 3 and having crashes, update to the most recent version and if necessary, disable the autoactivation plugin.
Finally, everyone should be using the same version of ID/IC and it should be fully patched.
You are right, I didn't give this information. I must have forgotten.
Designers are working with:
InDesign CS5.5 (fully patched)
Copywriters are working with:
InCopy CS5.5 (also fully pathed).
There is no font managing software used, everyone uses open-type fonts which they specifically purchased for this workflow.
If the problem persists I will try with the assignment based workflow on dropbox. I waited with this workflow because the client wants to keep their files on their server so they can have backups if something goes wrong. I know Dropbox makes backup as well, but lets just say they have more faith in their own systeem (dropbox was completely new to them ).
So there are no reports of an unstable mac-pc InCopy workflow?