6 Replies Latest reply on May 27, 2014 11:50 AM by Peter Spier

    Inbound workflow ideas needed

    contentfitter

      Hi,

       

      I'm trying to reach out to the Indesign community for ideas because I'm getting increasingly frustrated with content creators submitting files for layout that are a pain to work with.

       

      For example, I want to find out if in your role you permit your content creators to summit Microsoft Word files, and what technical standards you set for them ?   Or how does life work for those of you who work at newspapers or magazines where your journalists are obviously not Indesign users ?

       

      Basically my problem is that at the moment I'm just copy pasting from what people submit because its just a mess if you ask Indesign to import a Word file (i.e. you have to spend a lot of time fixing it up ...).  I've got Indesign docs setup with master pages, para/char styles and all the bells and whistles, and basically want to minimise my pain importing content.  For example, is it too extreme for me to be thinking about mandating plain text file submissions ?

       

      I'm not interested in RTFM type answers or links to YouTube clips showing how some Indesign feature theoretically works.... I'd very much like to only hear from people with real life experience in Indesign environments where there are a limited number people with access Indesign and lots of content generators submitting stuff for import, hence my references to newspapers, magazines or similar.  I'd like to hear about battle tested solutions to what must be a common problem in these types of environment.

       

      P.S. Apologies to those of you who are also creative cowreaders who may have seen this question there, I posted here too because I wanted to reach as wide an audience as possible

        • 1. Re: Inbound workflow ideas needed
          Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

          contentfitter wrote:

           

          Basically my problem is that at the moment I'm just copy pasting from what people submit because its just a mess if you ask Indesign to import a Word file (i.e. you have to spend a lot of time fixing it up ...).

          Welcome to the real world. Out here we get all sorts of screwed up files from authors who have no idea what a style is, let alone how to use one. It's a fact of life, and you'll need to get used to it and allow for the time it takes to straighten things out. You might find this useful: PerfectPrepText: A smart way to style local ... - InDesign Secrets

          • 2. Re: Inbound workflow ideas needed
            John Mensinger Adobe Community Professional & MVP
            ...is it too extreme for me to be thinking about mandating plain text file submissions ?

            Well, in my experience, it can be difficult to get contributors to follow any directive, even when in theory, you're making it as simple as possible for them. But it's certainly quick and easy enough to save a Word document as plain text yourself, so there is really no need to shoehorn it into their heads.

            • 3. Re: Inbound workflow ideas needed
              contentfitter Level 1

              Thanks Peter, PerfectPrepText wasn't on my radar, so will definitely take a look at that !

               

              I've been mulling over mandating InCopy as an alternative to Word, do you do much work with InCopy ?  How do your authors find it ?

              • 4. Re: Inbound workflow ideas needed
                contentfitter Level 1
                Well, in my experience, it can be difficult to get contributors to follow any directive, even when in theory, you're making it as simple as possible for them. But it's certainly quick and easy enough to save a Word document as plain text yourself, so there is really no need to shoehorn it into their heads.

                 

                True, although I think I really do need to think about some basic standards because at the moment people dump almost any file under the sun on my desk (ranging from pages laid out in Adobe Illustrator   .... through to a whole variety of more broadly available stuff like Word etc.).

                 

                So shoehorning it might not be, but definitely perhaps helping them pick a shoe of a reasonable size...

                • 5. Re: Inbound workflow ideas needed
                  BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                  InCopy is a part of Creative Cloud and can be subscribed to as a single app on an annual or monthly basis.

                  • 6. Re: Inbound workflow ideas needed
                    Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                    You are in the service business, no? If you make demands for certain formats (particularly if that means your customers need to spend money to buy software to produce those formats) you'll be out of business in no time at all.

                     

                    You can certainly request well-formatted files (and I'd stick with Word, myself, since almost everyone has it and thinks they know how it works), but get used to the idea that you will always have to clean things up.