25 Replies Latest reply on Apr 10, 2015 10:12 AM by BobLevine

    What is the best way to work on the same InDesign file in different locations?

    celulloyd

      I'm the creative director for an in-house creative department. We produce 37 catalogs and a multitude of print and electronic advertising each year, plus a variety of other items. Our problem is that we have two locations. In the current set-up, if I want someone at one location to work on a project but the files are at the other location, I have someone at the one location package all the materials involved with that project and either upload them to DropBox or copy them to an external drive and ship it. Not very efficient.

       

      We have servers at both locations but there are different files at each location. I'm able to remote from my computer into a computer at the other location, but if everyone were to do that we would need double the number of CC subscriptions and computers, and it would bog down the internet connection that the entire company uses. I'm also connected to the server at the other location (again, over the internet) and have opened InDesign files that reside on the server there and tried to work on them here (over the internet) but that is much slower than remoting in.

       

      The only way I can think of to alleviate this problem is to run duplicate servers at each location, but this would be an update and back-up nightmare (unless I'm missing something). Is anyone operating this same way and, if so, how are you dealing with it?

       

      We can't be the only company that works like this. Maybe I'm just missing something.

       

      Thanks,

      Lloyd

        • 1. Re: What is the best way to work on the same InDesign file in different locations?
          rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          either upload them to DropBox or copy them to an external drive and ship it

          Instead of using DropBox to deliver a copy of the project try syncing a shared folder, in that case multiple users can work on a single project folder from anywhere with an internet connection. Copy the project to your DB folder, right click the folder and Share This Folder... will let you invite other DB users to sync to the folder. I think the only thing you have to watchout for is the InDesign lock file is not always honored with DB syncing, so there might be the possibility of overwriting.

          • 2. Re: What is the best way to work on the same InDesign file in different locations?
            BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

            It won't overwrite the file if both people open it. What you'll wind up with a conflict copy so communication is key to doing this successfully. I use this workflow quite often and beyond making sure the other individuals don't have a file open it's a great way to work. In fact, even if you're alone it's a great way since DB will keep versions of the file in case you need to go back a version.

            • 3. Re: What is the best way to work on the same InDesign file in different locations?
              celulloyd Level 1

              Thanks for your replies, gentlemen. Unfortunately, we're dealing with 37 catalogs whose folders of InDesign files alone (sections and book files) are between 1GB and 3.5GB for each catalog, not to mention thousands of placed image files (eps, tif, jpg, psd, etc.). We have close to 3TBs of data that is "live."

               

              Ideally, I'd like to have all those files in one place and be able to work on them from either location. I'm not sure if there's some sort of cloud set-up that would handle this. I'm pretty sure this isn't possible with current internet connections/wiring…we'll probably have to wait for XG-FAST.

               

              Thanks again,

              Lloyd

              • 4. Re: What is the best way to work on the same InDesign file in different locations?
                BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                If it’s only you working on them in two locations then throw it all into a OneDrive folder. For $99/year you get Office 365 and unlimited cloud storage.

                 

                 

                 

                The files will sync to both machines seamlessly or buy more storage on Dropbox than the standard one TB.

                • 5. Re: What is the best way to work on the same InDesign file in different locations?
                  celulloyd Level 1

                  Bob,

                   

                  Actually, there are six of us working on the files (five Macs and one Windows 7). I just found out that we have a business subscription to DropBox (they don't tell me anything around here…hehehe), so we have unlimited storage (5TB to begin with, which is plenty). I'm thinking of throwing all the files up there and working with the files that are in DropBox. We never have more than one person working on any given InDesign file at once, so I don't think we'd have a problem with duplicity. I just wonder how slow it would be with the InDesign files having to link to all the images files. I'll have to do some testing.

                   

                  Thanks again,

                  Lloyd

                  • 6. Re: What is the best way to work on the same InDesign file in different locations?
                    rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                    I just wonder how slow it would be with the InDesign files having to link to all the images files.

                    If the links are in the Dropbox folder they get sync'd, so the link to the ID document is still local. The only delay will the time it takes to sync a file when it has been saved.

                    • 7. Re: What is the best way to work on the same InDesign file in different locations?
                      celulloyd Level 1

                      rob,

                       

                      AAAAHHHHHH, so the files actually exist on both your hard drive AND in the DropBox. I didn't know that. I thought DropBox was like an online server.

                       

                      So if I stored 2 TBs of data in the DropBox, I'd need 2TBs of space on my HD (in addition to the system and the space that needs to stay free), is that right? If so, then other than file transport, what is the purpose of DropBox? Do you know if there's a way to use something other than your HD to sync the files to (such as a server)?

                       

                      Lloyd

                      • 8. Re: What is the best way to work on the same InDesign file in different locations?
                        rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                        Right, if there are 5 users sharing a DB folder and you open an ID file, make a change, and Save the saved file gets sync'd to all of the user's local DB folders.

                         

                        Bob's the DB expert, but I think you should be able to install DB on your server and then access the server DB folder from any machine on your LAN. I can do that on my small network.

                        • 9. Re: What is the best way to work on the same InDesign file in different locations?
                          celulloyd Level 1

                          I just talked with DropBox and they told me that installing DB on a server causes syncing issues and is not supported. I'm going to try to find a cloud/syncing service that you can install on your current servers.

                           

                          Thanks!

                          • 11. Re: What is the best way to work on the same InDesign file in different locations?
                            rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                            I'm going to try to find a cloud/syncing service that you can install on your current servers.

                             

                            You could also start rethinking the whole server concept. Ten years ago serving a single copy of a layout and its assets made sense because of cost of disk space, and the need to incrementally and reliably backup the served files. With DB the files are backed up to their server and there would probably be multiple sync'd versions amongst your group, and disk space is running at 4 cents a gigabyte and falling.

                             

                            So you might ask does everyone in your organization need access to 5TB of files? Instead of having your designers get the layouts from their LAN server they could share the DropBox folder with the specific job(s) they are working on, which probably amount to a few gigabytes.

                            • 12. Re: What is the best way to work on the same InDesign file in different locations?
                              BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                              InCopy would not be a solution to working on the layouts themselves and would still require access to the files.

                              • 13. Re: What is the best way to work on the same InDesign file in different locations?
                                Michael Witherell Adobe Community Professional

                                37 catalogs whose folders of InDesign files alone (sections and book files) are between 1GB and 3.5GB for each catalog, not to mention thousands of placed image files (eps, tif, jpg, psd, etc.)


                                I have to ask: at your scale, are you making it a practice to run all images through Photoshop first in order to save them down to the correct size at (likely) 300 ppi? Rather than placing 72ppi images and scaling them smaller? A lot of file bloat goes away when this is practiced the correct way. The lightest filesize workflow would be to place 300ppi JPG images (likely cmyk, right?)


                                EPS files in a big workflow make me shudder a bit. I like to have a workflow policy that converts vector stuff to native .ai or PDF. And if they are Photoshop pixel-based EPS, then I would prefer to wash them to, usually PSD files. But at your volume I would consider JPG files for size considerations on DropBox and servers.

                                • 14. Re: What is the best way to work on the same InDesign file in different locations?
                                  rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP
                                  InDesign files alone are between 1GB and 3.5GB for each catalog

                                  The catalogs must be thousands of pages or are you embedding the images?

                                  • 15. Re: What is the best way to work on the same InDesign file in different locations?
                                    celulloyd Level 1

                                    premio_oscar,

                                     

                                    We could use InCopy for the workflow but my problem is sharing 4TBs worth of image and InDesign files between two locations.

                                     

                                    Lloyd

                                    • 16. Re: What is the best way to work on the same InDesign file in different locations?
                                      BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                                      Have you even looked at Dropbox for Business?

                                       

                                       

                                       

                                      Have you looked at OneDrive?

                                       

                                       

                                       

                                      You need to start somewhere.

                                      • 17. Re: What is the best way to work on the same InDesign file in different locations?
                                        celulloyd Level 1

                                        rob,

                                         

                                        The InDesign files reside on servers in two locations and total a little less than 750GBs (I need to clean out old versions that we no longer need). The problem is that there are tens of thousands of image files that are placed on pages in those files. The image folders total approximately 3TBs-some at one location, the rest at the other location. Both locations need access to all the image files, in addition to all the InDesign page files. At this point the cloud storage itself isn't the problem; the problem is that by default DB will try to sync all those files to each of our desktops and none of us have 4TBs of storage available. I know there's "Selective Sync" but that would defeat the purpose. We all need access to everything at any given time. I'm sure I'll find a service that will work with servers.

                                         

                                        Thanks,

                                        Lloyd

                                        • 18. Re: What is the best way to work on the same InDesign file in different locations?
                                          celulloyd Level 1

                                          Bob,

                                           

                                          I worked at one company that was purchased by my current company. At my previous company (the second location I refer to in this scenario), we saved all images as LZW-compressed tif files at 300dpi. When that company was acquired by my current company and I moved to this current location, I inherited all the eps files. My plan is to convert all of them to 300dpi tifs, but I haven't done that yet (I also have to convert the filenames of all the files because we changed part numbers and the image files are named for the part number of the image) because tens of thousands of files would have to be relinked. I figured by saving them as tif files we could save approximately 50-70% of the space they take up. We also have vector files that have been saved as eps files (some are ai files but not many). Suffice it to say that the files here are a mess.

                                           

                                          I've also been tinkering with placing jpg files instead of tifs or eps. So far they look just as good when printed, mostly because we don't use top-quality paper stock, so I might think more about using jpgs.

                                           

                                          No matter what, I still have to figure out an answer to the "file sharing at two locations" problem. 

                                           

                                          Thanks,

                                          Lloyd

                                          • 19. Re: What is the best way to work on the same InDesign file in different locations?
                                            celulloyd Level 1

                                            rob,

                                             

                                            Yes, there are thousands of pages spread out over 37 catalogs. We pump out more than 7,000 pages each catalog cycle and, no, we don't embed the images…the thought of embedding images in catalogs that change every six months makes me very nervous. 

                                             

                                            Lloyd

                                            • 20. Re: What is the best way to work on the same InDesign file in different locations?
                                              celulloyd Level 1

                                              Bob,

                                               

                                              We currently use DropBox for Business but the problem is syncing files to our desktops…none of us have 4TB HDs to store all those sync'd files…that's the reason I'd like to find a service that can sync to our servers (DropBox said that syncing to a server causes syncing issues). I know we could use "Selective Sync" but that would be defeating the purpose of being able to access ALL the files at both locations.

                                               

                                              Lloyd

                                              • 21. Re: What is the best way to work on the same InDesign file in different locations?
                                                celulloyd Level 1

                                                Michael,

                                                 

                                                Sorry…I addressed my reply to Bob. 

                                                 

                                                Lloyd

                                                • 22. Re: What is the best way to work on the same InDesign file in different locations?
                                                  Sandee Cohen Adobe Community Professional

                                                  We have servers at both locations but there are different files at each location. I'm able to remote from my computer into a computer at the other location, but if everyone were to do that we would need double the number of CC subscriptions and computers, and it would bog down the internet connection that the entire company uses. I'm also connected to the server at the other location (again, over the internet) and have opened InDesign files that reside on the server there and tried to work on them here (over the internet) but that is much slower than remoting in.

                                                   

                                                   

                                                  One tiny thing bothers me about your setup. And you said it above, you would need double the number of CC subscriptions and computers. Are you using two people to access under the same CC subscription. Even if they are working in two different time zones, it is technically violating the rules and spirit of the rules of being able to install on two machines at the same time.

                                                   

                                                  You're allowed to install for two machines for one person working at the office and then at home. One person wouldn't be in two different locations at the same time.

                                                   

                                                  Meanwhile, regards your problem, I remember reading about a system many years ago that was pretty simple. It was based on an old newspaper/magaizine system of "who has the folder." (Created before computers) In the old days, if someone was working on a file, they left a folder with their name in its place.

                                                   

                                                  In the computer age, one person, working on a file, would move it to their desktop. Then, they would leave an empty folder with that document's name where it had been as well as their initials. So if I took "Shoes and Socks Fall 2015.indd" out, I would leave a folder named "Shoes and Socks Fall 2015_smsc" in its place.

                                                   

                                                  And if it was necessary for me to have the images, I would make a copy of them onto my machine so I wouldn't tax the network. Then when I was finished, I would copy the file back to the server. The links should show up. If not, we could relink later.

                                                   

                                                  With the empty folder on the server, anyone could tell who is working on a project. So if they were late getting it back, you could email them.

                                                   

                                                  It relies on the people being disciplined enough to make the folders, move the docs, etc. But since you've ruled out all the systems for companies with dumb employees, you're going to have to make them follow the rules.

                                                  • 23. Re: What is the best way to work on the same InDesign file in different locations?
                                                    celulloyd Level 1

                                                    sandeecohen,

                                                     

                                                    No, we have one subscription for each user (and we're paying for a spare!). The reason I said that was if we had mirrored servers at both locations and someone needed to work on a file that was at the other location, he/she could remote to a computer at the other location and control that computer to work on the file, but we'd need a copy of InDesign on that computer. I forgot that we could actually use the same copy of InDesign on both computers because the same person would be using both copies.

                                                     

                                                    My problem isn't really our InDesign workflow (rarely do two people have to access the same InDesign files at the same time…if they do, the second person moves onto another section or the first person closes out of it while the second person grabs what he/she needs then closes out of it). My problem is having people at both locations have the ability to work on any file without having to remote in. With that in mind, I'd like to have a service like DropBox but one that syncs to a server at both locations rather than syncing to our desktops. DropBox told me that they don't support syncing to servers and that doing so actually cause syncing problems.

                                                     

                                                    I'll keep looking...

                                                     

                                                    Lloyd

                                                    • 24. Re: What is the best way to work on the same InDesign file in different locations?
                                                      celulloyd Level 1

                                                      I'm not sure if this helps but this is what we need:

                                                       

                                                      CLOUD-STORAGE-PLAN.jpg

                                                       

                                                      Lloyd

                                                      • 25. Re: What is the best way to work on the same InDesign file in different locations?
                                                        BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                                                        None of the systems mentioned forces you to sync everything. OneDrive and Dropbox both have selective sync features.