2 november 2012

Wordsflow 1.0 nu beschikbaar!

De plug-in van em-software die het mogelijk maakt Word-bestanden met behoud van opmaak in InDesign te 'round trippen' met wijzigingen (een simpel, beperkt, alternatief voor InCopy in eenvoudige workflows) is nu te koop.

Van de em-software site:


  • Make sure you’re using InDesign CS5, CS5.5 or CS6 and know the basics of story placing and linking in InDesign.
  • CRITICAL: To avoid installation problems, make sure you only use the very latest Adobe Extension Manager: running InDesign, select Help > Updates… and choose any Extension Manager update that’s available.
  • Download the appropriate plugin from the “WordsFlow for InDesign” sidebar on this page and install it by double-clicking the downloaded .zxp file. (For details, see plug-in download and installation.)
  • Start InDesign. You won’t be prompted for a license with the current trial copy of WordsFlow. (This version is entirely functional, but will expire on the date given in the download sidebar.)
  • Use File > Place… or drag and drop to place text or spreadsheet files as you normally would. WordsFlow by default asks InDesign to create a link to any placed text or spreadsheet file, and the text file link will show up in the Links palette.
    WordsFlow is not a filter itself, and will work with any text or spreadsheet input filter you can use with InDesign file placement (the most common being Word/Excel).
  • WordsFlow’s revolutionary workflow improvement is that you can now edit the original text file yourself, or overwrite it with a new version that, e.g., the author or an editor emailed to you. When you update the story linked to the changed file, instead of InDesign overwriting the story and losing all your changes, WordsFlow steps in behind the scenes and merges all the external file changes into the existing story, so you never lose any work. (We call this themerge-update.)
    Once InDesign notices the link’s external file has changed (e.g., if you switch back to InDesign after editing in Word), the link will display a change-warning icon in the Links palette. Just as you would for an updated graphic, double-click the link’s change warning icon in the Linkspalette (or the change warning icon at the top of the story in CS6) to merge-update the linked story from the changed external text file. Or, click the update link (double arrow) icon in the palette with the link selected, or alt/option-click the update link icon to update all links
  • If someone sends you an updated document under a new name, you can select the link, and choose Relink… from the Links palette’s context menu, and then choose the updated file. This will relink and merge-update the story contents (rather than replace them) with the newly-relinked external document’s changes.
  • To edit the original document, select the linked story in the Links palette, and click the edit original icon at the bottom of the main palette area, or select Edit Original from the contextual menu for the link. When you return to InDesign, the story will be automatically merge-updated.

User interface

WordsFlow normally works within InDesign’s existing file linking/updating user interface machinery. You use the Links palette functions as you would before for graphic files, but now WordsFlow enables the same update/relink/edit original/etc functionality for text files.
When WordsFlow starts up for the very first time after installation, it turns on the global InDesign preference Preferences > File Handling > Create Links When Placing Text and Spreadsheet Files, but you’re free to set it on or off, depending on whether you’d like placements to involve WordsFlow support by default (when on) or not (when off).
When this Create Links global preference is on, then WordsFlow works behind the scenes for all normal InDesign text/spreadsheet file placement (File > Place…, file drag and drop, etc.) And, WordsFlow adds a new File > Place without WordsFlow… menu item so you can place a file without WordsFlow involvement.
When this Create Links global preference is off, WordsFlow doesn’t involve itself in the default text/spreadsheet file placement process. In this case, the WordsFlow menu becomes File > Place with WordsFlow…, so you can explicitly invoke it only when you need it.
WordsFlow also exposes both File alternate menu items Place with WordsFlow… and Place without WordsFlow… to the keyboard shortcut machinery. That way, you can assign appropriate shortcuts that best fit your workflow, independently of the global Create Linkspreference.
WordsFlow has its own menu under Help, with entries for visiting (in the browser) this user guide, the main product page, product news, sending an email to support (with version information filled in), and About… to show the WordsFlow version and license information.

Style mapping

Although WordsFlow itself doesn’t do any style mapping, you can bring up InDesign’s style mapping options for a Word document when you place it using File > Place… and checking theShow Import Options checkbox, then selecting Custom Style Mapping.


(Below, we’ll use the term “author” for both author and editor, i.e., anyone who’s working with a source Word or Excel file.)
If you need to make non-trivial edits to a story after you’ve received and placed it, and expect further changes from the author, you’re probably well-advised to make those changes in the original Word or Excel file (you can use Edit Original from the Links palette). That way, you can send back your changes in the original source format to the author before they make any further edits. Of course, you’re free to make any edits to the InDesign story directly, as well, but those won’t be sharable with the author, as InDesign can’t export Word or Excel formats.

Using email/file-sharing sites

If you work by sending and receiving Word/Excel files from authors using email or file-sharing sites, then things would work best with WordsFlow by gathering all relevant files into a single folder for your current publication. That way, when you’re sent a new version of a file you’ve already placed (via email or a new download from a file-sharing site), you can simply replace (copy over) the old version with the new, and InDesign will notice the change and allow you to update-merge with WordsFlow. Or, if they’ve changed the file name in the new version (e.g., by appending a revision number), you can relink the story to the newest file (which will also trigger a merge-update).

Using filesystem-sharing solutions

Perhaps the best method for working with authors using Word/Excel files would be to use a filesystem-sharing solution like Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, Microsoft SkyDrive, etc. If you establish and share a new shared folder for each publication with the authors on your team, you can directly place files into InDesign from that folder, they can edit them in place, and when you see they’ve updated the file via the link status changing, you can update-merge immediately from InDesign. Further, you can edit the shared file yourself if you need to make major edits, and those will be seen by everyone else on the team.
(Of course, you may have to use some kind of email or instant messaging communication channel to alert each other what the state of a given file is; if someone’s actively editing for a while, you don’t want anyone else to edit it, nor do you want to merge-update the file in InDesign until they’re done with their current edits.)

Appendix: Merge-update operation

Each time you update a story from a external linked text file, WordsFlow (behind the scenes) performs a merge-update rather than simply letting InDesign replace the story contents.
WordsFlow looks at the previous state of the external file (privately saved in the InDesign document) and the current state of the external file, and computes the “difference” between the two, to get the current set of changes to be applied. Then, WordsFlow applies those differences and updates the current InDesign story by merging in the differences.
When there are conflicts, the InDesign story “wins” over the external source file changes. E.g., if you delete some text in InDesign, but the text is kept in the external file, it remains deleted after an update.
Of course, WordsFlow can’t read your mind. For example, if you styled a couple of paragraphs in InDesign, and the editor added some more paragraphs after the original two in the text file, you may or may not want those additional paragraphs to be styled the same. So you’ll always have to check after a merge, but at least you won’t have to do the tedious and error-prone work of merging manually.

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