GoProof Makes Online Proofing Easy in Creative Cloud Apps
For the past month I’ve been playing with GoProof, a free new online proofing add-on for the CC 2015 versions of Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. It adds a proof tracking panel to each app that integrates with my (free) account at GoProof.net.
After downloading and installing the GoProof add-on, I found a new GoProof panel in each of these apps, located in their Window > Extensions fly-out menus.
Let’s say that I’m working in Illustrator CC 2015, mocking up a few new web site page designs for my client, Acme Industries. Instead of sending the five reviewers at Acme a PDF of each Illustrator file, and trying to make sense of the five commented PDFs I get in return, I can use GoProof!
Using GoProof to Manage Proofing Rounds
First, with the document active in Illustrator, I open the GoProof panel from the Window > Extensions panel and log-on if necessary. Then I choose a client and project from the panel’s menus, and click the Send Proof button lower right.
GoProof then takes you through a few additional screens where you specify who should get this proof (actually, they get an email with a link to the proof online), add a Subject line and message, and review everything before it finally gets sent. That’s it, you can go on working on the next job. In the background, GoProof is uploading a PNG version of your file to your space on the GoProof secure servers and sending out the emails.
When your clients click the link in the email that GoProof sent, they’re brought to the online proof in their browser. They don’t need to log in or install anything. They can use the service’s commenting tools to mark up the proof, and add their comments on the right. The person you assigned the Gatekeeper role to can add additional reviewers, send reminders (as can you), and finally “calls it” when their proofing is done.
A set of four basic commenting tools is available at the top of the screen. With them, you can add a text comment, draw a box, apply an X for “not good,” and a checkmark for “good.” You can add your own comments to any of these items, and reply to others comments, in the right-hand comments pane. I do wish GoProof had a wider range of commenting tools, but after all, it’s a new service. I’m sure they’re feverishly working on new tools and features—indeed, they released a number of them in the past month. These updates get pushed through automatically to the Add-on. Neat!
Okay, so collaborative commenting is useful. But how do you see all the comments back in Illustrator? Answer: in the GoProof panel! I love this. The same panel that you use to send proofs and manage proofs is used to view commented proofs. Just click the Reviews tab (next to the default Projects tab) at the top of the panel.
The larger you make the panel, the larger the preview of the page becomes. You can cycle through each numbered comment with the Previous and Next links at the top, make that change to the live document, then click the “Complete” checkbox. When you’re done, you can re-send this as a new version of the proof. No need to rename your file, GoProof just adds “v2” to the proof name in its own system. Anyone can look at previous versions right in the GoProof web site.
Have I mentioned that all of this is free? For you and your clients. The (reasonable) catch is that if you like the service, you’ll probably start using it for multiple clients and multiple projects. But remember, GoProof uploads a PNG version of your files to their server space for each proof version of each project file. If you need more space than the free service allows, you can upgrade to “Pro” level, which is $10/mo for 5GB of space, per user. They also have enterprise plans available, useful for ad agencies, for example.
I’ve enjoyed playing with this release, and the few clients I’ve had a chance to try it out on found it useful too. I’m a big fan of any technology that makes it easier to collaborate on projects, and GoProof certainly does so. One question: Why hasn’t Acrobat figured this out yet?