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InDesign Users: Sign Up for the Online Copy Editing Beta

Many InDesign users—myself included—complain about the bugs and half-baked features that Adobe fails to address in version after version, year after year. But I think that complaining about your software is like complaining about politicians—you have to earn the right to complain by participating in the process. It’s not enough to just pay for the program and use it. To be fair you have to give Adobe constructive feedback about the features you want (or want fixed).

Well, you now have a golden opportunity to help shape a big new feature that Adobe is developing for InDesign. They’re calling it “online copy editing.” It’s essentially InCopy in the cloud. As described, it will allow designers and production folks to make the text content of a layout available so editors and authors can make changes in a web browser (in the visual context of the layout) and send those changes back to InDesign.

Online copy editing is intended to replace traditional editorial workflows that rely on marking up PDFs and/or hard copy proofs. Though I wonder how many people are still taking red pencils to paper in the year 2020. But if it’s done right, online copy editing could be a boon for productivity, freeing up time for designers to do more designing and less of the boring, error-prone drudgery of copying over text changes.

Like any powerful feature, you’ll need to to implement smart policies and procedures to get the most out of online copy editing. I know some editors (again, myself included) who might use the ease and convenience as an excuse to sneak in last-second changes just before a deadline. We can’t help it; it’s in our nature.

In any case, the more you feedback you give, the better the chances are that online copy editing will come out working the way you want it to. Also, given the history of InDesign features that were introduced in a flawed state and then never improved, you might think of this as a limited window of opportunity to help Adobe get it right before they move on to something else.

If you’re at all interested in this new feature, I encourage you to sign up to participate in the beta program here.

And remember, you can submit bug reports and feature requests at any time at the InDesign UserVoice page.

Software development, like democracy, is a team sport.

Editor in Chief of CreativePro. Instructor at LinkedIn Learning with courses on InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, GIMP, Inkscape, and Affinity Publisher. Co-author of The Photoshop Visual Quickstart Guide with Nigel French.