is now part of!

Personalize InCopy’s Defaults

Do you constantly change the same settings over and over again when you’re working in InCopy? Perhaps you always turn on Show Hidden Characters? Or you always switch from the default Story view to Layout after opening a new file?

Take a few minutes today and set the program up to run the way you want it to, by default. Application defaults are easy to modify in InCopy; just choose your desired Preference settings, palette arrangements and menu choices when no documents are open in the program. To be doubly sure your changes are permanent, quit out of InCopy after tweaking its defaults, then start it up again before you open any documents.

Here are a few changes that a lot of the editors I’ve worked with find useful:

Default View

InCopy’s default is to show you a newly-opened file in Story View, which most users find less than helpful with an unfamiliar layout or assignment.

If you go to the View menu (with no documents open, remember) you’ll see a checkmark next to Story. Change the default by choosing Layout. That’s it! From now on, all the files open in Layout view from the start.

More after the jump! Continue reading below
Free and Premium members see fewer ads! Sign up and log-in today.

Drag and Drop Editing

The ability to drag selected text from one location and drop it elsewhere in the story is a “love it or hate it” feature for most users. InCopy’s defaults are to split the difference: it’s enabled in Galley/Story but disabled in Layout.

Go to InCopy > Preferences (or Edit > Preferences on Windows) and select the Type category to reveal the Drag and Drop Text Editing checkboxes. By default, only the Galley/Story one is checked. If you’re a “love it,” turn on the checkbox for Layout so the feature is available in any view; if you’re a “hate it,” turn off the checkbox for Galley/Story so it’s disabled everywhere.

Palette Arrangement
Have you taken the time to create a custom Workspace (Window > Workspace > Save Workspace) for yourself? Choose that workspace with no documents open and it’ll be the default palette arrangement the next time you open InCopy.

However, since InCopy remembers palette locations from one editing session to the next — that’s a feature not a bug, son — you’ll need to reset them to your workspace quite frequently. A solution to that is to assign a keyboard shortcut to your workspace in Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts > Product Area: Window Menu (scroll down to the entries for Workspaces). That way, a quick tap on F1 or whatever key you assign to your workspace will clean them right up.

Dynamic Spelling

When Dynamic Spelling is enabled, InCopy does on-the-fly spell checking a la Microsoft Word, adding non-printing red squiggly underlines to words it doesn’t recognize in its dictionary. Right-clicking (Ctrl-clicking with a one-button mouse) on the flagged words reveals a list of suggested corrections to choose from, as well as commands to ignore the word or to add it to the dictionary. It also flags capitalization errors and repeated words with a green squiggly.

InCopy has Dynamic Spelling turned off by default. If you’d prefer it enabled in all your documents, choose it from the Edit > Spelling fly-out menu with no documents open. You could always turn it off (just choose it again, it’s a toggle) if it gets too distracting in certain stories.


There are a ton more defaults you can change — hide guides, turn off Tool tips, show the Structure panel — so InCopy works the way you want it to work. I hope this short list gets you motivated to explore!

Anne-Marie “Her Geekness” Concepción is the co-founder (with David Blatner) and CEO of Creative Publishing Network, which produces InDesignSecrets, InDesign Magazine, and other resources for creative professionals. Through her cross-media design studio, Seneca Design & Training, Anne-Marie develops ebooks and trains and consults with companies who want to master the tools and workflows of digital publishing. She has authored over 20 courses on on these topics and others. Keep up with Anne-Marie by subscribing to her ezine, HerGeekness Gazette, and contact her by email at or on Twitter @amarie
  • luiz correa says:

    Hi. Can I change the user colors?
    Example: change lavender by author?
    Anybody can help me?

  • >