The killer comma. Clients just don’t get it.
How something so insignificant can bust your InDesign text boxes and cause total destruction.
You can’t really blame the client for it though, as they’re not directly exposed to the jigsaw puzzle that is your design template and can’t put it directly into a visual context.
Here’s the scenario.
The copy arrives from the client and you paste it into your first design. You get the composition right, the impact strong, the text hierarchy consistent and the CTA compelling. Text boxes are set in place.
Then on the first round of reviews, the copy changes.
It could be a brand thing, a resonation problem, a language barrier issue or anything. The tiniest character alteration can have catastrophic results; just one innocent comma and your text box is totally busted.
Then the domino effect. Repositioning, rethinking, completely redesigning – all the time wasting valuable hours reproducing PDFs for evidence to prove the new copy doesn’t work.
It’s a downward spiral to unforeseen costs which 9/10 times you have to absorb. Costly for you, the client and the other customers you’re trying to hit deadlines for.
Can it be stopped? You bet.
There is another way which chops out a block of unproductive time in your workflow and makes the client instantly see the impact their changes make to the design.
The Copy Editor feature in GoProof, an Adobe CC-integrated online proofing system, is tailor made for proofing InDesign documents.
When your design is ready, you can choose which text boxes are editable and then share the proof with your clients and collaborators directly from InDesign CC. No PDFs in sight and no need for separate email trails.
Clients receive an automated link which takes them directly to the secure GoProof website to view the proof. The Copy Editor permits them to make changes to the copy inside the editable text boxes you’ve opened up for them.
This is the neat part – when a change is made, the proof content automatically refreshes so they can instantly see what it looks like.
GoProof highlights any oversets of copy, letting the collaborator know that it won’t fit the design template and to try something else, or at the very least be aware of the implications the changes will cause.
Just think of the time and hassle this eliminates. No more constant PDF reproduction and writing those politically correct emails to explain why changes won’t work. Then there’s how much more profitable jobs will be with all that wasted time taken out off the clock. Massive.
Now switch hats to the client (or copywriter) and see how this new workflow is a win:win.
First off, the GoProof workflow doesn’t require either a paid license or an account to be set up for the client. You can invite as many people as you want to view and edit your proofs for free and they just click a link to get there. Easy.
It even takes out using Microsoft Word documents to transfer copy, as fresh content can be submitted directly into InDesign text boxes, which you can pre-configure for paragraph and character styles.
Next, thanks to the preview feature in the Copy Editor, they have much more control and will be motivated to improve the quality of their content.
Go inside their head for a second and experience their thought process:
‘What happens if I change this…
Eeuughh, it doesn’t fit.
What if I try…
Hey that’s pretty good - it jumps out now too.
Yeah, that’s perfect.’
Collaborators can make their own choice and submit it there and then. They don’t have to wait around for new proofs to come through for every change or idea they have.
Switch back to you the designer to finish the loop - you can still choose to accept or reject each or all their changes when they send the proof back. Or if you’re happy, just clicking one button will import all the changes into your document automatically. It takes seconds.
That’s how you stop the text box busters.
Handing more control to clients may not be for everyone, which is why it’s a choice on every proof round.
One thing’s for sure, especially on documents with heavy text coverage and a ton of tables, the GoProof Copy Editor takes a giant area of misunderstanding out of the design approval workflow.
The GoProof Team