Cool (and Free) Feature for InDesign Users

by Colleen Wheeler

I'm in Seattle for the InDesign Conference Master Class; coming to you from the Adobe campus this morning, in fact. In preparation for this week, I spent some time catching up on the coolness at (ID Secrets guy, David Blatner is the Conference Director here.) Thought I'd start the week by sharing a cool InDesign tip I discovered there---the ability to install the Notes plugin for free.

The Notes feature is familiar to anyone who uses Adobe InCopy, the InDesign editing tool plugin from Adobe. But you apparently don't need the entire InCopy product (which is great, but costs $250 or so dollars per user and has a lot of features that you may not need) in order to get Notes. It's not installed with InDesign, but it apparently can be installed manually from the InDesign disk. (Check out the InDesign Secrets post for specific details on how to install and more on the feature itself.)


The upshot is that you get the Notes palette added to your InDesign interface choices. (You also get a Notes menu added to the menu bar.) It behaves like any other palette in the interface, meaning you can move it around, dock it, and group it with other palettes if you like. The palette window actually has a big white space where commentary can be added without messing with your InDesign layout. It keeps track of who wrote it and when. (Each person gets to choose their own color.) This is great for communicating with authors who are writing in InDesign from the start, and having my decidedly visual authors work with text and images from early on is great for the types of graphically integrated books we're doing at O'Reilly. Although I have InCopy myself, I like the idea that I can use Notes to communicate with authors who don't.

(Now all I need is the ability to track changes in the InDesign Story editor. You can bet I might be looking for a person here at Adobe Seattle to share that desire with this week.)

Thanks David and Anne-Marie for sharing the coolness!


Dave Zelnio
2007-02-03 06:07:59
This is close to something I have been seeking for a long time. What I'd love to do is be able to automatically download the information from notes to an outside spreadsheet, so I can better manager 30+ reporters working on more than 100 jobs at any one time.


Colleen Wheeler
2007-02-03 21:07:56
Dave, I don't think the Notes feature in InDesign is quite mature enough for what you need (even the InCopy version only has the same features you see in InDesign.) I've noticed a "Tracker" feature in Acrobat that I've never used, but looks like it groups together collections of comments from different contributors.
2007-06-16 16:31:10
Such is life.