Around this time of the year, with the end of the financial year around the corner, PrintHouse Corporation prints a lot of annual reports. The average annual report has a page count of forty to eighty pages. That is quite a lot of text and information. Other projects, such company and promotional brochures and books, also fall in the category of big projects that consist of handling a lot of information.
For this kind of projects, almost 100% of the time, the information is supplied in a document that has been set up in a word processor program such as Microsoft Office Word or Apple iWork Pages. Ideally, when the designer receives the document, it should basically be finalised. That includes spell-checked, grammar checked and all the information doubled checked. However, for a lot of reasons, this is not always possible. Communicating the changes from client to designer can become tricky, time-consuming and can also lead to misunderstandings.
There are two options that I find to be less successful.
1. Copy and Replace all the text
This option can be effective if there are a lot of changes throughout the text. It will save some time to just copy and replace all the text. But this contradicts, as mentioned before; the received information should be finalised before sending it to the designer.
2. List the changes in an email
For this method, the client has to first point out the mistake, then describe where the mistake in the document is and then give the correct version. I can imagine this must be a very time-consuming process. Often I receive changes in this method and it creates confusion and can lead to a few back and forth emails.
Below I will discuss 3 different ways/ideas to make life easier for the client and the designer when it comes to sending through (text) changes, especially for larger projects.
1. Tracked changes in Microsoft Office Word or Apple iWork Pages
When you open your Microsoft Office Word document, you can easily make and view tracked changes and comments while you work. In older versions of Word, under Tools, select Track Changes.
To enable track changes in a new version of Word (eg. Microsoft Office Word 2007), click on the Review tab in the Tracking group and click on the Track Changes image. Balloons with coloured outlines show the formatting changes, comments and deletions.
In Apple iWork Pages, simply go to the Edit menu and select Track Changes. This action will also create an additional toolbar with options for tracking changes.
This is a very effective way of making odd changes in the text or replacing a paragraph. It also clearly shows the designer where the change needs to be made within a paragraph. The ‘tracking bubble’ indicate the day and time. This enables you to keep old changes and add new ones by avoiding iteration.
2. Enable comments for Adobe Reader
The best way to send a design proof is as a .PDF. When you receive a .PDF to review, you can annotate it by using the commenting and markup tools. These features are available only when the designer has enabled commenting.
The designer has to save the file as a .PDF from the preferred graphics program. Open the .PDF in Adobe® Acrobat®. Under the Comments menu, select Enable for Commenting and Analysis in Adobe Reader… Save the .PDF again.
When the client opens the .PDF in Adobe Reader, this will enable a few commenting tools to use. Adobe Reader is free to download, where Adobe® Acrobat® is not. If you do not have Adobe Reader, you can download it here and follow the instructions to install.
To make text changes, you can indicate it in the .PDF. For example, if you want to change a whole sentence, add a sticky note that point to the sentence that needs to be replaced. In the sticky note, add the new sentence to replace the old one. The designer can use the commenting and markup tools to return comments to the client.
Comment & Markup toolbar:
A. Sticky Note tool, B. Text Edits tool, C. Stamp tool and menu, D. Highlight Text tool, E. Callout tool, F. Text Box tool, G. Cloud tool, H. Arrow tool, I. Line tool, J. Rectangle tool, K. Oval tool, L. Pencil tool, M. Show menu
For more information, see Participating in a .PDF review in Acrobat Help.
3. Brief summary of other options with Adobe products
A professional writing and editing solution, Adobe® InCopy® CS5 software tightly integrates with Adobe InDesign® CS5 software. Enable a parallel workflow between design and editorial staff, precisely fit copy to layout, and efficiently meet editorial deadlines.
For creative professionals who want greater efficiency in the creative review process, Adobe Creative Cloud is an online service that provides a straightforward way for peers and clients to review a variety of creative content using just a web browser.