How To Edit InDesign Files with InCopy Assignments When InCopy is not Available

Adobe InCopy is a great tool that allows editors to edit the text in an existing InDesign document.

This eliminates marking up print-outs with red pens or commenting on PDFs. The editor’s changes can be made by the editor.

The process is simple: The designer selects the text boxes that will allow editing and creates “assignments.” The editor can open these in InCopy and make changes.

Once that is done, the designer opens the InDesign document and updates the links (the editable text is a link). And the document is now up-to-date.

Great system! But, what if the designer has created the assignments, but the editor (or someone else) does not have InCopy and changes need to be made? Well, I found a quick work-around.

As the screenshots show, I opened the .icml file in TextEdit (the standard text editor that comes with Mac OS). I searched for <Content> and that took me to where actual text was so I didn’t need to read through all that code. I could make the text changes and then, with <Content> still loaded in my search box, go to the next occurrence and edit away. After that, I saved the TextEdit .icml file, opened InDesign, updated the links, and the edits were made.

Maybe not the most elegant solution, but in a pinch, you gotta do what you gotta do to get the job done.

Unedited InDesign File

Location of .icml File

Search TextEdit for “Content”

Edit the TextEdit Document

The Edited InDesign File After Links Are Updated

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