Instead of having to download your files first from “the cloud” as Microsoft Word documents (or RTF, Excel, PDF, etc.), Em Software’s DocsFlow for InDesign Plug-in lets you place the files directly into InDesign. It works with both word processing and spreadsheet documents, so you can quickly and easily import stories and tables. But the real magic isn’t in the importing it’s in the ability to make edits.
With DocsFlow, you place online Google Docs documents and (Pro version) spreadsheets as InDesign story contents, just like normal text or spreadsheet files.
More importantly, DocsFlow maintains a dynamic link so it can intelligently merge Google Docs changes into the InDesign story contents on each link update, rather than just replacing the story. In the Pro version, that’s a two-way link so you can push your InDesign story changes to Google Docs.
So you can format, layout, and make minor edits in InDesign, while you and others continue editing story content together in real time on Google Docs, without losing any work.
DocsFlow’s first breakthrough idea is to connect the freely-available and popular web-based Google Docs editing tools to InDesign, giving you a zero-cost-per-seat editorial workflow solution that is extraordinarily easy to manage.
Using DocsFlow means you need no special resources to build, maintain or learn the editorial side (which is just Google Docs), and means no learning curve on the design side (since DocsFlow builds on the native InDesign story linking and story updating machinery).
And getting started couldn’t be easier. Simply download and install the Plugin, select Place from Google Docs, log in, and start placing dynamically-linked documents, later merging with a double-click when the remote document is edited.
DocsFlow’s second breakthrough ienables you to edit both the InDesign story and the Google Docs document independently, without losing work on either side.
When the Google Docs document is edited, you’ll see the link’s status change to “modified” (a yellow alert icon), and you can update the story from Google Docs with a double-click on the icon. DocsFlow merges any changes on the Google Docs side into the linked InDesign story, even if the latter has been changed.
You can view or edit the original story at any time by using “edit original” or clicking the edit original icon in the Links palette. DocsFlow also provides an “edit original without update” that opens the document in Google Docs but doesn’t auto-update when you return to InDesign.
After each update, if you open the story editor with change marks showing, you can see who changed what. If there are any conflicts between edits on both sides, DocsFlow will leave a note at each conflict point.
DocsFlow Pro is two-way
DocsFlow Pro expands the normal one-way linking to two-way, so you can export your unlinked story to a new Google Docs document, or push-merge any linked InDesign story changes back to your existing Google Docs document.