I’m kind of in a pickle and took on a project involving indesign/illustrator. It’s been a long time since I was really familiar with InDesign so I feel a bit overwhelmed right now and as though I’ve overestimated my design abilities.
I need to design a label from scratch, that copies the original label, so that it will be editable and we can alter the info such as prices, etc.
It will likely require Illustrator to create the shapes, but ultimately I want a file in Indesign that I can send to my project manager so he can add in the information himself and alter as needed. The shapes seem to be quite simple aside from several icons I’ll need to somehow create so do I need to use both programs or will just InDesign be sufficient?
What’s the best way to do this? If he does have InDesign installed as well, and also in the case that he does not? Is creating an editable PDF adviseable?
How can I send the file I’ve created so that he too can open it in InDesign and edit it himself? I.E. in which format does the file need to be for him to edit it (if he has access to InDesign) and if he does not?
My question is probably simple to answer but I’ve been searching and searching online and finding really different answers so I just wanted someone to clarify and let me know what is best in this situation.
There are roughly four options. Here are three I wouldn’t recommend:
- Bundle the InDesign file with
File > Package, as discussed by Vincent (“Generally a Bad Idea™.” to let a client loose with InDesign)
- Get them a copy of Adobe InCopy, which is designed for this purpose (editing text in InDesign files). However, it costs money, and while I’ve not used it myself, I gather that like most of Adobe’s less favoured products and features, it suffers from neglect (I believe it’s slow, clunky, unintuitive and sometimes breaks things – I might be wrong though, maybe try a trial)
- The options described in Best way to send layouts with editable text to writers/editors who don’t have design software. You’ll notice I didn’t accept any of those answers – none of them are ideal
Here’s the one option I would recommend trying:
- You mention labels, and it sounds like there are a lot of labels. InDesign’s Data Merge feature can be good for things like this. Instead of you sending your product manager something they’re not comfortable with working with (an InDesign file), your product manager sends you something they are comfortable with (a spreadsheet), and you feed that into InDesign. I describe this sort of workflow in more detail in this answer – it’s about business cards, but the issues are pretty similar to labels.
Be warned though that InDesign’s data merge is another one of those features that Adobe half-finished then decided they didn’t want to do any more work on. There are quite a few frustrations with it – I mention one in that other answer (the hoops you have to jump through to make non-ASCII text come out right), and here’s another common one you’re likely to encounter: InDesign Data Merge and hiding missing data.