DocsFlow 7.1

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DocsFlow 7.1 Ranking & Summary

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User Review: 0 (0 times)
File size: 12.1MB
Platform: Mac OS X 10.7, Mac OS X 10.6
License: Freeware
Downloads: 14
Date added: 2011-09-26
Publisher: Em Software Inc.

DocsFlow 7.1 description

DocsFlow 7.1 gives you much convenience with this useful program which marries the collaborative editing power of Google Docs to the layout power of InDesign.

With DocsFlow, you place online Google Docs documents as InDesign story contents, just like you place normal text files. But, even more importantly, DocsFlow maintains a dynamic link so it can intelligently merge Google Docs document changes into the InDesign story contents on each link update, rather than just replacing them. So you can format, layout and make minor edits in InDesign, while you and others are editing content together in real time on Google Docs, without losing any work.

DocsFlow’s 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: 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.

With DocsFlow, both the InDesign story and the Google Docs document can be edited independently, and the InDesign Links palette will show you the status of both at any point. 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. After each update, if you open the story editor with change marks showing, you can see who changed what. Or, you can click the edit original icon in the palette to immediately edit the linked story in Google Docs.

Most of the text-level formatting in the Google Docs document will import naturally, and Google Docs block-level styles are mapped to default InDesign styles. You can control the basic character and paragraph-level style mapping using import options when placing.

Accelerate your workflow

In the past, if you were collaborating with other folks on stories to be published using InDesign, but couldn’t afford a high-end editorial workflow system, you’d usually collect their external documents as Word (or other format) files, often via email or file-sharing of some sort. Once those were all collected (a pain in itself, especially for more than a handful of sources), you’d pull them down to your local system, and import them into your document, and go about your editing and formatting. If your collaborator wanted to update what she sent you, you’d have to get the new story again back down to your local system, and then either re-import it, blowing away all your careful edits and formatting, or else try to eyeball what changed and manually merge those changes (that being at best frustrating, and at worst hopelessly error-prone).

Or, once the external documents were imported into your InDesign document, the latter would become your master, and you’d export PDFs and ship them around to your collaborators for mark-up. That means you’d have a massive manual editing job on your part, once you got backed the marked-up PDFs.

With DocsFlow, your collaborators–as many as you like–can share Google Docs documents with you–as many as you need–, and edit them on the web, even collaborating in real time on the documents. Once you’ve linked a given source Google Docs document with an InDesign story, you’ll notice any edits that happened immediately, and with a double-click on the source-changed icon in the InDesign linking palette, you’ll have those changes merged into your story automatically using DocsFlow’s powerful 3-way merge (of the current story contents, the previous Google Docs document, and the current Google Docs document, all of which happens behind the scenes).

If there’s a chance of collisions in the editing process, you can use the story editor to see who changed what, and how those changes fit in (or not) with the local story edits.

DocsFlow vs. InCopy

DocsFlow is not competing directly with Adobe’s InCopy. The Google Docs user can’t “edit to fit,” seeing the layout-critical formatting, line breaks, overset copy, etc., that the InCopy user sees by design. Rather, DocsFlow works best when the bulk of the editing will be done on the Google Docs side, with minor edits and all page formatting and layout happening on the InDesign side.

DocsFlow’s main advantage is that everyone can see and edit the original copy in real time on Google Docs, at no cost per user. And, in most cases, authors are better off writing with a focus on content rather than eventual layout and formatting.

Next steps

From the sidebars on this page, you can purchase serials, download the latest release for installation or evaluation, view the user guide, release history, and product-related news, or find out about support and using an evaluation copy.


  • Added support for Adobe InDesign CS4, available as a separate, CS4-specific download.
  • Greatly improved support for tables import and merging.
  • Added footnote style mapping with a new Footnotes entry in the Import Options dialog’s Paragraph Styles tab.
  • Improved link status synchronization around application switch-ins and Google Docs login changes.
  • Improved the handling of the most recently used import options, which now travel with the document. New documents also start out with the default set of import options. 

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