collaborative workflow advice in InDesign for high school newspaper

At the high school where I work, we have concerns about students overwriting each other's layout work in an InDesign file. When the students are not in the same room, they try to edit the same InDesign file at the same time (whether we store shared files on an on-premise NAS storage solution or a cloud-based solution like Google Drive or Adobe Creative Cloud).

It seems like there are plenty of suggestions for avoiding accidents with the content of an article, but I have yet to find a simple solution to avoid accidents with layout in an InDesign file. Obviously, the goal is to be able to rely on the teenagers to just communicate with each other, but it would be amazing if there was an actual system to avoid accidental overwrites of InDesign files. Is there any solution to locking out other users when an InDesign file is being edited?

If there is not a way to check-in/check-out InDesign files, can other schools or designers share their workflows with me? Are you using online versioning solutions (such as subversion or git)? Are you using an online communication tool (like discourse or google classroom)? Do you restrict work to your campus computer (if so, how do you handle deadlines)?


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Adam Maksl

Posted on 5/21/19 8:19:54 PM Permalink

​You may want to consider looking at ​InCopy, which is built to help manage these kinds of workflows.

Park School

Posted on 5/22/19 12:36:17 PM Permalink

Thanks for the suggestion, but InCopy would only help with the content (which we have figured out). We are trying allow for collaboration on the layout in the InDesign files, without also allowing students to inadvertently overwrite each other's work.

Adam Maksl

Posted on 5/22/19 2:13:29 PM Permalink