Smart Connection for InCopy contains many features and options. However, not all of them are used on a daily basis.
Use this article to learn more about the main features and about how to get started when you are new to Smart Connection for InCopy.
See some of these features demonstrated in this short video:
When using Smart Connection, you are working on files that are stored in a central database. To access this database you need to log in to the version of Enterprise Server in which the files are stored that you want to work on.
By logging in, the system will also grant and deny you access to files and features of Smart Connection and InCopy.
The dialog box that is used for logging in to Enterprise appears automatically when starting up InCopy. It can also be accessed by choosing Smart Connection > Log In...
Choose the server that holds the files you want to work on, enter your username and password and click OK.
Once you are successfully logged in, the options in the menus and panels for Smart Connection become available.
In order to fully understand how Smart Connection works it is important to be aware of some of the processes that are used.
Checking files out and checking files in
Creating a page in a magazine or newspaper involves the cooperation of many different people such as copy writers, layout designers, editors, and so on.
It is important that when one person works on a file that another person is not able to also open that file and make changes. To prevent this from happening, all files are stored in a database and only one person at a time is allowed to open a file for editing: a process referred to as 'checking-out a file'.
As long as a user has a file open for editing, others cannot make changes to the content of that file. Only when the user saves the file back to Enterprise (a process referred to as 'checking-in a file') can another user open that file for editing.
Article components and Element Labels
A story will typically consist of different parts such as a header, an introduction and the story itself. In Enterprise, these parts are called 'components' (or sometimes 'elements'). An article that contains these components is called a 'multi-component article'.
Each article component is represented by a separate frame on the layout. To better indicate which frame is going to be used for which purpose, a label can be assigned: the frame that will contain the headline can be labeled 'header', the frame that will contain the story can be labeled 'body text' and so on.
This way, the copy writer knows exactly what type of content to write in that frame and the layout designer knows what style to apply to that component.
Smart Connection shows you these labels for each frame when viewing the article in the Layout tab with in 'Normal' screen mode selected (View > Screen Mode > Normal).
Figure: An article with multiple components. Each component has a specific Element Label assigned.
Stories and Dossiers
In Enterprise, each story is represented by a Dossier. Seen from a Smart Connection point of view, a Dossier acts as a folder in which all required content is stored: the article containing the story, images, videos, reference material and so on.
Dossiers are also used for publishing a story to a Web site, Facebook, and so on (this functionality is available in Content Station). To successfully publish a story, the right files need to be available in the Dossier. When saving a file to Enterprise therefore you might need to save that file to a particular Dossier.
See a demonstration in this short video:
For more information, see Working with Dossiers in Smart Connection.
Smart Connection is driven by a system in which rules are set up that control which features and options of Smart Connection and InCopy you can and cannot use.
The purpose of this is to make sure that only those users who are allowed to make changes to files during the various phases of the production process can make these changes, while all other users are prevented from doing so.
These rules are stored in so-called 'Access Profiles' which in turn are linked to your user account.
It may therefore be that you will not be able to use certain features such as applying character styles or paragraph styles, selecting fonts or font styles, editing Sticky Notes or any of many other features when working on files that are stored in Enterprise.
Depending on how the system is set up, you might even find that you can edit a file as long as it is part of the production process, but that as soon it is ready for publication that you are not allowed to edit it anymore.
Note: These restrictions do not apply when working on articles that are stored outside of Enterprise.
For a full overview of all features (by area) which can be controlled by an Access Profile, see Access Rights for Smart Connection for InCopy.
Your Smart Connection Environment
Smart Connection and Enterprise are highly configurable systems. It is therefore more than likely that the version of Smart Connection that you are using has been modified by your system administrator to suit your company’s workflow as best as possible.
These modifications can affect the terminology used, the way dialog boxes look and perhaps even the text in messages that might appear. Additional customizations might also have been implemented, adding extra functionality that is either not covered in the Online Help articles, or they change the behavior of the described features.
When in doubt, contact your system administrator.
When using Smart Connection, you will be mostly performing the following tasks:
- Locating files in the database that you need to work on
- Editing articles
To assist you with these tasks, the following panels are available:
- The Smart Connection panel
- The Dossier panel
The Smart Connection panel
The Smart Connection panel is your main link to the files that are stored in the Enterprise database. You use the panel to search for the articles you want to work on.
Accessing the panel
The Smart Connection panel displays automatically after signing in to Enterprise, but can also be accessed by choosing Window > Smart Connection > Smart Connection.
Creating additional Smart Connection panels
Sometimes you mainly work with layouts while at other times your focus might be more on images or articles. One way of working is to filter the Smart Connection panel to only show the types of files that you are working on: only layouts, only articles, only images, and so on (how to do this is explained below in the section 'Searching for files').
Instead of constantly changing the filter in the same Smart Connection panel, you can also create multiple Smart Connection panels and set a different filter in each one.
Step 1. From the Smart Connection panel menu, choose New Smart Connection Panel....
Figure: The New Smart Connection Panel option (B) can be found when clicking the icon for the panel menu (A).
The New Smart Connection Panel dialog box appears.
Step 2. Enter a name and click OK.
The new Smart Connection panel appears.
Step 3. Change the filter settings to your liking.
The Dossier panel
Apart from using the Smart Connection panel to locate Dossiers, you can also use one of the following dedicated Dossier panels:
- The Dossier panel (static version). This panel shows the content of a particular Dossier.
To access this panel, double-click a Dossier in a panel.
The Dossier panel (live version). This panel shows the Dossiers (and their content) that the layout that you are currently viewing belongs to. When switching to another layout, the Dossiers are shown to which that layout belongs.
To access this panel, choose Window > Smart Connection > Dossier.
The Show Dossiers panel. This panel shows all Dossiers that a particular file is part of.
To access this panel, right-click a file and choose Show Dossiers.
The Show Dossiers and Layouts panel. This panel shows all Dossiers that a file is part of and all layouts that it is placed on.
To access this panel, right-click a file that can be placed on a layout (such as an article, image or an Excel file) and choose Show Dossiers and Layouts.
Before you start using Smart Connection you might want to set some preferences, for instance setting the size of fonts in the Smart Connection panel for optimum readability.
Figure: The Smart Connection preferences.
Accessing the preferences
- Mac OS: Choose InCopy > Preferences > Smart Connection...
- Windows: Choose Edit > Preferences > Smart Connection...
Document pane font size
For changing the font size of the text in the Document pane when using the Smart Connection panel in List View mode.
Figure: Files shown in List View mode in the Document pane (A) of the Smart Connection panel.
Preview pane font size
For changing the font size of the text in the Preview pane when using the Smart Connection panel in List View mode.
Figure: An InCopy article previewed in the Preview pane (A) of the Smart Connection panel.
Set either option to one of the following sizes:
- Small (default setting)
- Extra large
The issue is currently being investigated. To see the changes take affect, restart InCopy.
For more information about setting the Smart Connection preferences, see Smart Connection preferences.
The default method of locating files is by using the Smart Connection panel in Browse mode. As the name implies, this method allows you to browse for files by choosing specific locations such as a Brand/Issue/Category/Status combination.
Step 1. From the Search menu of the Smart Connection panel, choose Browse.
Lists appear containing the Brands, Issues, Categories and Workflow Statuses that you have access to.
Step 2. (Optional) Make a choice from one or more lists.
Step 3. Click Refresh.
Note: When making a choice from the Workflow Status list, the panel is automatically refreshed.
Any found files are shown in the panel.
Note: When no files are displayed, either none met the criteria or you have not been given sufficient access rights to view the files.
Filtering the browse results
When using Browse mode, you can further filter the search results down to one or more file types. This way you can view only those file types that you want to work with and hide all the other ones. This gives you much fewer files to work with in the Smart Connection panel.
Example: When you want to see only Dossiers, you can filter out all files except those of type 'Dossier'.
Step 1. Make sure that the Smart Connection panel is run in Browse mode (which it is by default).
Figure: The Smart Connection panel in Browse mode.
- From the Search menu, choose Browse.
Step 2. Do one of the following:
- Right-click anywhere on an empty area in the Search pane.
- From the Smart Connection panel menu, choose Filter.
Figure: Accessing the Filter by clicking the panel menu button (A).
The Filter appears, containing the file types that can be filtered on.
Note: Filtering on the following options require Smart Connection 13.0.1 or higher. In all other versions, these file types are part of the 'Other' option:
Step 3. Do one of the following:
- Select none of the options to show all files of all types
- Select one or more options to only show files of these types
Step 4. Click Refresh.
For more detailed information about searching for files, including creating and saving custom searches, see Searching and locating files using Smart Connection.
You can open articles as well as layouts in InCopy.
Opening the layout allows you to see how the article is placed on the page in relation to the other content, and also allows you to edit the article directly on the page.
Opening articles and layouts
Use one of the following methods:
- In the Smart Connection panel or the Dossier panel, double-click an article or right-click an article and choose Open.
- Open a layout on which the article is placed by double-clicking the layout in a panel, place the cursor anywhere in the article and choose Smart Connection > Check Out Article.
The article is checked-out and ready for editing. You can edit the article in either the Galley tab, the Story tab or even in the Layout tab.
When using the Galley or Story tab, you will see each article component displayed separately.
Figure: When working on an article in the Galley or Story tab, each article component (here 'head', 'intro', 'byline' and 'body') is shown separately.
Note: When multiple articles are opened, their components are all shown in the same Galley or Storey tab: first all components of the first article, then the components of the second article, and so on.
Opening articles without a layout preview
The downside of opening a layout is that this can cause longer wait times because a lot more information needs to be processed.
As an alternative, articles can also be opened without loading the layout information. The layout tab will then only show the formatted text.
Figure: An example of opening an article with and without design information.On the left the Layout tab of an article opened with design information (zoomed out): the layout tab shows the formatted article (here shown undimmed) as it is placed on the layout. On the right the Layout tab of the same article but now opened without design information: each article component is now displayed on a separate page.
To open an article without design information, do the following:
- Right-click the article in the Smart Connection panel or the Dossier panel and choose Open without Design.
Note: When opening an article without design information, write-to-fit information is not available.
When viewing the layout on which an article is placed, your focus will most likely be on the article that you are currently working on. To better distinguish it from all other content on the layout, you can dim that content so that the checked-out article stands out better.
Step 1. Check out one or more articles.
Step 2. Choose View > Dim Noneditable Objects.
Step 3. Choose the Layout tab. All checked-out articles appear un-dimmed while the rest of the content on the layout appears dimmed.
Figure: Dimming all objects apart from the checked-out article(s) make these articles stand out from the rest of the layout.
When it comes to saving articles it is important to be aware of 2 distinct differences in the way you can save them:
- Saving an article by pressing Cmd+S (Mac OS) or Ctrl+S (Windows), or by choosing File > Save only saves the article on your local system; it does not save the changes to the Enterprise database.
- Saving the changes to the Enterprise database can be done in various ways but the most common one is to check-in the layout. This will close the article and save all your made changes to the database.
Checking-in an article and closing it
Step 1. Open the article that you want to edit and make your changes.
Step 2. Place the text cursor in any of the article components of the article that you want to check-in.
Step 3. Choose Smart Connection > Check In... .
The Check In dialog box appears.
Step 4. (Optional) In the Name box, modify the article name or leave the original name.
The settings for Brand and Issue cannot be changed.
Step 5. (Optional) Change any of the remaining properties.
Step 6. Click OK.
The article is saved to the database. If a layout was opened and this was the only article that was checked out from it, the layout is closed.
For more information about all ways of saving articles, see Closing or saving an article using Smart Connection for InCopy.
When logging out of Smart Connection or quitting InCopy, any panel settings are saved so that you can make use of these settings the next time you log in, even when doing so from another system.
- To log out:
- Choose Smart Connection > Log out.
- To quit InCopy:
- Choose File > Exit or use the keyboard shortcut