DocsFlow gets “exceptionally good” rating in a full review from InDesign Magazine

July 3, 2012 by

David Blatner, one of the patriarchs of the InDesign ecosystem, in the June/July 2012 issue of InDesign Magazine, reviewed the latest version of DocsFlow and gave it 4 stars for “exceptionally good.”

David opens with a great story:

For me, one of the most memorable highlights at the PePcon conference this year was a simple conversation in the hallway with an attendee about the DocsFlow plug-in. Staring at me in near-disbelief, he stammered, “You mean I can have all my writers and editors working in Google Docs, and have their changes automatically update in InDesign? That’s awesome!” Yes, yes it is.

David does a thorough job of pointing out the strengths and weaknesses of the DocsFlow plugin as a workflow solution. He starts with the fact that DocsFlow provides a merge-with-the-cloud facility that’s unique:

Instead of having to download your files first from “the cloud” as Microsoft Word documents (or RTF, Excel, PDF, or whatever), Em Software’s DocsFlow 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.

He then points out that one major weakness is the lack of real styles on the Google Docs side, goes through other issues with style mapping, and talks about how editorial workflows can go with DocsFlow.

Two other quotes stand out in the review, towards the end, that are some of the best summaries we’ve seen of DocsFlow:

I love the ability to import my Google Docs files, edit or format them in either place, and merge the changes together. It’s fast, easy, and makes for a very flexible workflow. You can even see comments written in the Google Doc (they show up in InDesign’s Notes panel).

And, finally:

DocsFlow is one of those plug-ins that can literally be life-changing in how much it improves your workflow, especially when you work with documents written or edited by a number of people. It’s certainly no replacement for the power of Adobe InCopy, but it’s more than enough for many (and perhaps most) InDesign users.

The InDesign Magazine folks have kindly let us host a reprint of the review for you to read without a subscription. But I’d strongly suggest you subscribe to the magazine anyway—it’s always chock-full of helpful news, critical tips, in-depth how-to’s, and insightful reviews.

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