Release: WordsFlow Pro 2.0 beta 1

June 25, 2014 by

We’re happy and excited to share an early public release of WordsFlow Pro (now at version 2.0) for your evaluation and feedback. WordsFlow Pro, like DocsFlow Pro, completes the workflow cycle, and makes WordsFlow fully two-way. With the Pro version, you can now update your Word documents in place with the latest linked InDesign story contents, and you can export any InDesign story to a new Word document as well (which also links it automatically).

When we showed WordsFlow last week at PePcon 2014 in Chicago, the almost universal reaction was laughter and disbelief at seeing the “magic merge” happen, followed by an outburst of “we’ve gotta have that!” when people realized just how much time and trouble it would save them.

Usage

WordsFlow Pro adds two items to its File > WordsFlow > menu: Update Linked Document and Export with WordsFlow… (both of which are also available in a contextual menu on the story when editing, and in the Links panel when a WordsFlow-linked story is selected).

Update Linked Document (only available when the link is up to date) will update the linked Word document with the contents of the current InDesign story, re-creating as far as possible the look and feel of the InDesign contents (fonts, spacing, indents, etc.). (We realize that some users may want to not disturb the current formatting of the Word document, but only merge in the textual changes, and that’s on our road map, though not immediate.)

Note bene: Please be sure the Word document you’re trying to update isn’t open in Word or in another application, or you may silently lose data.

Export with WordsFlow… (only available when you’re in text editing mode in a story) will create a new Word document with the current contents of the current InDesign story, re-creating the look and feel as above, and linking the current story to the newly-created Word document.

One important thing to note is that WordsFlow Pro provides a solid, native Word exporter for InDesign as a side-effect, even outside of its intended two-way workflow usage.

Caveats

We encourage you to try WordsFlow Pro, though not for production work yet, as it’s quite fresh and will no doubt need a fair bit of honing before it’s ready to release. We had to write our own Word native format (.docx) export engine, which was and will continue to be a challenging engineering effort.

WordsFlow only exports .docx format, so it can’t update a linked .doc file. Also note that we don’t support exporting to Excel spreadsheets yet, though we’ll eventually get there.

How and where to get it

To use WordsFlow Pro, you’ll need a Pro-level license. As we did with DocsFlow, we like to reward our early users, so if you’re already a WordsFlow user as of today, June 28, 2014, we’ll provide you with a free Pro upgrade for your current license: just email us your current license and we’ll send you back a Pro license.

You’ll find downloadable copies for CS5/5.5, CS6, and CC (CC 2014 coming in a couple of weeks) on the product page.

If you’re not a WordsFlow user already, you can either test WordsFlow Pro in demo mode (which is limited to one link per document at a time) or purchase a Pro license. (Though note that this really is a pre-release, and we can’t recommend it for production yet.)

Feedback needed

In any case, during testing, please send feedback (questions, problems, suggestions, etc.) to the usual place, [email protected]. We thank you in advance for any feedback, positive or negative, and look forward to making a solid first release with your help!

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