Stand-alone documents

Work with stand-alone documents

An InCopy document that is not associated with an InDesign document is called a stand-alone document. You can set up and modify the text area, page size, and orientation for stand-alone documents. However, if the story is later linked to an InDesign document, the InDesign settings override the settings used in InCopy.


You can also click Save Preset to save document settings for future use. When creating a new document, you can simply choose it from the Document Preset menu and click OK without having to change any settings. If you’re working in an editorial workgroup, these saved presets can be shared with other members of your team. (See Define custom document presets.)

Create a stand-alone document

  1. Choose File > New.
  2. To create a document that does not have facing pages in each spread, deselect Facing Pages.
  3. From the Text Area menu, choose Frame Grid to create a document with a grid into which Japanese characters are set, or choose Text Frame to create a plain text frame. (See About frame grids in InCopy documents.)
  4. Under Text Area, type values for Width and Depth. Text dimensions provide accurate line break information without relying on InDesign for copyfit information.
  5. Specify whether the text direction is horizontal or vertical.

    You can change this setting any time by choosing Type > Writing Direction > Horizontal or Vertical.

  6. In the Grid Attributes section, specify the frame grid characteristics for vertical and horizontal scaling, character aki, and line aki. (See Document setup options for frame grids.) These grid attributes do not appear if you’re creating a plain text frame.
  7. Choose a page size from the list, or type values for Width and Height. Page size represents the final size you want after bleeds or other marks outside the page are trimmed.
  8. Click OK.

Open a stand-alone document

You can open an InCopy content file (.icml) that has been created in InCopy or exported from InDesign. When opened in InCopy, these InCopy content files will not show the page geometry from the InDesign layout. You can also open documents from previous versions of InCopy, and you can open InCopy template files (.icmt).

You can also open Microsoft® Word and text files directly in InCopy, and then save them as Text Only (.TXT) or Rich Text Format (.RTF).

  1. Choose File > Open.
  2. Select the document, and then click Open.

You can also choose File > Open Recent, and select one of the documents you saved recently. To specify how many recent documents are displayed, choose Edit > Preferences > File Handling (Windows), or InCopy > Preferences > File Handling, and then specify a number for Number Of Recent Items To Display.

Change document layout

  1. In any view of a stand-alone document, choose File > Document Setup.
  2. Select basic layout options in the dialog box that appears.
  3. Click OK.

Define custom document presets

You can create custom document settings and then share them with others in your workgroup to save time and ensure consistency when creating similar documents.

  1. Choose File > Document Presets > Define.
  2. Do one of the following:
    • To create a new preset, click New and specify a name for the preset.

    • To base a preset on an existing one, select a preset from the list and click Edit.

    • To use a different set of settings, click Load, open a document settings file (.icst), and then click Edit.

  3. Select basic layout options in the dialog box that appears. (See Work with stand-alone documents for a description of each option.)
  4. Click OK twice.

You can save a document preset to a separate file and distribute it to other users. To save and load document preset files, use the Save and Load buttons in the Document Presets dialog box.

Linking InCopy files to InDesign

When a stand-alone InCopy story is linked to an InDesign document, the InDesign formatting overrides the InCopy layout and design settings.

The link between InCopy files and InDesign layouts can be made a number of ways in InDesign, usually by placing an InCopy (.icml) file into an InDesign layout.

Using Adobe Bridge with InCopy

Adobe Bridge is a cross-platform application included with AdobeCreative Suite components that helps you locate, organize, and browse the assets you need to create print, web, video, and audio content. You can start Adobe Bridge from any Creative Suitecomponent (except Adobe Acrobat), and use it to access both Adobe and non-Adobe asset types.

From Adobe Bridge, you can:

  • Manage image, footage, and audio files: Preview, search, sort, and process files in Adobe Bridge without opening individual applications. You can also edit metadata for files, and use Adobe Bridge to place files into your documents, projects, or compositions.

  • View the links inside an InDesign or InCopy document as thumbnails while in Adobe Bridge, without actually having to open the document.

  • Perform automated tasks, such as batch commands.

  • Synchronize color settings across color-managed Creative Suite components.

  • Start a real-time web conference to share your desktop and review documents.

Browse for files by using Adobe Bridge

Adobe Bridge lets you efficiently organize, browse, and locate the assets you need to create content for print, the web, and mobile devices.

  1. To open the Adobe Bridge Browser, choose File >Browse In Bridge or click the Adobe Bridge icon in the application bar.

Scripting in InCopy

Scripting is a great tool for performing a variety of tasks. A script can be as simple as an automated common task or as complex as an entire new feature. You can create your own scripts, and you can run scripts that other people have created. Use the Scripts panel (Window > Utilities > Scripts) to run scripts within InCopy.

For more information about scripting, see the InCopy Scripting Guide on the Adobe website.


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Adobe MAX 2024

Adobe MAX
The Creativity Conference

Oct 14–16 Miami Beach and online

Adobe MAX

The Creativity Conference

Oct 14–16 Miami Beach and online