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Discussion in 'Design Discussion' started by Willie-Butch, Jun 28, 2007.

  1. Willie-Butch

    Willie-Butch Member

    My shop is switching to inDesign with inCopy as the word processor. I've heard several people rave about inDesign and how much more you can do with it than Quark. However, we're using ATS, which integrates inDesign and inCopy. Through our training, I've discovered that ATS does nothing but make design a huge pain in the ass.

    Does anyone else use ATS with inDesign? If so, what should I expect?
  2. Boognish

    Boognish Member

    OK. Be prepared to pull your hairs out one at a time, feel like walking out of the office, crying. But in a few weeks it will get better and it helps if your IT people are worth a damn (ours also moonlight in Geico commercials).

    BUT don't let the ATS people tell you it's all going to work out fine. I'm sure you're hearing about plenty of things getting fixed "under the hood." If you have issues while the ATS people are there (I'm assuming they are training you guys, which is what happened here) don't let them get away without fixing them. The ATS system is NOT very compatible with either Adobe product, and it will be (still is) at times a huge pain in my ass.

    I will say that despite all the problems that will arise, if I had the choice to go back to Quark and ATS, I wouldn't take it. With the Layout function in InCopy you can have your part-timers and agate folks filling in copy to fit a news hole on the page. It really works great for big prep nights when the main layout person has better things to do than squeeze a couple grafs or shave a few sentences. It also eliminates a lot of the layout guesswork you had to do in Quark, since now a writer knows exactly how many lines you need them to write.

    That said, nearly all the problems you will face from now until you leave that paper will be when ATS is communicating with InCopy (and sometimes InDesign). BTW, THE PARAGRAPH COMPOSER SUCKS A BIG FAT ONE. If your system works like ours, you’ll be close to deadline and your story in InCopy will say that it’s copyfit and when you save it and close it will be two lines short in InDesign!! It’s random when it happens. BUT THIS HAPPENS EVERYDAY, ALWAYS HAS. You just learn to work around it like all the glitches with ATS and Quark.

    It’s a love-hate relationship. I could go on for hours. Please PM me if you want more info. Perhaps we should start a support group …
  3. John

    John Well-Known Member

    After two days of training with ATS, I'm ready to grab a claw hammer and go after the guy who designed it.
  5. Boognish

    Boognish Member

    Well said, brother. I only had to shut down my station twice tonight when ATS and InCopy/InDesign had communication breakdowns.
  6. Pi

    Pi Member

    You have to become ensconced in ATS. It's like a fog.

    The jump function can be a finicky little turd too. Adobe has this powerful suite of applications, then ATS came along and said "let make an intermediary that makes them all more volatile and less effective."

    Nice work if you can get it.
  7. Willie-Butch

    Willie-Butch Member

    We launch the new system Monday night for Tuesday's paper. And we've been putting out a shadow paper for the past week. The more I use ATS, the more I'm getting used to it. I still hate it and think it's the worst design system known to man, but at least I'm beginning to understand it.
  8. wickedwritah

    wickedwritah Guest

    ATS sucks.

    The damn thing loves to crash at the drop of a hat.

    I hated it.
  9. Willie-Butch

    Willie-Butch Member

    At least you can "place" instead of "assign" stories on inside pages. That makes large section a lot easier to handle. Nothing worse than having to make a bunch of changes on a cover right before deadline. Takes forever when you assign stories. When you place them, it's a breeze, just like Quark.

    I still hate it, but it's getting better and better each day.
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