Supporting digital-to-print publishing workflows with Adobe InDesign and Brightspot

Image of magazine covers on newsstand

To this day, print publishing is still a significant part of the workflow for newsrooms across the world. As the need to be digital-first has become more imperative, effectively balancing digital and print publishing has proven to be a major challenge for media organizations.

Those challenges are the reason we integrated Adobe InDesign with Brightspot to effectively support the digital-to-print publishing workflow. Publishers frequently have to pay for access to design/layout software services per individual seats, and those costs add up quickly. Brightspot makes it possible for CMS users to keep track of online articles that are published in the CMS against shorter print versions in InDesign. Keeping both versions up to date and available gives team members the opportunity to collaborate and makes it easier to manage the approval workflow for changes and edits to the different versions.

Let’s dig into the feature set of Brightspot’s Adobe InDesign Integration.

Import Content and Bidirectional Sync

Publishing of online articles is all handled in Brightspot, but what we’ve done with the InDesign integration is allow InDesign users the ability to import these articles into their InDesign template of choice. By utilizing the Brightspot InDesign plugin, designers can import articles published by Brightspot users into a regularly used template that their team leverages, such as the front page template of a newspaper.

When an InDesign user imports an article, it pulls in the text and images into the mapped frames within the template and creates an InDesign Document within Brightspot that Brightspot editors can access.

A neat part of this feature is that both editors in Brightspot and designers in InDesign can edit and update the InDesign document. This allows for a collaborative editing workflow between team members without having to share and send files back and forth.

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Brightspot's InDesign integration for digital-to-print workflows


Another feature supported with this integration is Brightspot’s Workflows feature. Users in InDesign and Brightspot can update the workflow status of the InDesign document. This lets the newsroom know where in the content workflow the document is (e.g., “document is ready for copy editing” or “document is in design review.”) Users can also add comments to the Workflow status update to call out specific changes for review.

Combining this with Brightspot Permissions, newsrooms can set up approval processes to ensure quality content is produced, reviewed and approved by the appropriate people—and only those people—at each stage. And because the InDesign file is an object within Brightspot, we keep track of all revisions, so if an editor wants to remove changes and jump back to an earlier version, they can do so.

Overset and PDF Preview

With online articles being imported into templates meant for print comes the trouble of limited real estate. To allow Brightspot editors to see and help solve this challenge with designers and their newsrooms, Brightspot sets notes when text in the template is overset within the frame.

So even from within Brightspot, editors are able to discern if the story in a template is overset. To make it even easier, Brightspot editors can preview a PDF copy of the InDesign document the designer in InDesign is laying out. This allows them to review the layout and see how bad the overset is on the document and drive editorial decisions to correct it.


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