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Question for Graphic Designers and Computer Savvy people

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I recently did a project in InDesign for our local Animal Control. It's a booklet basically on how to deal with animal behavior problems that they might encounter with a shelter adoption. I was seeing lots of animals come back because people didn't know how to deal with things like kitty scratching the couch. (I didn't get paid although I did get school credit)

The problem: They want to be able to "edit" the document as information changes. (Ex. I put local vet numbers in there, and those numbers do change) Although the shelter people love the booklet, they won't use it until they can do this.

It's in Adobe Acrobat form right now (also in original InDesign). I've heard of another Adobe program that theoretically (if I export from InDesign?) would allow editing, but I can't remember the name.

Or, do any of you have a suggestion for how I can transfer this document into an edit-able form??

Any suggestions would be appreciated as I've put waaaaay to much work into this to just scrap the project.
post #2 of 19
It can be exported into Adobe PageMaker (versions 7+)
Or edited in a pdf editor (which would probably be the cheaper option if they have to buy software)

What software do they have?
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
I'm not sure. (Actually, I doubt they have much beyond the basic Acrobat Reader.)

I will email them and see if that is an option.

With a PDF editor, do I need to do anything different when I export from InDesign?

Thank you!
post #4 of 19
I have the adobe version of pdf maker and can edit InDesign files saved as PDF not sure about non adobe versions, but you will have to make sure you use fonts they have installed on their computer or it will show as ####s
post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 
Which editor do you use? I looked them up on the internet and it looks like there are several. (Doesn't make a lot of sense.)
post #6 of 19
What may work best is to set the thing up in a program they do have (or might have) . . . like Publisher. (gack!)
If they ever have to print it for real (offset press) or go to another designer for some significant changes, they'll get cursed at, but this will let them edit to their heart's content and print their own from the office or Kinkos.

Other options would be to get them a copy of inDesign and teach someone the basics or get them to buy Adobe's program that lets you edit pdfs. I can't think of what it's called right now, but if that's what you're refering to Icklemiss, let us know the real name! (It would be handy at work when clients bring us their pdf files to edit and can't find the originals. I could finally tell my boss what we need to purchase!)

Good luck! And I'm so sorry if you end redoing it in publisher . . .

post #7 of 19
Adobe Acrobat Professional
Its quite expensive though (as with all adobe software) and won't edit if the document is protected so they need the passwords or security levels they set

I thought about recommending the redoing in publisher but the idea was just too horrific to think about, saying that I know someone who does their newsletters in word because she just can't use anything else ~shudders~
post #8 of 19
I thought it was professional! you know, i even think we do have a copy of that on one of these computers . . .

anything to do with publisher make me shudder. but we've got lots of clients who are "designers" and bring us their handiwork set up in publisher, then we have to explain to them why that's not good . . . what can you do!

Hehe, i actually just had a client email me and ask me to send him his photos in a word doc so he could pull them out and place them in powerpoint! Ack! why don't i just send you the photos themselve . . .

post #9 of 19
Sometimes you have to wonder about these 'designers'

My local printers will actually charge extra if you bring them 'certain' files that need editing, people think its because of the files being more 'advanced' but its because he hates working in publisher etc

The other favourite is the hi-res 72 dpi files
post #10 of 19
I love getting my requested .eps file only to find out it's a lores jpg placed in Illustrator! Putting it in Illustrator doesn't make it a vector file!

I really want my boss to ad a "special client" tax to our billing system!

post #11 of 19
OH but saving it as an .eps file does!

My local printer does it on an 'editing' basis, he looks at the file first and then gives you the cost so the 'special client' tax is hidden in there

OH and you jinxed me, I got into work today for find the Interns found InDesign difficult and so used Publisher instead for our annual newsletter ~curses interns~
post #12 of 19
Originally Posted by icklemiss21
OH but saving it as an .eps file does!

My local printer does it on an 'editing' basis, he looks at the file first and then gives you the cost so the 'special client' tax is hidden in there

OH and you jinxed me, I got into work today for find the Interns found InDesign difficult and so used Publisher instead for our annual newsletter ~curses interns~
Aargh! Don't you hate that? Now, of course they could take the pdf and place it in Illustrator and edit it. But I doubt if they have that!
post #13 of 19
If they give you the pdf yes, but no, this particular person likes to bring you the publisher file saved in an old copy of publisher that doesn't save to pdf and she won't get a freebie pdf maker/printer.

She drives my printer guy crazy and always seems to be in there when I am
post #14 of 19
Thread Starter 
I can't even use Publisher (don't think). Don't have it, never used it. I'm so new at this a lot of things don't make a lot of sense. What I have is the Adobe Creative Suite 2.

I'm one of the quote unquote "designers" but I'm trying to be a real one by working with other designers and I'm signing up for the Digital Design degree with the Online Art Institute of Pittsburgh. I'm going to take a class and see how it works before getting fully into it though. I'd look at doing an onsite program, but I haven't found anything that isn't another 4 year degree, and I just finished one. *sigh*

I found I absolutely loved design when I took a Newspaper layout course (in Quark) in my Journalism department, but that was the only course they offered. Since then, I've done two independent studies to sort of start to learn InDesign... I'm so bad at it. *sigh*

Any other advice for an aspiring designer?? I'd really appreciate it! (Even internship programs you recommend... I found the value in those last summer when I worked for a newspaper and feel really uncomfortable about trying to get a job without some work experience.)
post #15 of 19
What I tell people is to keep up the experience! Even if you don't earn money from it right away, keep doing it just to gain a portfolio.

Once you have a decent size portfolio,say about 5 legit projects, go onto a freelance web site (google "Free lance design" and you'll get sites you can sign up for such as,, etc).
post #16 of 19
Oh yea, and *forgive me all graphic artists above for saying this* Microsoft Word *cringes* has a design template for brochures. Copy and paste it into this and they'll be able to edit from there (providing they have Word).
post #17 of 19
Lets see, advice.

Always ask for advice and critiques of what you do. Try to find a more experienced designer to work under or who is available to look at your work and who is willing to talk to you about theirs. (how they come up with concepts, layouts, etc. why they make the design choices they do)
Even get opinions from non-designers. They probably won't be able to help with how to design it better, but they can give you "instinctive" reactions to your design that can clue you in to what's working and what's not. This can be especially helpful with logos which are incredibly important.

Go surf some design forums which can help both with design critiques/advice as well as tech questions. I like and (search and you'll find their designers forum, plus you can download a free stock photo each week!)

Read design magazines. My firm gets Communication Arts, HOW, and Print. I love HOW and CA and can take or leave Print. They're crazy expensive so you may do better by spending a nice evening at your local Barnes and Nobel with a coffee and the latest issue of each.

Be passionate about design but don't become attached to YOUR design. You need to be flexible about critique and the sometimes (often?) inane requests of clients. Your job as a designer is two-fold. You need to create good design and you need to educate your client as to why what you have designed is the best option for them. After that, if they still request dumb things, you (or your boss) weighs the option of going forward with bad design but a happy client or pushing the client even more to see what you think is the best course.

Learn about the technical aspects of your work. If you want to do web, learn how to code in html and flash and any other languages that appeal to you. If you want to do print, learn how the different types of printing work and how to prepare your files to give your printers the least amount of trouble possible. If your printer ends up have to spend significant time on your files, they'll bill you and that's a cost that can't be passed on to the client.

Oh man that's a lot! You sound like you're on a good track already having some other folks to work with. I got a degree in studio art and worked with a professor to learn more about design. The job I'm currently at had another designer who was older and got his degree in Graphic design. Working under him was immensely educational.

Basically just learn learn learn. There are so many different types of design. Logos, print, web, illustration, layout, maganize, newspaper, ads, etc.

I hope you do well!

post #18 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks to all of you for your tips and advice.... I'm still open for more
post #19 of 19
Don't use publisher would be my first, every printer I know will hate you for it, so starting in InDesign is a good start!
(Publisher is food proof so its not a matter of not knowing how to use it, MR MS Paperclip will help you if you ever did get stuck)

Definitely check out the freelance websites, if not to look for work, just to see the kind of submissions people like and dislike and to get a feel for the overly annoying clients who change their mind constantly.

Other than that I second everything lunasmom and jlutgendorf said.
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