What do I need to do, as a designer?

Designers turn a bunch of files - words, artworks, photos, concept design etc. - into a Book. They work closely with clients to correct and refine the layouts into a final version that can be signed off ready for print. During this phase, the 'proofs' are checked several times (from as few as 2-3 to as many as 7 or even more!) by different people - usually by the author, an editor and a professional proofreader - and then their comments are collated into a single master proof that is fed back to you for implementation.

Futureproofs helps you and the rest of the team manage this process. We make it simple for the client's team to check the page proofs, to enter corrections easily and quickly, to ask and answer queries, to collate their input into a single authoritative master proof that you can work from to make the changes in InDesign (or whatever layout tool you're using), and then to check the new version against the master proof and make sure that all those changes have been made as desired, and there have been no unintended side-effects (like text reflowing after deletion/insertion of text).

Getting started

First of all, you need to  create a Futureproofs account - you'll automatically be logged in. (Next time you visit, you can just log straight in.)

Futureproofs is a web-based application, which means that it runs in your web browser. We support all  modern web browsers, and the chances are you already have the software you need.

When you log in, you'll be shown  your Futureproofs dashboard. This lists all the projects you are a member of. Initially, there will be an introductory project called "How to use Futureproofs". This steps you through the basics of marking up a proof in Futureproofs - there are more details in the next section here. (You may also see one or more projects that your client has made you a member of.)

Reviewing changes to a proof

When the client has finished the master proof, you can view it in Futureproofs. You will probably have been assigned the Designer role on your project. This means that you will immediately have access to the dedicated Designer mode within Futureproofs. (If you also need to add markup, you may have a different role and need to follow the alternate route to this mode.) 

When the proof loads, you'll see a toolbar a the top of the window that provides all the tools you'll need. The  key tools are on the left-hand side, and let you move from one correction to the next and mark them as corrected. By default, marking a correction as having been implemented will remove it from view. If you prefer, you can  show all the markup while still seeing which have been corrected and which have not.

One key button in this toolbar enables you to open the designer sidebar. This shows you all the global changes in the proof, as well as a list of all markup on the current page that you can use to move around in any order you like.

You can also  raise a query about any markup that you're not sure about, and even attach a draft PDF of the new page to your queries for the client to check.

As well as these markup-focused navigation tools, there are  several other ways to move around the proofs - you can change page one at a time, jump to a specific page number, browse the book pages visually, use bookmarks or even search for specific words or phrases. (When you've been jumping around, it may be useful to know that you can jump straight back to the page you were viewing immediately before the jump.)

Dealing with queries

On your dashboard, you may notice a message on the left-hand side about queries. This lets you know when one of your queries has been replied to, or when someone else on your team has asked you a question about the proof.

To deal with these queries, you hover over your project again and  click the 'Queries' button. You will see all the queries for your project, in order. In each case, the full conversation is stored so that it's always clear what decisions have been made. There's a simple button to see each query in context and respond to it.

If you don't respond to your queries, you'll get  a reminder email each day, summarising all your queries and giving a link straight to the relevant page of the proof.

When a query you raised has been resolved, you should  click the Finish button. This removes the query from the proof (although it remains in the Query tab of your project permanently) and stops you receiving reminder emails to deal with it.

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