Over the past few months I've been working on a number of book layout & design projects. Normally, the client provides me with a manuscript in DOC/DOCX which I import into InDesign and go about designing & laying out the book.

Often there are a number of small tweaks/changes and some have provided these a list, some an updated manuscript etc.

Each of these methods have their downsides and I'm wondering if there's a better way?!

2 Answers 2


Whenever our copywriter has edits to his work, he sends us the original Word document (and a PDF version) with changes, with all of the changes highlighted in yellow. It's by far more efficient than what most clients do, which is a. send us a pdf with messy and hard-to-read correction tags or b. send us a stream of corrections in an email. I would suggest requesting that your clients send revisions like that.

  • Is there a particular reason why you do not use version tracking of word? I must say i agree that having comments in a PDF is pain in the butt. On that subject anybody know of a tool.that can import pdf comments to indesign or word?
    – joojaa
    Commented Aug 31, 2016 at 10:52
  • Thanks - I think this is the direction I'll go. An annotated PDF sounds like it would best for a small list of changes/typos etc. but for a second edition of a book a tracked manuscript would be more flexible I think. Commented Aug 31, 2016 at 21:23

For small tweaks it is most effective for them and easier for you to follow an annotated pdf version. Meaning your client can take your pdf export and highlight/add notes to it using the free Acrobat Reader. They will then save this pdf with comments and send it to you, this way you get an easy to follow list of changes directly in Acrobat.

If the client doesn't know about this, and many times they won't, just send them this video which demonstrates this in under 1 minute: https://youtu.be/2QP5I72PubE

  • Thanks for your detailed reply, I'll definitely use this going forwards for a small number of changes / typos etc. Commented Aug 31, 2016 at 21:23

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