Change driven invoice.

Customer Problem:

Having multiple employee’s in the field at all times, making sure time tracking and expenses are available and able to be created at any time from anywhere. As the employee’s could use any device, it had to be a workflow that enabled a wide variety of applications to be used.

Solution:

Using a template spreadsheet, the user enters the details of the job such as, who it is for, days worked, day (hour) rate, any expenses, expense location.

This spreadsheet was then exported to a common format using applescript on osx, the computers the client used. This format was a tab delimited text file.

This tab delimited text file could then be used as the input to an InDesign template to enable you to provide your brand on the invoice, along with allowing the spreadsheet application to take car of calculations.

Once the information is formatted the indesign document is exported to a PDF and saved to a location and/or sent to the user that modified the spreadsheet so that they can confirm the invoice is correct.

This solution also included the ability to include expenses by specifying the expense in the spreadsheet and including a link to the shared scan of the expense, using dropbox in this case, but any file share site would work.

Once all the files where in place a final PDF of the invoice including expense PDF’s was saved to a shared location, and an email was sent to the user.

List of Software Used:

Adobe InDesign, Apple Numbers, Mail, Dropbox. (Alts: Microsoft Excel, Thunderbird, Box, Adobe Document Cloud, OneDrive)

InDesign Auto Populate

Requirement:

Be able to select an xml file containing text and links and have this information be copied into an new InDesign document, including downloading and placing the images. Enabling the designer of the adverts to be able to start designing rather than have to get the resources first.

Applications required:

Adobe InDesign (CS6 and later)

Solution:

A script was created which displayed a dialog allowing the user to select an xml file. The information in this xml file was processed in a number of ways depending on what type of information it was.

Text was extracted from the xml file and placed in a new text frame on the document

Images where downloaded and stored in a local area on the designers machine before being placed in the document

InDesign Auto Save Script

Customer problem:

Due to aging machines and some hardware issues, a large amount of work was being lost by not saving the documents often enough. This was costing a large amount of issues with deadlines.

Accepted Solution:

The solution required Adobe InDesign, which the customer already owned, and a small easy to install JavaScript, written by us, that enabled auto-saving to a set location. Allowing the users to continue using their machines without having to remember to save in case of a crash, this saved  a lot of time and issues and made sure that deadlines where met.