In my last post I wrote about PageTrack, the app that lets you track print editions as they build, on anything from a smartphone to a video wall. Not long ago we had the idea of combining the page views in PageTrack with the remote editing space in our Swing mobile app. The idea was to let journalists in the field write their text for a specific story shape and preview how it will be laid out on the print page.
Print layouts on a laptop
Authors start by opening PageTrack on their laptop. They then drill down into the current edition until they find the page they want to work on. They click on a story shape and it opens in the Swing editing window. When they’ve entered their text, they click to get a preview of the story exactly as it will look on the print page.
The preview is a PDF generated by the same print engine as the final page, so they can write to fit the shape precisely. As well as creating new stories based on empty story shapes, authors can also edit the text of existing stories - the preview function works in exactly the same way. This combination of PageTrack and Swing remote editing gives journalists in the field the same smooth ‘write to fit’ integration as they would normally have back in the newsroom.
Smoothing remote workflows
Many news operations have had to move to remote working because of the public health crisis. In doing so, they have had to do without the smooth integration of page layouts with text editing that they were used to having back in the newsroom. This new integration in our journal publishing & editing software, which is being increasingly adopted by our customers in Germany, France and Italy, is helping to restores the smoothness of the newsroom workflows. It also represents a significant step on the way to a totally mobile print and digital workspace based on the Swing application.