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Creative-Office-DeskFor many designers, photographers, video editors, and other creative professionals, keeping track of versions can be the bane of your existence. From creative directors to clients to anyone passing by your desk, everyone has an opinion and wants you to tweak this or that. And how many times do they ask you to revert back to what you originally had? More often than you’d care to count I’m sure.

Truth be told, I’ve been on the requesting side of the equation far more often than the designer side. I’m guilty of saying things like, “Make it punch” or “This needs to pop” or “It needs to be more whimsical”. As a marketer, I think in terms of the emotion I want to convey or how I want people to react to something. Consequently, it’s easy to fall into the trap of using those same feelings I want to elicit when giving creative direction. When giving these sorts of subjective edits, it’s no wonder artists frequently have to roll back to a previous version. They are just stabbing in the dark.

For the creative professional, not only can it turn into a seemingly endless cycle of revisions, but it becomes a serious organizational challenge. After changing layout, copy and other content, you don’t want to just save over the previous version. What if they don’t like the changes? What if you have to revert back?

Consequently, you end up with dozens of versions of the same file with names like:

  • 2016_Catalog_Cover.ai
  • NEW_2016_Catalog_Cover.ai
  • 2016_Catalog_Cover_Final.ai
  • 2016_Catalog_Cover_Final_v2.ai
  • 2016_Catalog_Cover_Final_FINAL.ai (my personal favorite)

To make matters worse, if you work with a team of people, not only is it impossible to decipher your improvised naming scheme, but what if you are making changes to the same document simultaneously? It’s akin to crossing the streams in the movie Ghostbusters – it’s bad…total protonic reversal.

It’s not all gloom and doom however. There are software solutions out there that can help alleviate this problem. Extensis Portfolio – a complete digital asset management solution – is one such solution.

With the release of Portfolio 2016 in November of last year, we added the ability to track asset revisions. Not only does this help you manage versions, but it helps your entire team stay synchronized.

Need to make a change to an asset Portfolio is managing? No problem! Just check the asset out [so nobody else can make changes], make your revisions, and check it back in. You can even make comments when you check files in so you always have a point of reference when you’re looking back through the revision history. Additionally, Portfolio goes one step further by automatically creating asset versions when changes are made to keywords, descriptions and other metadata.

Need to roll back to a previous version or maybe even the initial file that was originally cataloged? No problem! From an item’s Version History pop-up, you can see a complete timeline of versions, including a thumbnail, user comments and metadata that was edited. Simply select which version you want and download the file, it’s that easy.

To see it in action, we’ve put together a short video that walks through the new functionality. If you want to give it a closer look, you can try it out on us for 45-days. Just click here for your Free Trial.

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