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Word Import link Keep Indesign Styles

May 14, 2012 1:01 AM

Tags: #word #cs5.5 #import #cs6 #microsoft #styling

We often have reports to set that are created in Word.

These are amended by various people (at the last moment).

Document come from various sources - there is no consistent use of Word styles and as sources are constantly changing there is little chance of imposing the use of consistant Word syles.

Word is the common app (with all memmbers of the group supplying (at any one time) having their own track changes on a master doc

(btw - no way is anyone of the suppliers going to purchase or learn InCopy)

 

Having previously set the reports them by placing the whole word doc into Indesign and styling the paras and chars, its becomming clear that keeping the master Word file live for all involved in the project to edit is the only way to go (last minute changes taken over the phone with everyone reading from a proof PDF are difficult to transpose acurately).

 

So what needs to be set in Indesign to enable...

 

Indesign to keep the styles that are set in the Indesign document - when the Word file is updated and re linked.

 

Maintain any bold or italics from Word (having these removed and manually restyling doesnt get us any further forward)

 

 

 

tia

 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 14, 2012 1:44 AM   in reply to Paul_Taylor

    You want to re-import a Word document but only replace the text, not the formatting. Do I understand that correctly?

     
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    May 14, 2012 3:08 AM   in reply to Paul_Taylor

    So you want to retain just the existing paragraph styles.

     

    What if someone inserts or removes a paragraph?

     
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    May 14, 2012 4:32 AM   in reply to Paul_Taylor

    Well, if you want to replace the text paragraph-wise (to maintain current paragraph styles), your main concern ought to be "what if someone inserts or removes a paragraph". One single extra hard return will throw off the styles for the entire rest of your text.

     

    As you might have gathered by now, replacing text whilst keeping the styles is not a trivial thing, and InDesign certainly cannot do it natively through a simple "relink new doc".

     
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    May 14, 2012 5:18 AM   in reply to Paul_Taylor

    Paul_Taylor wrote:

     

    Skipping the technical - it just needs to operate like my clients use Word.

     

    Open File - change something - get it highlighted.

    And if the editing were happening in ID it might be possible, but you want that functionality to cross applications. I don't think that is going to happen, but if anyone can find a way, it's Jongware.

     
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    May 14, 2012 5:53 AM   in reply to Paul_Taylor

    Paul_Taylor wrote:

     

    Skipping the technical - it just needs to operate like my clients use Word.

     

    They are using it like crap, at least that's what you told us.

     

    ...  update the link and not loose a days worth of styling if the file gets updated again.

    If restlying the new parts is needed - then so be it, if a para gets removed - no problem, but can I re link without loosing hours of styling?

     

    Only through a good workflow. Your users are part of that, whether they like it or not.

     

    It's not a question of "you just have to find the right settings in InDesign", it's "find the right settings in your workflow".

     
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    May 14, 2012 7:38 AM   in reply to Paul_Taylor

    Is there any poosibility they would work with a styled RTF file that you export from ID? That at least would have your styles in it.

     
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    May 14, 2012 7:55 AM   in reply to Paul_Taylor

    Paul_Taylor wrote:

     

    I've no control over what the clients do, or how they are trained or how they use Word.

     

    The people going through the department these reports are coming from are versed in using Word to produce technical reports. They are in the department for a limited amount out time to offer their expertise. Their only consideration being 'is the information in this report correct'. Job done, work on next project or leave department.

     

    Multiply that by 4,5,6 people and I've got to make the best of what I'm being sent. Trying to find the best way to work with a multi authored Word file, that are going to change right up to the last minute. Clients have already reported back - they don't like doing amends on PDFs and would rather stay with the Word document. No one is going to look at InCopy or anything other than Word.

     

    That's what I'm dealing with.

    If I'm correct that you are a professional business and that these are commercial clients, and that you charge by hours worked - not in-house Powers that Be - you could consider applying the professional principle of "you get what you pay for, and if you want more service, you need to pay for it." It seems that there's no technological solution, like a smart script, or a smarter application that all users would adopt.

     

    If an appropriate script could be developed, it would make you more efficient, though you'd still have to put in more time to fix the chaos than if clients provided reasonably-consistent styled original content and changes; you'd likely have to pay for the development for such a script, just like you pay for your InDesign and other application tools for your work. So, you'd pay for a tool that helped you charge for fewer billable hours - the kind of odd logic that is often necessary to keep clients.

     

    If, OTOH, you can make the case with the clients that your hours of extra work will cost them extra, they might be willing to manage the cost by training their users, developing a custom script, purchasing a suitable smart application, or engaging a hand-off person who'd apply the proper Word styles so that your ID work would be smooth and efficient.

     

    Tact in presenting the choices to the clients is key. "Here's how you can get the best bang for your buck - these are your options," is much more likely to work for both you and the client, than "it's going to cost you more, or I'll drop the account."

     

    Just my deflated two cents.

     

     

    HTH

     

     

    Regards,

     

     

    Peter

    _______________________

    Peter Gold

    KnowHow ProServices

     
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    May 14, 2012 9:13 AM   in reply to Paul_Taylor

    One potential tool is Rorohiko's Text Exporter.  But note that its maker recently described it in connection with another issue (footnotes), saying "Unless it's a very specific workflow, ID -> Word -> ID is not really practically workable."

     

    David

     
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