Skip navigation
yo_soy_tu_padre007
Currently Being Moderated

Importing text from Word to ID

Mar 9, 2013 12:06 PM

Tags: #microsoft_word #paragraph_styles #open_type #true_type_font #import_text_file

Hello. Which are the best way to import text files? I mean, step by step, from Microsoft Word to ID? It is a headache when you apply an style and booom all the italics and bolds dissapear... Sometimes it works fine when i apply a style, but sometimes it does a disaster. From now, I am really curious about how indesign thinks to resolve the import cases and the work of styles.

 

1) Why sometimes erase all the word local formats and sometimes does not?

2) Is it a problem using .doc, .docx or .rtf to save text files an import?

3) Is the problem that you work with .TTF fonts (like Arial, Times, Courier) from word and on ID you use OpenType Fonts?

4) What is the NON-FAIL way to do an excellent import? from Microsoft Word to ID

 

Thanks

 

Alejandro

 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 9, 2013 12:26 PM   in reply to yo_soy_tu_padre007

    I am assuming you mean "Place" when you say import . When you place a document in ID, make sure that the "Show Import Options" is checked at the bottom of the "Place" screen where you select the file you want to place. Then, after you select your file and click Open, you'll have another screen with the option to select what formatting you want to keep.

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 9, 2013 4:44 PM   in reply to yo_soy_tu_padre007

    yo_soy_tu_padre007 wrote:

    1) Why sometimes erase all the word local formats and sometimes does not?

     

    When placing, you can select to either preserve 'local' formatting or remove it. Local formatting is "anything done without using a style", just as it is in InDesign. As Ellis says, check your import settings.

     

    In addition, even if you 'preserve' local formatting, it's very easy to accidentally remove it in InDesign when you apply another style. If common attributes such as bold and italics are not applied through character styles in the original Word document, you should preserve them yourself by doing that in InDesign.

     

    2) Is it a problem using .doc, .docx or .rtf to save text files an import?

     

    Yes, on all three. There is no single format that InDesign works best with. If a Word document causes me trouble, I try the other options until I get not exactly the "best" result, but more accurately a "least bad".

     

    3) Is the problem that you work with .TTF fonts (like Arial, Times, Courier) from word and on ID you use OpenType Fonts?

     

    Not in the least. Actually, you can use TTF fonts as well as OTF fonts with InDesign. The import is totally indifferent of the fonts used -- it doesn't matter what you used in Word, you'll get the same fonts in the imported text. That is, except when it's bitmap fonts, which you cannot use in InDesign, or when the author italicized or bolded text in Word where the actual Bold or Italic font doesn't exist. But even then, InDesign will happily import the text -- it will just have an 'unavailable' font assigned to it, and you'll be notified of that.

     

    4) What is the NON-FAIL way to do an excellent import? from Microsoft Word to ID

     

    I would like to know the answer to that as well. The import filter has problems with tables, footnotes, endnotes, automatic references, and new page codes, for .docx, .rtf, and .doc files.

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 9, 2013 5:24 PM   in reply to yo_soy_tu_padre007
    What is the NON-FAIL way to do an excellent import? from Microsoft Word to ID

    Depends on what you're importing. No, seriously.

     

    I work in a translation firm, so what wind up doing is exporting perfectly-styled RTFs from InDesign, processing them in various ways, sending them to twenty different translators, and then flowing the resulting RTFs or Word files back into InDesign. Each Word file comes from a different translator, and has "quirks" that prevent a simple place-the-text-and-clear-overrides workflow. Over the years, I've gotten to know these quirks - the Vietnamese team tends to accidentally chew up tables, the Russian editor doesn't know how to use track changes and leaves stray underlines and highlights throughout the document, and  so on. There are translators whose files can be placed without pre-processing and be reliably expected to import without any errors or misapplied forrmatting, and those translators do not use Word at all.

     

    If you need to only place Word files that come from, say, your coworkers, then you have some options (careful administrative-level control of Word document templates, for example) that will help you tame your Word files. If you need to be able to take any Word file from any source and place it into ID, you will need to do a great deal of pre-processing. There will be no "excellent" way to place Word docs in ID. I have some VBA scripts that help me clean up Word files before placing into ID, and then some Javascript that helps me clean up what has been placed. But there's no single magical method of handling these files that will always work in any situation.

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 9, 2013 5:52 PM   in reply to Joel Cherney

    Joel Cherney wrote:

    There are translators whose files can be placed without pre-processing and be reliably expected to import without any errors or misapplied forrmatting, and those translators do not use Word at all.

     

    Some of my co-workers prefer OpenOffice over The Real Thing™, and on the OpenOffice forum it is boasted that "Openoffice can read anything that MS office can make". That is not true. After doing a round of corrections, send in as a Word document, a co-worker got an angry mail back from the author because she apparently had missed a lot of these corrections. It turned out these were in equations, and the author had helpfully entered the entire equation into her Word doc. OpenOffice just never saw it.

     

    I have some VBA scripts that help me clean up Word files before placing into ID, and then some Javascript that helps me clean up what has been placed.

     

    Yes, me too. Unfortunately, this cannot avoid the dreaded "standard" import problems with, for example, footnotes, without it having to virtually re-write the entire Word document into something akin to Plain Text With Markup. I might do that one day, though, just to get it working the way it should.

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 11, 2013 11:17 AM   in reply to [Jongware]

    Some of my co-workers prefer OpenOffice over The Real Thing™, and on the OpenOffice forum it is boasted that "Openoffice can read anything that MS office can make". That is not true.

     

    You are 100% correct. I was referring only to translators who are opening .docx or .rtf in something like, say, Trados TagEditor:

     

    After_bil-RTF_import.png

     

    People who work in tools like these simply can't deliver messed-up Word files unless their expensive translation tools are doing the messing-up themselves (and companies that ship broken Word filters to translators usually don't last all that long).

     

    I have some VBA scripts that help me clean up Word files before placing into ID, and then some Javascript that helps me clean up what has been placed.

    Yes, me too. Unfortunately, this cannot avoid the dreaded "standard" import problems with, for example, footnotes, without it having to virtually re-write the entire Word document into something akin to Plain Text With Markup. I might do that one day, though, just to get it working the way it should.

    Yup - my Javascript cleanup tools are, in fact, mostly yours. But the point here for Alejandro (who may or may not still be paying attention) is that you need a special set of tools to handle importing Word footnotes, which I've done maybe twice in my career. I need special tools to handle things like flagging use of combining accents, codepage conversions, et cetera. The variety of Word cleanup tools you need depend on the variety of Word docs you need to process.

     
    |
    Mark as:

More Like This

  • Retrieving data ...

Bookmarked By (0)

Answers + Points = Status

  • 10 points awarded for Correct Answers
  • 5 points awarded for Helpful Answers
  • 10,000+ points
  • 1,001-10,000 points
  • 501-1,000 points
  • 5-500 points