Forgive me, but I have to ask... why not import the Word tables into FrameMaker, remove the overrides that come along and then assign the styles? Wouldn't that be less time-consuming that copying/pasting a cell at a time?
I don't know - I'm doing it the way i was shown. The tables are recreated, from scratch, using the Table/Insert Table dialog box. I hadn't used Framemaker since 2004 when coming into this job, so I'm far from expert in what it can do and how it interacts with other formats. Let me answer your question with a question: how do I import a Word table into Framemaker...? And once IN Frame, is it fully editable as it is if I had created that table in Frame (in other words....it doesn't import as a graphic, or something, yes?)? And would it behave, within the text, as a created-within-Framemaker table would, ie, able to move and flow as the text will, but holding its overall position, inserted as cloe the table callout as possible (usually end of paragraph)? And how would I "remove the overrides that come along" ? If I can do th first two things, I already know how to assign the styles -- in Frame, that's always easy.
I assume there's a reason why it wasn't done the way you describe, but I'm willing to learn it and give it a try—maybe they just hadn't thought of it.These documents need to be fully editable up to the moment they're signed off upon, at which point they're converted to PDFs and published....we're not doing anything structured with them in other words...
Hi ginbelt ,
Tables imported into FrameMaker from Word or Excel are fully editable. Some of my authors provide them within the Word documents, others send me a file with the tables as a separate Word document, and still others provide them as worksheets within an Excel spreadsheet. I can import all of those into FrameMaker via File > Import > File as editable tables with their table anchors so that they move with the text edits. Occasionally, authors will send images of a table—for those I have to go back and ask for the original, editable table in Word or Excel.
Like you, I have my paragraph, character and table styles set up in advance. Once I import the table(s) I go through the following steps:
- Select the entire table
- Set the row height
- Remove custom ruling and shading (these linger from the pre-formatting all Word authors feel compelled to do)
- Assign the table tag
- Copy the table title from the body of the document, paste into the table title frame and assign the table title tag (drag and drop works here as well)
- Select the top rows, cut them and paste back as heading rows
- Assign the paragraph tags to the heading rows, cell body rows and table footnotes
I'm a keyboard shortcut person, and can accomplish all of that with my hands on the keyboard. For others, using the Table Formatting toolbar may be a better fit. My strength is fast formatting, my weakness is spotting mistakes within the table—of course that's why I work with editors—but that is minimized if I am not involved in typing inside the tables.
BarbBinder gave you a great checklist for fixing those pesky tables. However, if you have more than a couple of them, Rick Quatro's TableCleaner plugin will be worth the $39 price on the first use. I never do a conversion without it!
Specifically, it lets you
- automate conversion of body row(s) to heading row(s) for a single table or multiple tables
- remove overrides from a single table or multiple tables
It does other stuff too, but these are the two big time sucks with imported tables. To do them across all tables in a doc in one shot can be a lovely thing!
Hi again (and thanks so much for you help, btw!)
You wrote, "I can import all of those into FrameMaker via File > Import > File as editable tables with their table anchors so that they move with the text edits," and then went on to list, in more detail, the steps you take once the Word table is within the Frame document. I could use more step-by-step detail about how to do that initial step of getting the table into Framemaker...the actual importing part. You say you use "Import File" in the File menu....but what is the file you're importing? The only thing I've ever used Import File for was for graphics, like a .png file, for instance. The tables I and my fellow editor have been recreating in Framemaker are already within longer technical report-style documents; 20-50 pages and often longer, usually with multiple tables and figures. You wrote that "some of my authors provide them within the Word documents" and that you can use "File Import" to bring those in as a file --- how? Because that is exactly the way I have them: several tables within one Word document. I can't imagine a way one could use "File Import" on a long Word document that has a lot of text, tables, figures, equations and all, so I'm guessing a step you didn't mention is that when authors don't give you a separate file for each separate table, you must make a separate file for each separate table...is that right? If so, how do you do that? Copy/paste into blank Word doc, and name it "table 1" or something and then "File Import" ?
(One thing I didn't realize til I just recently giving it a try, was that our Word tables actually copy/paste directly into Framemkaer seemingly pretty well, just pasted out in in a text column, as opposed to using the "Insert Table" dialog box and trying to paste it into one of those frames. I clicked on that tiny box with the crossed arrows that sits at the upper left corner of the table, thereby selecting the entire table, and then copy/pasted it into the Frame document. I assumed it would pull in as raw text, with no table cells, , etc, but it pulls in looking exactly as it did in Word, and is editable as well. The thing is, it's not anchored as it would be via Insert Table, so that method won't work. Also, I got rid of some of the Word formatting easily enough (the cell ruling disappeared immediatly using the "Custom Shading and Ruling" palette), and the Framemaker styles immediately formatted a large part of the table exactly the way I wanted it....I also had no trouble at all with making body rows into heading rows, something it sounded like from both of you is usually time-consuming -- I didn't have to do any of this:
- Select the top rows, cut them and paste back as heading rows
They already seemed to be heading rows, and so all I had to do was to highlight them, and apply our "Table Header Row" style,so the font came in correctly -- it was perfect. But all was not perfect -- the footnote cell was not right....the text was overlapping the cell border in a spot. This is one of the good things about building the table yourself thru Insert Table....you know all of that will be perfect. It takes time, to put the straddles where you need them, add the ruling where you want it, etc, but every method is going to take time. I definitely would like to try your method once I understand how the tables are individually gotten into Framemaker when they only exist in a much larger Word document.....then I can decide which method is overall better (I'd still also like to know if there's a macro or script that would automate the special pasting I described, as I can do everything else fairly quickly....I don't mind building these tables, it even has a creative side to it I like, but I'd love to be able to 1) highlight the cell contents in Word; 2) hit control-C; 3) click in the Framemaker cell; 4) and key some predefined key combination that would immediately paste/special those cell contents, as text, into the Framemaker cell. If I could do that, that would speed things up enough for me....
Looking forward to learing more about this - thanks again-
Hi ginbelt ,
I'm on break from teaching an online FrameMaker class—you have covered a lot of ground here. I'll answer what I can now and will cycle back later.
File > Import > File will import any supported file format into FrameMaker—Word, Excel, Photoshop, Illustrator and so many more. Try this: create a new portrait document and import one of your complex Word files. The tables, figures and equations will all be there. It is by far the fastest way to work. You can also use File > Open on a Word document, which converts it to a FrameMaker file.
Pasting entire tables is an another alternative. It's more time-consuming than importing, but way quicker than pasting cell by cell.
I'm guessing that you have rows formatted as heading rows, but they are not truly heading rows. Heading rows, along with the TableTitle repeat when a table breaks to a second page. Importing and pasting tables from words require the extra steps to convert them.
the footnote cell was not right....the text was overlapping the cell border in a spot.
There is no difference between creating a table from scratch in FrameMaker or formatting one that originated in Word or Excel. Something is wrong with the footnote tag that can be fixed.
I also enjoy the creativity of tables (and layout) but live in the mountains because I enjoy the great outdoors. My goal is to work quickly and efficiently to get my work done so that I can go out and play. In my 500-1000 page Fm docs, I don't want to spend any more time that is absolutely necessary to get the job done.
> File > Import > File will import any supported file format into FrameMaker—Word, Excel, Photoshop, Illustrator
> and so many more. Try this: create a new portrait document and import one of your complex Word files.
> The tables, figures and equations will all be there. It is by far the fastest way to work. You can also use
> File > Open on a Word document, which converts it to a FrameMaker file.
I didn't mention this before, but you might've guessed it anyway, based on the fact that I did disclose that we have a large list of Framemaker styles we apply to the pasted-in Word documents: these styles reside in a Framemaker template that contains various Master pages, and Reference pages. In other words, I can't just start with a blank Portrait-oriented document; because of all the formatting and information in the template we use. The first several pages are the cover, and then front matter that (I think) is a Master page that can't be changed without going INTO that Master page (most of these pages are numbered with lower-case roman)...then, finally, we have page one, and then the left and right pages 2 and 3, which of course are the ones that will repeat and which make up the bulk of almost all of our reports. I'm just not sure how I can do a "File>Open" on a Word doc when I'm in a semi-intricate Frame template like this one, or do a File>Import either for that matter. I tried both, and wound up with a 4,700 some page document (the Word document pulled in is only 32 pages long). Many/most of the resulting Framemaker pages had only one letter per page within the text column -- but these all also had strange lettering outside the text column, which I've never even seen before, and other oddities. It was such a huge mess of gobblety **** that I'm either doing something very wrong even with this seemingly simple task, or you're working on an incorrect assumption about our workflow....I'm just not sure. I thought sure that the extreme longness of the resulting document was due to something about pulling it into one of our templates vs. pulling it into a brand new, blank Framemaker document, but that's not it, either, because I even tried it your way, and got the same 4,700 page mess! Weird. Cleaning this resulting Framemaker document up cannot possibly be faster work than the way we're already doing it by copy/pasting, so I'm going to assume this not the result you assumed I would get...
I was getting a message about having "unresolved cross-references". Then, trying it again, I noticed an option at the bottom of the "Import" box that I hadn't noticed before: a choice you have to make of either "import by reference" or "copy in to document"....."import by reference" was the one that was already checked, so I figured I'd try the OTHER choice.....and I got the same "unresolved cross-references" message...when I hit "OK" for that one, I got a 2nd warning-type message: "Loss of data may occur while importing a Docx file. To avoid data loss, cancel and convert the file format to Doc or RTF before importing." I don't want to lose data, but I was curious to see what would result if I hit "OK" to that one, too, and did, and got a THIRD box popping up, a "Word Import" dialog box....telling me that "no match styles names found. All styles will be added to the document catalogs."
Anyway, hitting "OK for that one got me another 4,700+ page document of gibberish.
Pretty much all Word documents we work with are in docx format....and as far as loss goes, I always thought that converting those to "doc" or "rtf" definitely would give data loss.....so not sure if that is an option for us...
This was alll thru starting with a brand-new, blank Framemaker page. I can't imagine starting with our template would've made things easier, but probably harder and even more complicated. It seems like no matter how many ways I try to get these Word documents into Framemaker, it's a mess for us, which could be why whoever it was (before I came into the job) who instituted the copy/paste method we do use, and set up the styles, and Framemaker template, did it that way....because when we paste the Word text into Frame, it's almost always nearly ready as-is....and then a quick application of those awesome Frameker style sheets, and it's perfect. We manually place the figure and table anchors, as close to the callouts as we can get them, within reason.....and figures do go pretty quickly. The ONLY thing that doesn't is the tables, and the only part of that that's slow-going,honestly, is the cell-by-cell pasting....hence why I asked about automation in the first place. Anyhow, I'd love to find out there's some one thing being done that's causing the big mess I'm getting trying it this way, but something tells me that's not the case (could be the pessimist in me....!)...
I suggested a new document so that you can see how this works, since you were unaware that you can import (or open) a Word doc with tables into FrameMaker, without having to worry about your template or formatting. Of course you will use your template once you understand the process.
I can't imagine how a 32-page Word doc becomes a 4700-page fm doc—that's neither normal or expected—but of course, I can't tell you from here what is going on with your specific files. All I can do is review the workflow with you and let you take it from there.
Just for your Paste Special issue.
You can change your maker.ini file so that you use Paste Special/Text as default for all your Paste operations.
Open your personal maker.ini file with a text editor.
My personal maker.ini is here:
In the [Preferences] section check, if there is an entry ClipboardFormatsPriorities.
If not add just this line:
ClipboardFormatsPriorities=UNICODE TEXT, TEXT, FILE, MIFW, MIF, RTF, OLE 2, META, EMF, DIB, BMP
Otherwise change this line so that TEXT comes first.
The default in the default maker.ini in the FrameMaker installation directory is:
ClipboardFormatsPriorities=FILE, MIFW, MIF, RTF, OLE 2, META, EMF, DIB, BMP, UNICODE TEXT, TEXT
Now when you copy text from Word (CTRL+C) and paste it into FrameMaker (CTRL+V), then FrameMaker uses Paste Special/Text automatically.
When you copy an entire table, each cell gets pasted as separate paragraphs.
Then you can select these paragraphs and convert them to a table.
However, when you have additional paragraphs (e.g. from table footnotes) in a single cell, then this will not work.