8 Replies Latest reply on Jan 20, 2014 10:18 PM by DLSiev1ng

    Import XML is Grayed Out

    DLSiev1ng Level 1

      My eBook is long since completed in Word.docx, which exports to XML, yet neither of these otherwise ubiquitous formats are adequately supported on any digital publishing platform available today.

       

      So I downloaded the trial version of InDesign CS6, created a library and created a new empty eBook within that library.  My next step would have been to import the XML into the new empty eBook but that option is grayed out.

       

      Am I on the right track?  Do I have to type my 500-page document into InDesign and spend the next 6 months reapplying all of the fonts, layout and cross-reference hyperlinks that I've already applied within the source document, just hoping all along that I'll be able to use the result, or has InDesign CS6 brought an easier way to the table?

       

      Thanks for your help!

       

      Dave

        • 1. Re: Import XML is Grayed Out
          [Jongware] Most Valuable Participant

          "Import XML" is grayed out only when you have no document yet. It seems to me you created a "Book" file, which is something quite else than probably intended.

           

           

          DLSiev1ng wrote:

           

          .. Am I on the right track?

           

          Possibly... Please note that InDesign is the appropriate tool to create books with. It can export to ePub, which is a type of "e-book" (the term is sufficiently vague to also include PDF, and even your Word document could be considered an "e-book"); but it can also export to PNG and JPEG, and it's most definitely not a PNG or JPEG editor. By the same token, what you get when you export to e-Pub is a fairly rough starting point for a professional e-Pub, containing bits and pieces of your text and images. At that point you can leave it as it is -- provided you used "every trick in the book" to get the best possible conversion from InDesign --, or, alternatively, open your e-Pub in a real e-Pub editor and finish it with that.

           

           

          ...  Do I have to type my 500-page document into InDesign and spend the next 6 months reapplying all of the fonts, layout and cross-reference hyperlinks that I've already applied within the source document, just hoping all along that I'll be able to use the result, or has InDesign CS6 brought an easier way to the table?

           

          Well, typing it over into InDesign would at least avoid the buggy and unreliable Word import Yup -- you don't have to use XML, and in fact I would avoid it for anything as complicated and not-structured as plain text. XML is really more suitable for extremely structured data, such as a catalog. Providing it imports correctly and without any of the known (and reported) problems, InDesign should be able to import your Word file correctly and without a problem.

           

          Please consider purchasing a starters' guide before diving into InDesign. Usually recommended: Sandee Cohen's "Visual Quickstart Guide". Also recommended: Lynda.com's "Essential Training" video's (search this forum, there must be some special offer floating around). Also also recommended: Elizabeth Castro's "From InDesign CS5.5 to EPUB and Kindle", targeted at your segment of the market (I haven't read it but it's safe to say it assumes at least a basic level of ID experience).

           

          InDesign is a professional piece of software, with professional features and meant for professionals; it doesn't come with a Clippy analog, asking "so you want to make an e-book?".

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Import XML is Grayed Out
            [Jongware] Most Valuable Participant

            <g> Could .. not .. resist ..

             

            appy.png

            • 3. Re: Import XML is Grayed Out
              DLSiev1ng Level 1

              Jongware,

               

              Thanks for your feedback.  It's just the nudge I needed to get started with InDesign.

               

              Dave

              • 4. Re: Import XML is Grayed Out
                DLSiev1ng Level 1

                As one of the world's leading experts on Acrobat 9 Pro bugs (though not by choice), I won't be sodding off soon from InDesign.  I just hope that I don't have to become the world's leading expert on anything in order to make good use of it.

                • 5. Re: Import XML is Grayed Out
                  DLSiev1ng Level 1

                  Ok, so the correct InDesign document to create for an eBook is not Book, so after an absence of several years waiting for Amazon to support the fonts and other basic Word features I need, I had a second go at my first alternative guess - Document.  There are only two guesses left, neither of which seem likely: Folio and Library.  Please do correct me if I'm wrong in choosing Document.

                   

                  I decided to try importing my Word.xml file on an experimental basis, though you do recommend importing the original Word file instead.  I'll try that next.  Meanwhile:

                   

                  File > New > Document; configure as needed; File > Import XML…

                   

                  • After selecting my options and completing the import, about 40 seconds worth of important-looking processing yielded – wait for it – about 100 document segments (‘packages’) and a previewer page no less blank than the one I’d started with.
                  • On the assumption that that was normal, I proceeded experimentally to File > Export for Kindle and chose a file to write it to.  This took me through the Kindle export option series about which I’d recently read in the Plugin user’s guide, which I quickly filled out.  I then selected Guided Export.
                  • After 2 or 3 minutes of important-looking processing, the export guide process asked which of the following fonts I wished to embed:
                    • Minion Pro
                      • Regular
                  • Imagine the possibilities!  Minion Pro Regular for an original file containing Georgia, Monotype Corsiva, various font effects and one or two tempting morsels of Greek and Chinese.  Surely, this was the way to make my unique creation blend in with the crowd of upstart Hemingways and romance novelists – every author’s dream.

                   

                  The export completed successfully, albeit with a few innocuous, mostly just informational warnings, so I took a deep breath and selected Open Preview.  This fired up – what else? – Numbers (Apple’s answer to Microsoft ExCel) and several seconds more of important-looking processing until – Presto!  Numbers valiantly displays my Mobi-encoded eBook in a brand spanking new Numbers document. 


                  Am I getting warm?

                   

                  Ok, next I'll try importing the original Word document as you suggest.  I'm still operating under the assumption that Document is the correct InDesign file type to create.

                   

                  And no, your last comment was not helpful - just so you know

                  • 6. Re: Import XML is Grayed Out
                    DLSiev1ng Level 1

                    Ok, quick update before I stop for the day:

                    • Imported my original Word document into the Document template and remapped a few missing fonts.
                    • The result looks usable at first glance, though I still have to verify that the fonts, cross-reference links and other basic Word features were preserved or at least reasonably substituted.
                    • I'll proceed from here and keep you posted.
                    • 7. Re: Import XML is Grayed Out
                      DLSiev1ng Level 1

                      Here is the result of a day's work using InDesign CS6 on a 97-page Word2008.docx file:

                       

                      • 20140120: Import the original Word file into an InDesign Document template.
                        • File > New > Document
                          • Review and verify the Document configuration.
                        • File > Place > (navigate to the original Word.docx file)
                        • I had to make a few adjustments near the beginning of the InDesign document:
                          • Reinserted the page break after the title page;
                          • Made adjustments to the TOC table layout;
                          • Added a new page break near the end of the introduction.
                        • Export for Kindle:
                          • General:
                            • Deselected Include InDesign TOC Entries.
                            • Selected Link Custom TOC.
                              • For the TOC start marker, only numeric text anchors in ascending order of magnitude are available for selection in the drop-down.
                                • I can’t show these in the document and so have no way but trial and error to determine which one to use for this purpose.
                                • I’m assuming they correspond in some way to the descriptive bookmarks I set in the original document but again, there’s no way to determine this without trying one, then the next, then the next…
                                • This seems wholly unnecessary given that for the TOC last entry marker, all of my original bookmarks are available.
                                • I chose the first of these for this setting, which is .365.
                                • For the TOC last entry marker, all of my original bookmarks were available, so I chose what seemed the appropriate one.
                                  • There’s no indication of whether InDesign is expecting the bookmark of the last entry itself or the target bookmark of the last entry.
                                  • It seems like InDesign is trying to do too much with the custom TOC.  It’s custom, get it?  Just leave it alone and don’t try to interpret what you find as anything to do with a TOC.  That’s the simplest and most appropriate definition of a custom TOC in this context.
                                • Selected the cover image.
                                • For Export embedded fonts, selected Embed all fonts.
                            • Contents:
                              • Start Reading Location:
                                • Text anchor:
                                  • As with the TOC start marker under Link Custom TOC, only ascending numeric text anchors are available for selection in the drop-down.
                                  • This makes it impossible to determine a priori which one to select for this purpose.
                                  • I chose .1395 for this setting, which is the first 4-digit numeric text anchor.
                              • Selected Preserve consecutive whitespaces and newlines.
                              • Selected Preserve forced line breaks.
                              • Selected Preserve InDesign’s hyperlink styles.
                              • Footnotes Location: End of Book
                            • Images:
                              • Alignment: Center
                              • Copy Images: Optimized, Formatted
                              • Image Conversion: GIF
                                • GIF Options: Palette: Adaptive (no dither)
                                • Left Interlace unchecked.
                            • Metadata:
                              • Filled in all of the appropriate metadata
                              • Language: English (U.S.)
                              • ISBN: Blank (Amazon to assign ASIN)
                            • Updates: Checked all options
                              • Switch on auto-updates
                              • Join the Plugin Usage Improvement Program
                              • Embed IDML
                          • 15:24 Selected Guided Export once more to initiate the conversion process.
                            • 100% CPU
                            • low Memory Pressure (420Mb)
                            • moderate Energy Impact (circa 100)
                            • little or no Disk I/O (mostly output)
                            • little or no network I/O
                            • Progress bar stuck at around 40%
                            • Took screen shot Diagnostics/20140120.155541L.PA.InDesign.Export.png
                            • 19:25 Still exporting after 4 hours and 1 minute…
                        • I took a couple of screen shots during the 4-hour export process and obtained a 547-page spin dump report on the InDesign process which I will also post here if there's a way to do that.

                       

                      End of report.

                      • 8. Re: Import XML is Grayed Out
                        DLSiev1ng Level 1

                        Kindle Plugin still spinning after 7 hours.  My test report with screen shot and spin dump can be found at: