8 Replies Latest reply: Jan 23, 2013 10:29 AM by Peter Spier RSS

    How to autoflow a very long word in InDesign?

    swknudsen Community Member

      I am trying to insert/import/paste a text into InDesign. The text contains some text-strings (or 'words') that are more than 3000 characters long. This causes InDesign to have overset text, and not being able to auto-flow the text.

      When I import (or paste) the text I am shift+clicking (I have also tried option+shift+click) to make the text auto-flow down along the pages, but the auto-flow stops at page 16 (where the long 'words' start to occur), although my file contains more than 200 pages. I get the little red plus sign below in the last text-box, that indicates that I have overset text.

      I then tried to click the red plus sign and continue the text-flow on the following pages, but I just end up with empty text-boxes on the following pages every time I try click the red plus sign.

       

      I removed the long 'words', and tried again, and now InDesign does not appear to have an issue with my text. So the problem is caused by the long 'words'.

       

      The format of the text is unimportant (I have tried .rtf and .txt) and InDesign is able to recognise both.

      However, I cannot insert spaces or end-of-line into these long 'words', as this would change the 'words'. The number of characters in each 'word' is important, and if I start adding extra spaces or end-of-line charecters it would change the 'words'.

       

      I have a lot of places in the text where I have these long 'words', and I would like to avoid too much clicking and inserting to get around this issue.

       

      I am running InDesign CS3 on a Macintosh 10.5.8 computer

       

      I would be grateful if anyone have an idea how to work around these.

       

      Thanks in advance for both your time and help

        • 1. Re: How to autoflow a very long word in InDesign?
          Peter Spier ACP/MVPs

          Is there a problem if these words are hyphenated? It seems you have hyphenation turned off at the moment OR ID most likley would have inserted hyphens to break the words across multiple lines.

           

          If hyphens are not acceptable, is a break in the word without a hyphen acceptable? If the answer to that is "no" you're out of luck unless you make your text frame wide enough to hold the longest word. If it's "yes" you can insert Discretionary Line Break characters to allow the words to break, but automating the process might be difficult. A lot more detail would really help.

          • 2. Re: How to autoflow a very long word in InDesign?
            swknudsen Community Member

            I should have explained this better.

             

            All the long words (apart from one) already have hyphens in them.

            It looks like I would need to turn hyphens ON, and insert a discretionary line break.

             

            How do I turn hyphens ON?

             

            I found 'insert Discretionary Line Break' in 'type -> insert break character -> insert Discretionary Line break'

            This works for the single longwod without hyphens.

             

            Thanks

            • 3. Re: How to autoflow a very long word in InDesign?
              Peter Spier ACP/MVPs

              Why don't the words break at the hyphens? Would additional hyphens be a problem?

               

              Hyphenation is a paragraph level attribute, so it can be found inthe panel menu for the Paragraph panel or the Control panel when the Text tool is active, or it can be turned on or off in the paragraph style assigned to the text, which is probably the best place to do it.

              • 4. Re: How to autoflow a very long word in InDesign?
                peter at knowhowpro Community Member

                Peter Spier wrote:

                 

                Why don't the words break at the hyphens? Would additional hyphens be a problem?

                 

                Hyphenation is a paragraph level attribute, so it can be found inthe panel menu for the Paragraph panel or the Control panel when the Text tool is active, or it can be turned on or off in the paragraph style assigned to the text, which is probably the best place to do it.

                Perhaps they aren't true hyphens? To test, copy and paste one into the Find What text field and type a hyphen into the the Change To field, and try a single find/change. If that works, save copies of the documents before trying find/change all.

                 

                 

                HTH

                 

                 

                Regards,

                 

                 

                Peter

                _______________________

                Peter Gold

                KnowHow ProServices

                • 5. Re: How to autoflow a very long word in InDesign?
                  Peter Spier ACP/MVPs

                  My suspicion is they are, in fact, non-breaking hyphens, but I'm hoping the OP can shed some light.

                   

                  I have to say that some screenshots might be useful, too.

                  • 6. Re: How to autoflow a very long word in InDesign?
                    swknudsen Community Member

                    I found the hyphenation. It was already ON.

                     

                    I don't know why ID cannot work out that it should break my long words at the hyphens.

                     

                    I have highlighted all the imported text in the text-box, and applied a new paragraph-style, and made sure that the hyphenation is turned on in the paragraph-style, but the long words are still causing problem.

                    Additional hyphens would be a problem.

                    I would prefer to solve the problem wthout adding extra hyphens. If possible

                    • 7. Re: How to autoflow a very long word in InDesign?
                      swknudsen Community Member

                      Thanks this solved the problem.

                      I had dashes in my text not hyphens.

                      I searched for dashes and replaced them with 'discretionary hyphens', and the text started flowing.

                       

                      Thanks for helping out.

                      • 8. Re: How to autoflow a very long word in InDesign?
                        Peter Spier ACP/MVPs

                        I think you probably want regular hyphens, not discretionary, if they are meant to be there. Dicretionary hyphens only appear when the word breaks at the line ending.