12 Replies Latest reply on Mar 18, 2015 6:52 AM by MW Design

    Excel/word graphics into indesign nightmare

    Eliminateur Level 1

      Hello,

      i'm having a hell of time trying to import excel/word(embedded excel with anotations) charts into indesign(like barcharts, pie charts, etc).

      They get pasted as an image(when the original is part vector, part image, part text) always with random sizes that when i resize them to fit the page text and graph always looks terrible due to what looks like a very crude linear scaling(haven't found any other option to use a proper lanczos resize/resample) thus graphs end up looking like crap really, and it's extremelly time consuming

       

      so, how do you people do this?, do you maybe paste it into something intermediate that maintains proper text/graph metadata?, i mean, people that make technical boosk(or excel manuals maybe) in indesign how do they do them?!

        • 1. Re: Excel/word graphics into indesign nightmare
          MW Design Level 4

          Use a PDF.

           

          capture-002912.png

           

          Using the High Quality Display setting, this is what it looks like in ID.

          capture-002913.png

           

          Mike

          • 2. Re: Excel/word graphics into indesign nightmare
            Eliminateur Level 1

            hmmm interesting, i'll export just the graphic into a PDF and then place the PDF in the indesign page, never used "place pdf" before in ID

            • 3. Re: Excel/word graphics into indesign nightmare
              MW Design Level 4

              Copy/paste isn't a great work-flow in general. Aside from file bloat, it can be a source of corrupt files.

               

              Mike

              • 4. Re: Excel/word graphics into indesign nightmare
                BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                I'm going to disagree a bit with this.

                 

                If the charts have a plain solid fill copy/paste should work just fine, at least on Windows. I remember it being a bit of an issue with older versions of Excel on the Mac but on Windows they seem to come in as vector which can be seen by exporting to PDF.

                 

                All that said, I would paste to Illustrator, tweak as needed, and place that if you have the time for that kind of thing.

                • 5. Re: Excel/word graphics into indesign nightmare
                  Eliminateur Level 1

                  the thing is that i'm talking about dozens of graphs, and some of them have floating textboxes that don't paste correctly inside ID and have to remake them, pasting them into illustrator and tweaking to then c-p to ID will be insanely time consuming(i also have zero experience in illustrator).

                  • 6. Re: Excel/word graphics into indesign nightmare
                    BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                    What version of InDesign? What version of Excel? What operating system?

                     

                    Some screenshots of the issues you're encountering would be helpful.

                    • 7. Re: Excel/word graphics into indesign nightmare
                      Eliminateur Level 1

                      indesign cs 5.5, excel 2010 and windows 7

                      i'll take screenshots later tonight to show the issues as best as i can

                      • 8. Re: Excel/word graphics into indesign nightmare
                        MW Design Level 4

                        When I have a graph, If I have one I have a dozen or more. It's an initial pita, but maybe because I am use to it I don't notice anymore. I open the Excel spreadsheet(s), highlight the range I need, export that to PDF naming those PDFs as required for their placement, move on to the next range and rinse/repeat.

                         

                        Unless there are changes (always is, but not every chart used), I take the few minutes to re-export the appropriate range to PDF, overwriting the previous PDF and updating the link in ID.

                         

                        It's always been the most rock-solid means of ensuring fidelity without fiddling around.

                         

                        Mike

                        • 9. Re: Excel/word graphics into indesign nightmare
                          Eliminateur Level 1

                          the "place PDF" method has worked perfectly!, thanks A LOT!

                           

                          and yes, it will require some retooling of every graph but i've reduced the steps to the minimum necessary per graph to optimize the workflow and it's not very cumbersome(at least not compared to having to redo/transfer tables, urgh those really take a lot of time).

                           

                          A lot of the issues is because the source material was done in A4 size, including graphs, and now in ID i'm working with a much smaller "book size" so you can imagine that when i transfer huge graphs and need to downsize them, the vectors are somewhat ok, but text went to lalala-land

                          Now i've made an intermediate word file with the same sheet size as ID so i resize and retool there, export to PDF selection and thus i only need a small amount of placement/content adjustment(mostly to kill the white fill areas) in ID.

                           

                          one hting i've noticed is that ID is now complaning about missing fonts in ALL of the placed PDFs, and they're normal system fonts(double checked and i do have them), on Word i have the option to embed fonts(no subset) but NOT common system fonts!, yet the imported data seems perfectly fine, what's going on?, do i need to fully incrust ALL fontsin every pdf?

                          font errors.PNG

                          • 10. Re: Excel/word graphics into indesign nightmare
                            MW Design Level 4

                            Hmm. Don't know what reason the fonts are reported missing. Scaling the placed PDF shouldn't cause issues, either.

                             

                            capture-002976.png

                             

                            I have never done the trip through Word and it shouldn't be necessary. What happens if you simply place one of the PDFs from Excel? Are you using the Options dialog like I show a couple posts up? One graph per PDF? You can select a graph/chart and opt to PDF just the selection.

                             

                            Mike

                            • 11. Re: Excel/word graphics into indesign nightmare
                              Eliminateur Level 1

                              Mike,

                              the charts are already embedded in the word file, i don't have the excel files they where built from(well, they're embedded inside word actually, no idea how they did all that...) so i have to take it out from there.

                              Yes, i'm making a single PDF per graph and using the same import option, the graphs are importing ust fine but i keep getting those font errors now, also tried with full font embedding(even system) and it remains, and AFAIK those fonts listed are all truetype so they should be embedabble .

                              will do more test tomorrow but since they seem to be displayng ok i might just ignore those font missing errors as some bug

                              • 12. Re: Excel/word graphics into indesign nightmare
                                MW Design Level 4

                                AH, it could be that OLE was used, which means they are only in a container in the Word document. Kinda like linked images in a sense, but to specific ranges in an Excel file. If at all possible, the Excel file should be obtained. But, does double clicking on one open Excel itself for editing? I'll have to try an experiment or two.

                                 

                                Mike