14 Replies Latest reply on Feb 17, 2016 4:25 PM by shawninvancouver

    Is it still impossible to transfer text from Illustrator to InDesign?

    shawninvancouver Level 2

      Hello all,

       

      I was just handed a task to convert about 20 Illustrator documents to InDesign. I understood and accepted that there was going to be a bit of work but I was shocked and disappointed to find that I cannot even copy and paste over the text! THE TEXT! 

      Seriously Adobe? You can't even allow a tiny bit of inter-compatibility between your SUITE of tools?

       

      If you're not familiar with what happens... when you copy text from Illustrator to InDesign, it gets inexplicably converted to curves. It is no longer a text block! Since there is absolutely no technical reason why it must occur this way, I consider this a programming bug!

       

      I can transfer the text to either PhotoShop or a Notepad successfully, either way, the text losing formatting!

       

      I cannot use the "Place" tool because I need to deprecate the original Illustrator files and edit the new InDesign version.

       

      Does anyone know of any time saving techniques?

       

      Thank you,

      Shawn

        • 1. Re: Is it still impossible to transfer text from Illustrator to InDesign?
          SJRiegel Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          If, instead of copying the text frame, you highlight the text and copy it, it will paste as text into InDesign.  The formatting will not hold, but at least you will not have to re-type your material.

          • 2. Re: Is it still impossible to transfer text from Illustrator to InDesign?
            shawninvancouver Level 2

            Thank you. Yes, that way saves me a few seconds.

            • 3. Re: Is it still impossible to transfer text from Illustrator to InDesign?
              BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

              shawninvancouver wrote:


              Since there is absolutely no technical reason why it must occur this way, I consider this a programming bug!

               

              I'm afraid there are technical reasons. The text engines are completely different.

               

              As I type this I see you've already gotten the answer to how to get text moved over, but the real question is why you need to do this. If the layouts are already done in Illy, what is the purpose of this.

               

              Perhaps there's a better way to accomplish what you need to do.

              • 4. Re: Is it still impossible to transfer text from Illustrator to InDesign?
                SJRiegel Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                If you have to rebuilt the files in InDesign, place the original Illustrator file on a bottom locked layer; using it as a template will make it easier to get all the parts sized properly, and back in place quickly.

                • 5. Re: Is it still impossible to transfer text from Illustrator to InDesign?
                  shawninvancouver Level 2

                  Hi Bob,

                   

                  Thanks for your reply.

                   

                  BobLevine wrote:


                  I'm afraid there are technical reasons. The text engines are completely different.

                   

                  That may be the reason but it would not take a lot of effort for Adobe to allow much more cross-compatibility between each of the applications in the Creative Suite. I am not the only one that has been complaining and feature requesting this for years.

                   

                  Heck, even copying images across from Illustrator to InDesign occasionally causes problems when a single image (in Illustrator) is broken down into multiple sections.

                   

                  BobLevine wrote:

                   

                  As I type this I see you've already gotten the answer to how to get text moved over, but the real question is why you need to do this. If the layouts are already done in Illy, what is the purpose of this.

                   

                  These documents were created by someone who didn't understand that ID was a more appropriate tool than Illustrator (rich graphics but 70% text multi-page technical documents); they are significantly easier to edit in ID (and they require a lot of editing by people who find Illustrator too complex); the objects are severely mixed up in Illustrator and result in near-impossible to copy text in the final PDF.

                  • 6. Re: Is it still impossible to transfer text from Illustrator to InDesign?
                    shawninvancouver Level 2

                    SJRiegel wrote:

                     

                    If you have to rebuilt the files in InDesign, place the original Illustrator file on a bottom locked layer; using it as a template will make it easier to get all the parts sized properly, and back in place quickly.

                     

                    Thanks for that tip.

                     

                    Actually, a visual comparison between two monitors is enough to re-create with enough accuracy.

                    • 7. Re: Is it still impossible to transfer text from Illustrator to InDesign?
                      shawninvancouver Level 2

                      And if I may complain, one more time.

                       

                      Like I said, I can copy and paste images from Illustrator to InDesign but some of those images (whole on the Illustrator side) get converted into a group of multiple pieces! But if I right-click on the Illustrator image and Export it as a .svg, I cannot import a .svg into InDesign! My only other choice is a bitmap .png!

                       

                      Again, no consistency across tools! There is no logical reason why Adobe removed .svg from InDesign.

                      • 8. Re: Is it still impossible to transfer text from Illustrator to InDesign?
                        BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                        I’m afraid that your complaints only show a lack of understanding of how these tools work.

                         

                         

                         

                        You said it yourself. Whoever did this used the wrong tool…Illustrator…to lay out pages. These applications are designed to work together, not to replace each other. There is overlap from one application to the other but they are not identical in function. Copy/paste from Illy is limited to very simple graphics, not full blown layouts. If you need that, save in Illustrator and place the PDF/AI into InDesign.

                         

                         

                         

                        I’ll give you the SVG point, though.

                        • 9. Re: Is it still impossible to transfer text from Illustrator to InDesign?
                          Chad Chelius Adobe Community Professional

                          I have to agree with Bob on this one. There is no workflow that I ever encountered that required repurposing an Illustrator layout into InDesign unless of course someone built it in Illustrator originally. That's really besides the point though. Although I agree that I could definitely use the ability to copy formatted text from Illustrator into InDesign and vice verse, I also understand that each application uses a completely different text engine. The text engine in InDesign is far superior and much more powerful than Illustrator's.

                           

                          Another suggestion for the OP's problem might be to take advantage of Creative Cloud styles. If you create styles from the text in Illustrator you can copy and paste the unformatted text from Illustrator into InDesign and then apply a CC style to it to get the formatting back. Again, not all formatting will carry over but it might get you a lot further along. Hope that helps.

                          • 10. Re: Is it still impossible to transfer text from Illustrator to InDesign?
                            shawninvancouver Level 2

                            BobLevine wrote:

                            These applications are designed to work together, not to replace each other. There is overlap from one application to the other but they are not identical in function. Copy/paste from Illy is limited to very simple graphics, not full blown layouts. If you need that, save in Illustrator and place the PDF/AI into InDesign.

                             

                            Bob, I think you missed my point. That is that the tools do not work together (very well). They never have! After being forced to give up on the Coral Suite more than 10 years ago, it is sad that I still miss those brilliant (albeit very buggy) tools.

                             

                            Despite a long list of pet peaves, I do really like the Adobe Suite... primarily because I can trust all the tools; they are reliable.

                             

                            Anyhow, I understand that InDesign is a great tool for typesetting (aka PageMaker-lite) and Illustrator's forte is vector image design. But here is my chief problem. If I design a nice vector graphic in Illustrator, why on Earth is it so difficult to copy that design into an InDesign document? I am using both tools exactly as they are intended to be used. What if I add text to a design, why is it unreasonable to expect that I can transfer that text (with graphic) into InDesign?

                             

                            My options are:

                            • Export to a 300 dpi bitmap (png). (unacceptable for obvious reasons)
                            • Export to a .svg and then use a 3rd party tool like Inkscape to convert it to an .eps in order to transfer into InDesign (a lot of steps)
                            • Save as PDF and then place it into InDesign (compression degrades quality)

                             

                            Thanks for giving me the "svg" complain. LOL

                            • 11. Re: Is it still impossible to transfer text from Illustrator to InDesign?
                              BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                              Again, you just don’t seem to understand the way this workflow is designed to function.

                               

                               

                               

                              I get what you want but that’s not how it works.

                               

                               

                               

                              If you want to use Illy to create something and then bring it into InDesign you save it and place it…you don’t copy/paste it. By doing so the text you created in Illy will be preserved perfectly though you’ll need to go back to Illy to edit it.

                               

                               

                               

                              Right click the graphic, choose edit with or edit original. The graphic will open in Illy, you can edit it, save it and it will automatically be updated in InDesign.

                               

                               

                               

                              I don’t get the Pagemaker-lite comment. Pagemaker’s typography couldn’t hold a candle to InDesign’s controls.

                              • 12. Re: Is it still impossible to transfer text from Illustrator to InDesign?
                                Chad Chelius Adobe Community Professional

                                A better approach for the images would be to unembed them from Illustrator and then place them into InDesign. I know, you won't like the fact that you have to recrop them, but you'll maintain the integrity of the images and graphics.

                                • 13. Re: Is it still impossible to transfer text from Illustrator to InDesign?
                                  shawninvancouver Level 2

                                  Chad Chelius wrote:

                                   

                                  I have to agree with Bob on this one. There is no workflow that I ever encountered that required repurposing an Illustrator layout into InDesign unless of course someone built it in Illustrator originally. That's really besides the point though. Although I agree that I could definitely use the ability to copy formatted text from Illustrator into InDesign and vice verse, I also understand that each application uses a completely different text engine. The text engine in InDesign is far superior and much more powerful than Illustrator's.

                                  Hi Chad,

                                   

                                  I think my post was misunderstood.

                                   

                                  For years, I have submitted requests, to Adobe, to improve the ability to transfer objects between all the applications in the Creative Suite. I was simply expressing my great disappointment that two seemingly simple tasks, namely:

                                  • Copy/paste text from Illustrator to InDesign
                                  • Copy/paste graphics from Illustrator to InDesign

                                  are still difficult tasks, full of caveats.

                                   

                                  I am not re-purposing Illustrator files. I am simply copying the content from Illustrator to InDesign. The "silly" person that once worked for us, used Illustrator as a desktop publishing app and the marketing team find editing in Illustrator too time-consuming.

                                   

                                   

                                  • 14. Re: Is it still impossible to transfer text from Illustrator to InDesign?
                                    shawninvancouver Level 2

                                    BobLevine wrote:

                                     

                                    Again, you just don’t seem to understand the way this workflow is designed to function.

                                     

                                    Perhaps I have failed to explain myself properly. I understand the proper workflow of using the Place function to embed Illustrator images. But I wasn't referring to Illustrator created images. The images in Illustrator are actually .svg or other simple vector images that should easily copy over to InDesign. They were not originally created in Illustrator so it makes no sense to maintain the Illustrator file after I complete the InDesign document. Bottom-line, these Illustrator documents were simply used to create a multi-page document. No specially Illustrator functionality was utilized.

                                     

                                    BobLevine wrote:

                                     

                                    I don’t get the Pagemaker-lite comment. Pagemaker’s typography couldn’t hold a candle to InDesign’s controls.

                                     

                                    Ah, you're just being pedantic.

                                     

                                    I meant Pagemaker-like in the sense that it would be rather silly to create a novel in InDesign. Amazing typography controls aside, InDesign doesn't scale well for 1000 page documents. In fact, IMHO, anything larger than 40 pages would cause me to consider another tool like PageMaker (actually, I am a MadCap Flare user, rather than PageMaker). I never meant to imply that InDesign was inferior to PageMaker, it's just a different tool for a whole different type of product. Just like the original topic... where someone had used Illustrator for a product that was much more suitable for InDesign... which brought me to create this thread.

                                     

                                     

                                    I'm done my complaining. I appreciate everyone's time.

                                     

                                    Now time to create another feature request and get back to work.

                                     

                                    Thanks again!