10 Replies Latest reply on Aug 3, 2016 11:29 AM by Joel Cherney

    Word with tracked changes adds everything on import

    Yves Apel Level 2

      Hi,

       

      When importing a Word document that has track changes activated, InDesign CC 2015.4 adds everything, including the deleted or modified text parts as they have been before the modification in word as well as the modified versions of these texts.

       

      The workaround is to accept all tracked changes in word, before importing the document into InDesign.

       

      Adobe might also integrate an option into the import dialog to avoid this without having to accept the changes before.

       

       

      Thanks,

      Yves

        • 1. Re: Word with tracked changes adds everything on import
          BarbBinder Adobe Community Professional

          The workaround is to accept all tracked changes in word, before importing the document into InDesign.

          Absolutely. I request that all my authors submit their text for layout in final form, and that includes accepting and/or rejecting all tracked changes prior to delivering the Word files. When that isn't done, I return the files to them to finish before I start the layout.

           

          This forum is mostly moderated by users. To put in a feature request with Adobe, use this form: Feature Request/Bug Report Form

          • 2. Re: Word with tracked changes adds everything on import
            Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

            Why would you want to be responsible for accepting or rejecting tracked changes in the Word file. That's the author/editor's responsibility.

             

            And how would this import option work? All or nothing? What would you do fro cases where some changes should be accepted and others rejected?

            • 3. Re: Word with tracked changes adds everything on import
              Yves Apel Level 2

              Peter Spier schrieb:

               

              Why would you want to be responsible for accepting or rejecting tracked changes in the Word file. That's the author/editor's responsibility.

               

              And how would this import option work? All or nothing? What would you do fro cases where some changes should be accepted and others rejected?

              I do not want to have this responsibility, but sometimes, I have no choice. I receive manuscripts which passes multiple authors, proofreaders and translator before they come to me to be layouted. Mostly, there are tracked changes in them and I just need to take the final version. The problem is that there is often 1 word file per article (+20 articles) and this in 23 languages. This is time consuming to open, accept the changes, save and then import them into InDesign. It isn't neither always possible to pass them back from where they are coming so the authors do this work.

               

              But thats neither the question here.

               

              The problem is that if e.g. the author changes "Chart 12" to "Chart 25", the text in InDesign after import looks like "Chart 12 25" and without any further possibility, to find out what was right or wrong. The option should leave the choice to import it this way, or it should let you import the latest version only (Chart 25 in this case).

               

              BarbBinder: Thanks. I know the FR form and the InDesign developer team also should know my name already. The point is that I posted it here, because it is a user forum. The feature request form is only just my personal opinion. I wanted to hear from others which work on the field, if they run into the same problems or if its just me finding this behaviour strange.

              • 4. Re: Word with tracked changes adds everything on import
                Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                Time-consuming or not, if your workflow does not allow for the return of files tracked changes you really should open all submitted files, accept changes, and do a Save As to a new name before importing the newly saved file. In a scenario where the responsible people have not finished with changes it's a near certainty that there will be other garbage in the file as well. It's a "best practice" to always do a Save As in word before placing.

                • 5. Re: Word with tracked changes adds everything on import
                  Yves Apel Level 2

                  There are more complicated workflows out there than those you might have. It is not always that easy as you describe it and of course there is garbage in most of the documents. In 18 years of my career, I only received once a word document, which was perfect.

                   

                  Actually, the Save as is a "Workaround" and a bad user experience. At least for layouters. And this could be solved by adding a feature into InDesign.

                  • 6. Re: Word with tracked changes adds everything on import
                    John Mensinger Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                    Yves Apel wrote:

                     

                    And this could be solved by adding a feature into InDesign.

                    Maybe, but it would have to be deeply rooted in the Microsoft Word file specification (and whatever Microsoft decides to do with it, maybe next week), over which Adobe has no control. I understand your problem, and the real possibility that Adobe could solve it, but considering that Adobe is not in any way obligated to support the format at all, a business case for development of your wish-feature is probably a stretch at best. If it ever becomes Adobe's goal to address possible lapses in MS Office user discipline, things will get awfully complex very quickly.

                    • 7. Re: Word with tracked changes adds everything on import
                      gert verrept Level 2

                      Indeed. We process over a 1000 word files a year. We always try to avoid the track changes route. You cannot always tell if a word file has been "track changed" or not. We don't need to keep the original file, we just want to content. We don't even read the file before it's in Indesign. The garbage from Word get's filtered by a macro we run before importing.

                      So, a feature, or for us even better, the default should be "import and accept all track changes".

                      • 8. Re: Word with tracked changes adds everything on import
                        Yves Apel Level 2

                        @John Mensinger: No, I can't support your arguments. On import, there are already options to control TOC, Footnotes, Tables, Formatting, etc. All those are deeply integrated.

                         

                        Of course, Adobe is not responsible, supporting third party file formats. But they better have to if they want to continue renting Creative Cloud Licences. Its in Adobe's business interest to add new features which people find interesting and valuable.

                         

                        I much like InDesign. But the trend is going to stay in Word to do the layout or to use open formats such as HTML/CSS. If InDesign continues to be closed or proprietary and refuses better support for third partie file formats, import and export, it might end up such as Quark XPress did. They answered the same as you do know, 15 years ago, when new features have been proposed.

                        • 9. Re: Word with tracked changes adds everything on import
                          John Mensinger Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                          Yves Apel wrote:

                           

                          @John Mensinger: No, I can't support your arguments.

                          Not arguments, and no need for anyone's support. Just kicking around some thoughts about the topic.

                           

                          All things considered, I'd support your position, in fact. I've seen how messy Placing MS-Word files can get, to the point that I long-ago excluded it from my workflow, opting for plain-text input, and whatever it takes to get there, whenever possible. Of course I realize you may not have that option.

                           

                          I just don't know how far into the Word file spec Adobe would, or should, be willing to push InDesign's support, and interdependence.

                          • 10. Re: Word with tracked changes adds everything on import
                            Joel Cherney Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                            On preview: seems like you folks have already covered the high points of what I was going to say, but I will post the clean-all-the-tracked-changes-and-other-gunk VBA script if you're interested.

                             

                            I do not want to have this responsibility, but sometimes, I have no choice. I receive manuscripts which passes multiple authors, proofreaders and translator before they come to me to be layouted. Mostly, there are tracked changes in them and I just need to take the final version. The problem is that there is often 1 word file per article (+20 articles) and this in 23 languages. This is time consuming to open, accept the changes, save and then import them into InDesign. It isn't neither always possible to pass them back from where they are coming so the authors do this work.

                             

                            Hey, I have that job too! My solution was to whip up a VBA script that would accept all changes blindly and remove all comments (and delete all text hidden by Trados) on all files in a given folder, with no user interaction. I basically think that Peter is right; a blind accept-all is risky to the client, especially when I'm performing it in a double dozen of languages I can't really read. However, if your workflow doesn't allow resubmittal of Word docs back to someone who has the in-language authority to say "Yes, this is final, proceed with layout" then I can find that script for you, somewhere. Haven't used it in years, as most of my work these days starts as IDML spat out of memoQ or SDL Trados or Wordfast or whatever.

                             

                            I honestly don't believe that this is a place where changing InDesign's Word import filters is a good idea. I mean, go ahead and file a feature request, that's totally valid. It would also go well with the tools already in the Word import options (like mapping styles, or stripping styles, or de-composing tables, and so on). But I already don't trust Word import, and much prefer processing Word files as raw text, or RTF, or tagged text of one form or another, before placing into ID. I do advocate doing a Save As into the most recent .docx possible, if you're stuck working in Word and placing the output into ID. That VBA is easy to write; you could probably do it with the Macro Recorder. These kinds of tools can help you skip a variety of these laborious click-fests.