22 Replies Latest reply on Apr 6, 2017 6:14 AM by schroef Branched from an earlier discussion. Branched to a new discussion.

    Format linked text files

    schroef Level 1

      Is there a method to keep Formatting on linked text files. I dont quite understand why this isnt available, this is a huge deal of course and a immense time-saver



      Branched from Inserting text in an existing frame from an external file by moderator

        • 1. Re: Format linked text files
          Willi Adelberger Most Valuable Participant

          Where are they linked from?

          Why are they linked?

          • 2. Re: Format linked text files
            BarbBinder Adobe Community Professional

            keep Formatting on linked text files

            We are guessing until you come back with more details on your workflow.


            My guess is that by "text files" you mean Word docs? If both the Word file and the InDesign file use the name style names (i.e., a Heading1 ¶ style in word has a corresponding Heading1 ¶ style in the InDesign document), then the linked files maintain their formatting after updates.

            • 3. Re: Format linked text files
              BarbBinder Adobe Community Professional

              So for example:


              Let's say you have a document using the styles shown on the far right: Head 1, Head 2 and Intro Body.

              Microsoft Wordss_001.png

              You place the linked file into InDesign with the exact same styles (the formatting can differ):

              InDesign CCss_011.png

              Go back to Word and edit the content (I changed the first word), save.

              Microsoft Wordss_002.png

              Go back to InDesign and the file is out of date. Double click the alert triangle in the Links panel.

              InDesign CCss_012.png

              No formatting is lost as the file is updated, because of the styles.

              InDesign CCss_013.png

              • 4. Re: Format linked text files
                schroef Level 1

                Yes that is exactly what im looking for. But the does this only work with docx format, because doc doesnt seem to work. I do need to import those pre-defined styling in order to let this work probably or not?    

                • 5. Re: Format linked text files
                  Willi Adelberger Most Valuable Participant

                  It can be anly style if the name is the same in InDesign and Word. But be causcious non-English versions make problems with built-in names of Word, so it might be a good idea to make its own styles with other names.

                  • 6. Re: Format linked text files
                    Heric Dehon Level 1

                    You probably have a word document formated without stiles.

                    Captura de Tela 2017-03-28 às 10.20.04.png


                    You can PLACE a doc into indesign an than replace those Word styles to Indesign styles using FIND-REPLACE. You find the style (eg. BOLD) and replace ir using your indesign style.

                    Captura de Tela 2017-03-28 às 10.22.36.png

                    1 person found this helpful
                    • 7. Re: Format linked text files
                      BarbBinder Adobe Community Professional

                      Yes, it does work with .doc files as well. I just tested it, and you can see the .doc file in the final screen shot.


                      The trick is the style names. You need to have the exact same style names in both documents. Set that up first. Note that head 1, Head1 and Head 1 are not exact matches. The style names must match exactly in both applications—spelling, case and spacing. Also note that while I am focused on paragraph styles, character styles work too. Look for the icon in word to differentiate them (¶ vs a). InDesign separates them into different panels—the Paragraph styles panel and the Character styles panel.

                      Microsoft Wordss_003.pngInDesign CCss_021.png

                      Then File > Place and the styles will match up. When you edit and update, they continue to match and you get to keep your formatting.

                      InDesign CCss_022.png

                      2 people found this helpful
                      • 8. Re: Format linked text files
                        schroef Level 1

                        Thanks for the superb explenation and taking the time to even test and make screen grabs. I got something working sort of. Problem or issue is im on OSX. I tried using pages or openoffice and get super weird results and crashing indesign.


                        There where some issues with the page breaks and skipping those helps. Other issue i get is that all styles have shadow and line above and under on. So i need to adjust all of them.


                        Is there a better method for this? I also keep forgetting that i need to check "link placed files" under file handling, doesnt seem to remember this settigns by default and is document depended.


                        I also have a issue with the original file, its setup in Google Drive Doc. Ive found some plugin but i find $200/300 for a simple plugin rather much. It will help a lot but its a bit insane price i think.


                        The document seems to be packed with tabels halfway through? Not sure what happened there, best way to fix is probably download it. Edit it and reupload and see what happens.    

                        • 9. Re: Format linked text files
                          BarbBinder Adobe Community Professional

                          Hey, happy to help.


                          I have only tested the process with Word, but I'm also on a Mac—OS 10.11.6. I have never used Pages, OpenOffice or Google docs, so I can't be of any help there. The procedure I'm showing is based on a Word to InDesign workflow. Word supports styles, as does InDesign, and InDesign knows how to match them up. If the other applications also use styles that InDesign understands than this may still work—but I can't test it or speak to it.


                          If not, a yearly subscription to Office 365 Home, which includes Word, is $99 a year.

                          Choose the Best Microsoft Office Version for You | Microsoft Store



                          2 people found this helpful
                          • 10. Re: Format linked text files
                            schroef Level 1

                            Thanks again for the awesome help!


                            I will do some more googling then...
                            PS perhaps some tips. searching on links and indesign most of the time gives bad results. Almost all articles are about threading text frames, they name it linking though. Searching to link actual doc/dox/ or other took me ages to find.


                            I tend to find almost everything i need always, yet this time took me really long. Bumped into couple threads here and shoot my question. I couldnt find anything easy about linking text files and keeping formatting as well.


                            These are just my findings, perhaps other users dont have this issue. I was just a bot done with editing everything old skool by find/replace or with a printed adjust copy on your lap and do the findit game


                            I want to step up the game and try use linked sources and see hpw that goes. Much faster back and forth between clients i think... or hope

                            • 11. Re: Format linked text files
                              schroef Level 1

                              So you dont know why the styles import with lines above/below on and text shadow on?    

                              • 12. Re: Format linked text files
                                BarbBinder Adobe Community Professional

                                Can you share a screen shot?

                                • 13. Re: Format linked text files
                                  schroef Level 1

                                  I get rule above and rule under as well as shading checked on all styles. When using doc file exported from pages

                                  Screen Shot 2017-04-04 at 9.08.35 PM.png


                                  Here's the file so you can check it, the doc file it is

                                  • 14. Re: Format linked text files
                                    BarbBinder Adobe Community Professional

                                    Hi Schroef: I'm getting the same result—it's coming from the Word file. Unfortunately, I don't know Word well enough to tell you how to fix it there. The file has been customized—it's not using Word defaults. You could start with a fresh Word document.


                                    Otherwise, back in InDesign there are two fixes:

                                    1. Place the file normally, the Edit > Select all and Alt/Opt click on [Basic Paragraph} in the Paragraph styles panel (or on Body if you are using styles), or
                                    2. File > Place, click on Options in the bottom of the dialog box, then click on Show Import Options, OK, and select Remove Styles and Formatting from Text and Tables (but leave preserve local overrides selected so that you don't lose bold and italics in the paragraphs).

                                    InDesign CCss_003.png

                                    Let me know if that helps.

                                    • 15. Re: Format linked text files
                                      schroef Level 1

                                      Ill try that, but i wanted to try this cause im trying to find the best way to work with external editors. I need to know all options available and learn the best workflow.


                                      Ill also check if can find the cause and perhaps check the doc file in its route orso by opening it in different app which can see inside the file orso         

                                      • 16. Re: Format linked text files
                                        BarbBinder Adobe Community Professional

                                        You might try running by someone in the office who is really good at Word, or check out Microsoft support. It could have been the file or your InDesign settings, but I have confirmed that it is the file. And FYI, that's not normal. I bring Word files into InDesign everyday, and have for years.

                                        • 17. Re: Format linked text files
                                          schroef Level 1

                                          Well my guess something in this file is causing it.


                                          Could you perhaps open this file in word for mac and then save it again as docx and then send me a link. I got a program where i can look inside the docx file and i see some kind XML structure.


                                          I want to see if i can find the differences between the 2


                                          Screen Shot 2017-04-05 at 1.49.04 PM.png

                                          • 18. Re: Format linked text files
                                            BarbBinder Adobe Community Professional

                                            Sure. I downloaded it, opened it, saved it as .docx on Word 15.32 on my Mac.

                                            Dropbox - Bullets test on mac.docx

                                            • 19. Re: Format linked text files
                                              Laubender Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                              Hi Barb,

                                              now that's amazing…


                                              Bullets test.docx | Schroef's docx file from Pages imported to InDesign CC 2017:




                                              Bullets test on mac.docx | Your saved docx from Word 15.32 for Mac:




                                              Note: Both docx files were imported with the same import options.


                                              As we can see the docx file from Pages resulted in character and paragraph overrides all over the place.
                                              A real mess. I used a page size of 200 x 15 mm and set the pasteboard values to 0 for showing that the formatting of Paragraph Start is set to Next Page. And that's no override. It's defined in the imported paragraph style as result of the import. The import filter did not interpret this right.


                                              Wheras Bullets test on mac.docx saved from Word resulted in only one paragraph override.
                                              But that problem is not to avoid because the applied bullet formatting is already an override in Word.


                                              If you like to compare both files on basis of the saved XML, have fun ;-)
                                              No. You won't have fun. Not at all. Name spaces, definitions etc. pp. are all different.


                                              I began a comparison of the Styles.xml in both files using TextWrangler. The results are not encouraging.
                                              Example: Where Word is using "Nil" as value for not set, Pages is using "0".

                                              My assumption (I could be wrong): That alone could disturb our InDesign import filter and values are set where no values should be set leading to a massive override of character formatting.


                                              Workarounds other than using Microsoft Word?

                                              OpenOffice Writer: Convert Bullets test.docx to rtf and place that. A different mess.

                                              TextEdit app: Open will result in RTL (right-to-left) text. No paragraph and character styles travel over.


                                              Bottom line or what does that mean?
                                              If you like to import docx files have your Word app at hand and first open the docx file with Word, save to a new name and import that.




                                              • 21. Re: Format linked text files
                                                schroef Level 1

                                                Thanks, but using loosing styles is loosing the flexibilty linking word files has. I wanted to test this workfow to try work more easily when receiving updated copy.


                                                Nil and 0 are the same, thre just different written. This check was for the rule above and rule under, but i see both of your docs have it. So something was backed into this file when it came from pages originally.

                                                • 22. Re: Format linked text files
                                                  schroef Level 1



                                                  Though that looks awesome if found the price quite high for a single plugin