11 Replies Latest reply on Sep 22, 2011 5:44 AM by MRaj01

    Importing from MS Word with footnotes


      Hello and thank you for reading this.


      I have a problem with MS Word.


      I have written a document in Word rather than Indesign CS4 because I love the way Word handles footnotes. (E.g. It automatically puts them in superscripted numbers, and creates a number at the foot of the page for the footnote. You can move a paragraph and it carries the footnotes with it and renumbers all the footnotes throughout the Doc to make them consecutive again.)


      The Doc is now 137,000 words, 60 pages of A4 with 180 footnotes. No illustrations.


      I have created my IDD document and tried to FILE/PLACE the Word doc several times now, and all I get is an hourglass. I have waited for this hourglass to go away, for 15 and even 30 minutes, but it never does, and I have to use CTL+ALT+DELETE to end the program and re-start it.


      I have also tried copy-paste the entire Word document and then paste it into IDD. This works, but it strips all the footnotes off!


      I did think that maybe the Word doc is just too big to be imported, but if I cut it into two docs, each one will end up with footnotes numbered 1 to 90!



      Obviously, I would rather not have to type out (or even copy-paste) 180 footnotes, then apply the superscripts and other styles by hand.


      Why won't IDD import my document and what can I do please?


      Thank you



        • 1. Re: Importing from MS Word with footnotes
          Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

          Your document size should not be a factor -- it isn't really all that big -- but the ability to bring it in ain pieces means it might be overpowering the system. Tell us about your computer -- Operating system and version, system memory, free space on the hard drive, and about your InDesign installation. Are you updated to the latest patch for your version of ID?


          A couple of beneral principles for importing Word, whcih can be flaky. ALWAYS do a save as in word before placing in ID to force a file re-write. Also, if you've been tracking changes, make sure they are all accepted or rejected before doing the final save. Sometimes saving as a different format, RTF, .doc or .docx, depending on your version of Word and the current format you've chosen, can make a difference, too.


          Now the hoepfully good news. If you are able to to place the file in two pieces, you should be able to thread them back together and fix the footnote numbering. Click the out port of the last frame in the first half using the Selection tool (black arrow), then click inside the first frame of the second half to join them into one story.

          • 2. Re: Importing from MS Word with footnotes
            BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

            You can start by giving us some relevant info.


            What version of ID? What version of Word? What platform?



            • 3. Re: Importing from MS Word with footnotes
              wojtczak Level 1

              Windows XP


              Desktop computer with massive memory, massive processor, and was reformatted 7th July and working like a dream.


              HDD 90% empty as only programs are kept on here not pics or videos they are all on an external HD.





              Word 2003


              I don't know anything about any ID updates or patches, never installed anything like that.



              Also tried it on my new-ish Compaq laptop, same problem. Am now on desktop PC.


              I converted the Doc to RTF and still getting the hourglass.


              The ID doc WILL import every other word doc that I try, just not this one!


              RIght, I just took the first 18 pages of the Word doc and pasted into a new word doc, and that has imported to ID through the file/place no problem, no hourglass.



              However, it has not handled the footnotes well, they are in the correct places, but it didn't carry over the Word doc's styles which put the numbers in a small font and superscripted.


              However, as you can see the superscripted style HAS been preserved within the text.


              But my indents and right justification in Word have disappeared. And ID has introduced an unsightly gap between the footnote number and the text.


              Is there a way I could get ID to preserve the styles in word? I already have RSI and it won't be helped by having to apply the style to 180 footnotes




              • 4. Re: Importing from MS Word with footnotes
                BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                Do you have the show options box selected when placing the file?


                And by all means update CS4 to the latest patch. Check under help>updates.



                • 5. Re: Importing from MS Word with footnotes
                  wojtczak Level 1

                  Right I did it again and this time asked for the import options and told it to Redefine ID Syle" and it's a bit better in that now it has preserved the indents.


                  The footnotes are weird, though - some are in a massive font and others in small font, but the numbers are still gigantic and that big gap is still there, which it is not in Word.Image2.jpg






                  Here is what it looks like in Word




                  • 6. Re: Importing from MS Word with footnotes
                    Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                    First and formost, CS4 had some significant issues with footnotes, if I remember correctly, that were addressed in the updates, so you should start by going to Help > Updates... and download the patches.


                    Second, pasting is not the way to go. Place the Word file, and show import options to allow you to decide how to handle things. You also should pay a visit to Type > Document Footnote Options to straighten out some of your formatting issues. Do you know how to use styles? They are going to be essential for a project like this.


                    Terms like "massive" are not helpful. Your idea of massive may be quite differnt from mine, that said, I still run XP on a 2.66 gHz intel Quad-core chip and 2 GB of RAM and have no issues, so that may not be the problem, but there's still no way to tell with the current information. XP only supprts 3 gigs of RAM, but less than 2 would be less than I would recommend for a real workstation running Adobe programs.


                    I'm going to suggest again that you may be in over your head a ththe moment and you should spend a little time with some training materials. I think Bob has some links for Sandee's book and a 7 day trial at Lynda.com that he'll give you...

                    • 7. Re: Importing from MS Word with footnotes
                      John Hawkinson Level 5
                      I did think that maybe the Word doc is just too big to be imported, but if I cut it into two docs, each one will end up with footnotes numbered 1 to 90!

                      For what it's worth, this should not be a consideration.

                      For the second half, just put a dummy footnote at the front of the document, copy it, and hit paste 89 times.

                      if that's too much work, hit paste once, copy the pair of them, hit paste again, lather-rinse-repeat log2(89) times, i.e. 6 times for 64, then select 25 of them, bam 89. Plus 1 for 90.


                      (and that's assuming the ID import cares about word's numbering.)


                      Divide and Conquer is always a good idea.

                      • 8. Re: Importing from MS Word with footnotes
                        David W. Goodrich Level 3

                        Searching this forum for footnote problems will yield many complaints about ID's limited footnote capabilities.  To my mind, the ways the import mechanism screws up is much worse -- and Jongware has been particularly eloquent about these.  But in case he doesn't look in this weekend, I'll add my two cents.


                        My first suggestion would be to save the Word file as RTF and try importing that.  If I wanted to divide and conquer, I'd do so in Word: place the first piece in ID, and if it seems okay and adds the proper number of pages, I'd add another page and place the second chunk there; you can then link the two chunks into a single story, and unless you set ID to do otherwise (Numbering section of the Pages panel)  the second chunk's numbers will pick up where the first's left off.


                        I'm wary of Word, and never import its styles.  However, setting the attributes for footnotes in ID is more complicated (look under Type>Document Footnote Options> or some such) -- but well worth learning.  You might want to mess around with a small file first to get things as you want them.


                        Now for the bad news.  Sometimes when ID imports a word-processor file with footnotes it loses a few: all you get is a little pink box in the text where the footnote number should be.  Sometimes ID is clever enough to keep track of the footnote numbers for lost notes, sometimes not: if it loses two out of 180 the number for the last one may be 178 or perhaps 180.  If, say, nos. 78 and 79 have become pink boxes, your best bet may be to delete the pink boxes and insert new footnotes.  You may need to copy-and-paste the contents of the two footnotes from your RTF file (I tell ID to paste in plain text); but often you'll find the contents get out of whack so you must move contents of around in ID:, the real content of pink-boxed ftnt 78 may show up in ftnt 80,  79 in 80, etc., until it gets back on track.  For me this isn't as painful as it sounds -- I've gotten good at cut-and-pasting all but the initial, ID-defined number+punctuation for footnotes.


                        Jongware has written that IDCS3 is more reliable, but I seem to recall footnotes disappear there, too.


                        Good luck!




                        minor edits, typos Message was edited by: David W. Goodrich

                        • 9. Re: Importing from MS Word with footnotes
                          BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                          Sandee's book: http://amzn.to/phfamG


                          7-day Lynda.com trial: http://bit.ly/fcGpiI


                          Hope that helps,



                          • 10. Re: Importing from MS Word with footnotes
                            [Jongware] Most Valuable Participant

                            Ah, chiming in a bit late, but I think I agree with most of the above.


                            If you are still having problems with importing, try to import just the plain text into ID in a new, fresh, competely style-less document. Sometimes it's the style-wrangling that confuses ID. If that doesn't work, cut up the doc in Word in parts and import them one at a time.


                            John Hawkinson wrote: (about re-numbering notes)


                            (and that's assuming the ID import cares about word's numbering.)


                            Nope, it doesn't, but it's not a problem either. If you stitch together the two parts, ID will adjust the footnote numbers to be consecutive again.

                            • 11. Re: Importing from MS Word with footnotes

                              For me, the problem came with CS4, never had it in CS3... but maybe I was lucky ;-)