9 Replies Latest reply on Aug 12, 2011 11:24 PM by John Hawkinson

    Why does InDesign 5.5 not recognizing tags from text output from Filemaker 11?

    PrincessDesigner

      We just upgraded all of our computer and servers at the office. We were using OS 9 operating system with QuarkXpress and Filemaker 5. In the process of deciding on the route to go with upgrades we decided to go ahead and switch to InDesign instead of continueing with Quark.

       

      The problem is that we run a database inside of Filemaker Pro and we output text into our Quark files well now with InDesign I can not for the life of me figure out why our tags are not being recognized by InDesign. I have reviewed every option when placing the text file and have not seen anything that will fix it. In Quark when you import text you have the option to click a box and it will let you import with style sheets. I have set up the same paragraph styles in InDesign and it still doesn't work.

       

      Does anybody have any clue what might be happening? Any help would be appreciated, I need something to just get started on trying to fix this issue. It is a major issue due to the fact that I work for a classifieds newspaper and I need this text weekly. I have spent way too much time on this already and I am still in the same boat as I was when I started.

       

      Thank you in advance for your help!

        • 1. Re: Why does InDesign 5.5 not recognizing tags from text output from Filemaker 11?
          John Hawkinson Level 5

          What file format are you using?

          InDesign Tagged Text?

           

          It is auto-detected on import when you use File Place.

          • 3. Re: Why does InDesign 5.5 not recognizing tags from text output from Filemaker 11?
            PrincessDesigner Level 1

            Joel, You are correct, this is exactly the article I needed to read. In upgrading our software this is the biggest obstacle that we have had so far. It had never occurred to me that InDesign tags would be different than Quark, I assumed that the tags were universal. This is what I get for assuming! Thanks for your help.

            • 4. Re: Why does InDesign 5.5 not recognizing tags from text output from Filemaker 11?
              PrincessDesigner Level 1

              The file format is a simple text file. After I read the article posted by Joel, I now know that text tags are not the same in Quark as they are in InDesign. Do you have any idea how I can get around this, without having to purchase $400 software?

              • 5. Re: Why does InDesign 5.5 not recognizing tags from text output from Filemaker 11?
                John Hawkinson Level 5

                The file format is a simple text file.

                 

                Clearly not! Perhaps it is a Quark XPressTags File. That would not be

                a "simple text file."

                 

                Do you have any idea how I can get around this, without having to

                purchase $400 software?

                 

                Well, the format is not very hard. You can search-and-replace,

                basically. What's generating your files?

                • 6. Re: Why does InDesign 5.5 not recognizing tags from text output from Filemaker 11?
                  Joel Cherney Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  The file format is a simple text file. After I read the article posted by Joel, I now know that text tags are not the same in Quark as they are in InDesign. Do you have any idea how I can get around this, without having to purchase $400 software?

                   

                  I'd have to argue that $400 is really, really cheap for what we're talking about, here. In order to get around it without buying the software, you'd have to write your own software. We're talking about classified ads, right? (Just a guess.) How much revenue do they bring in? How long before that $400 pays for itself?

                   

                  John is absolutely correct when he says that it would be a simple set of find/replace operations; if you are savvy enough to be able to get a total count of the number of tags used in your output, and if you can automate a single find/replace operation, then you can figure out how much it costs you to roll your own Quark-tags-to-Indy-tags solution and compare it against the cost of the software.

                   

                  However, I can't tell if he's being genuine or not; if you didn't notice that Quark tags and Indy tagged text are not the same format, then you probably don't have the in-house scripting capability to write your own converter. If you have that expertise in-house, then go for it. For my own part, I am such a slow scripter that paying someone else a few hundred bucks will invariably be cheaper than writing my own. Of course, if I didn't have any money to spend then I'm sure that I'd become a faster scripter quire rapidly.

                  • 7. Re: Why does InDesign 5.5 not recognizing tags from text output from Filemaker 11?
                    John Hawkinson Level 5

                    One assumes there is some existing software generating this stuff.

                    John is absolutely correct when he says that it would be a simple set of find/replace operations; if you are savvy enough to be able to get a total count of the number of tags used in your output, and if you can automate a single find/replace operation, then you can figure out how much it costs you to roll your own Quark-tags-to-Indy-tags solution and compare it against the cost of the software.

                    I was really referring more to the abstract. In the concrete, I guess I assumed we would find whatever was generating the XPress tags and change it to generate InDesign Tagged Text. It's just a matter of finding a few static strings and changing them... it's not like there are any changes to *logic*...

                     

                    Personally, I'm a strong believer in Fixing It Right. yeah, $400 is cheap, but it's a lame patch to the problem. You shouldn't be using XPress Tags in InDesign, might as well move your automation over to doing it the InDesign way. (Unless, of course, there's an advantage to XPress Tags. And there are a few, as David's article points ut.)

                     

                    However, I can't tell if he's being genuine or not; if you didn't notice that Quark tags and Indy tagged text are not the same format, then you probably don't have the in-house scripting capability to write your own converter. If you have that expertise in-house, then go for it. For my own part, I am such a slow scripter that paying someone else a few hundred bucks will invariably be cheaper than writing my own. Of course, if I didn't have any money to spend then I'm sure that I'd become a faster scripter quire rapidly.

                    I was serious, but I wasn't advocating a converter. That adds an extra step to the workflow, and it's also ugly. Just fix whatever makes the XPressTags to do IDTT instead.

                     

                    There's something funny about the guy from the non-profit telling other people to spend money, I can't quite put my finger on it though :-).

                    • 8. Re: Why does InDesign 5.5 not recognizing tags from text output from Filemaker 11?
                      Joel Cherney Adobe Community Professional & MVP
                      Personally, I'm a strong believer in Fixing It Right. yeah, $400 is cheap, but it's a lame patch to the problem. You shouldn't be using XPress Tags in InDesign, might as well move your automation over to doing it the InDesign way.

                       

                      I'm going to try arguing with that, but I know I'll fail - you're right. But here goes:

                       

                      I was serious, but I wasn't advocating a converter. That adds an extra step to the workflow, and it's also ugly. Just fix whatever makes the XPressTags to do IDTT instead.

                       

                      The only argument I have here is: it's my guess, from the original post, that the Filemaker DB that was ginned up to export Quark tagged text was written a long, long time ago. The expertise necessary to duct-tape an additional step to the workflow is I think actually less than the expertise necessary to delve into that Filemaker db and Fix It Right. That might well be cheaper than any of the duct tape I've suggested, but once again this relies on expertise that might not be immediately available to the original poster.

                       

                      If said expertise is available: ignore what I have to say, listen to John.

                       

                      If said expertise is not available to you, P.D., then I still think that my lame patch is by far your best bet.

                      • 9. Re: Why does InDesign 5.5 not recognizing tags from text output from Filemaker 11?
                        John Hawkinson Level 5
                        I'm going to try arguing with that, but I know I'll fail - you're right.

                        This has got to be the lamest argument ever. You're right too, and you know it.


                        However:

                         

                        The expertise necessary to duct-tape an additional step to the workflow is I think actually less than the expertise necessary to delve into that Filemaker db and Fix It Right.

                        That's why its called duct tape!

                         

                        Of course it's faster and cheaper to duct tape the broken flower pot back together than it is to either glue it back together or turn a new one on the potter's wheel. But, well...

                         

                        That said, I don't think you need rarified experience to change Filemaker's output, but also I know very little about filemaker scripts and export mechanisms.