9 Replies Latest reply on Nov 16, 2011 5:25 AM by [Jongware]

    Listing import from Word

    AlienJoeri

      Working on:

      I'm importing text from Word into my InDesign document. The original file consists of questions and sub questions of which the last ones are indicate by a list stating with "a" (Question 1, a, b, c, ...). The end product is an indesign document with the same listing structure.

       

      Problem:

      When I import the text from Word, the new lists (including the new styles which I indicated) follow the original order of counting (each question has it's own set of subquestions). Now Word brings a lot of stuff allong with the import so I'd like to get rid of the "overrides". Because I'm working in a large document the easiest way to do this is "selecting all the text" and then use "clear overrides" from the pane menu. This works great besides the fact that all subquestions are now considered to be part of one "fixed" list. Whatever I try, I cannot get rid of this and return the the preffered state of the lists: one list per question.

       

      Question:

      I tried all the options offered in the style pallete under "paragraph style options"), allthough I'm having trouble inderstanding the list levels. I guess one requairement must be that the "restart numbers at This Level after ..." must bechecked. What I can see is that the list dropdown offers a long list of "Word imported list #". As I see it, this contains the list specifications from Word.

      My question is: how can I get my seperate listing back without having to do a time consuming action as selecting each list? I want to either solve this in the style options or in the Word document.

       

      I'd appreciate some insight!

        • 1. Re: Listing import from Word
          [Jongware] Most Valuable Participant

          InDesign is flat-out awfully bad in importing Word lists. When retaining auto-numbering, you get the problems you have. When discarding them ("Convert Bullets & Numbers to Text" in the Word Import Options), you get inconsistent and mangled numbers.

           

          I always solve this by converting all of the numbering to plain text in Word: select all and press Ctrl+6. Sure, you loose the automatic renumbering, but hey you weren't going to add or remove one anyway, were you?

          • 2. Re: Listing import from Word
            [Jongware] Most Valuable Participant

            InDesign is flat-out awfully bad in importing Word lists

             

            Scratch that. Please replace with

             

            InDesign is flat-out awfully bad in importing Word.

             

            A plague on the House of Microsoft for creating it, and rather painful boils on Adobe for making it the only formatted text import option in InDesign!

             

            For the umpteenth time I have a Word document consisting of nothing else than plain text, a couple of tables, and a handful of notes, and MY INDESIGN WILL NOT IMPORT IT. IT WILL NOT IMPORT IT. IT WILL NOT IMPORT IT AS DOC. IT WILL NOT IMPORT IT AS RTF. IT WILL NOT IMPORT IT AS DOCX.

             

            * InDesign CS3 Will Not Import any of the above.

            * InDesign CS4 Will Not Import any of the above.

            * InDesign CS5.5, finally, does import all of  .doc, .rtf, and .docx but with Badly-Mangled Endnote Syndrome. Because my work-horse is CS4, I exported as .idml and -- finally -- am able to do some work.

            • 3. Re: Listing import from Word
              AlienJoeri Level 1

              Things aren't going as smooth as one might expect, to make an understatement ... Nevertheless thanx for your answer(s)

               

              I tried your suggestion of Ctrl+6 but with no results whatsoever. The thing is that I need all the styles incorporated in the Word document to be there for the import in InDesign (5.5). The document is too big to go through manually. Converting text to plain isn't an option for me.

              What's bugging me is the fact that the initial import DOES contain the right listing, only when I start to clean things, it disappears and I have no clue on how to get is back or separate the individual listings.

               

              I'm also open for suggestions that concern Word. If there is any other way to indicate the listings, the import in Word might be a bit more subtle. Any suggestions on that?

              • 4. Re: Listing import from Word
                [Jongware] Most Valuable Participant

                AlienJoeri wrote:

                 

                I tried your suggestion of Ctrl+6 but with no results whatsoever.

                 

                It did nothing? That's quite a surprise. (Are you on Windows? On a Mac I suppose it's Cmd+6, as usual. Did you actually select any text, as I indicated?)

                 

                 

                AlienJoeri wrote:

                 

                .. The thing is that I need all the styles incorporated in the Word document to be there for the import in InDesign (5.5). ... Converting text to plain isn't an option for me.

                 

                This converts automatic bullets and numbering to plain text -- "plain" in the sense it's normally editable text, not "plain" like "unformatted".

                 

                 

                AlienJoeri wrote:

                 

                What's bugging me is the fact that the initial import DOES contain the right listing, only when I start to clean things, it disappears and I have no clue on how to get is back or separate the individual listings.

                 

                Well if the actual import is working for you, you can always try one of these two:

                 

                1. In the Word Import Options dialog, set ID to convert bullets & numbering to plain text.

                 

                or

                 

                2. Right after importing and before doing anything else, select all and choose "Convert Bullets and Numbering to Text" in the Paragraph panel menu.

                • 5. Re: Listing import from Word
                  AlienJoeri Level 1

                  Jongware] wrote:

                   

                  AlienJoeri wrote:

                   

                  I tried your suggestion of Ctrl+6 but with no results whatsoever.

                   

                  It did nothing? That's quite a surprise. (Are you on Windows? On a Mac I suppose it's Cmd+6, as usual. Did you actually select any text, as I indicated?)

                   

                  Well, no. I'm on a Mac and I did use the CMD key. I also tried different combinations of keys and even different versions of Word. No clue, since some googling provided me with the same answer...

                   

                   

                   

                  AlienJoeri wrote:

                   

                  .. The thing is that I need all the styles incorporated in the Word document to be there for the import in InDesign (5.5). ... Converting text to plain isn't an option for me.

                   

                  This converts automatic bullets and numbering to plain text -- "plain" in the sense it's normally editable text, not "plain" like "unformatted".

                   

                  - Sounds good, I'll keep looking for a way to test this. Fault must be at my side

                   

                   

                  AlienJoeri wrote:

                   

                  What's bugging me is the fact that the initial import DOES contain the right listing, only when I start to clean things, it disappears and I have no clue on how to get is back or separate the individual listings.

                   

                  Well if the actual import is working for you, you can always try one of these two:

                   

                  1. In the Word Import Options dialog, set ID to convert bullets & numbering to plain text.

                   

                  or

                   

                  2. Right after importing and before doing anything else, select all and choose "Convert Bullets and Numbering to Text" in the Paragraph panel menu.

                   

                  I did some initial testing with this with no satisfying result though (double listing!?). The second option stays greyed out as an option in the panel.

                  I will test some more and see if I can get the list converted to text.

                  • 6. Re: Listing import from Word
                    AlienJoeri Level 1

                    Well, I finally managed to convert the listings to plain text. As you stated, I don't need to have influence on the content itself, this is controlled within the Word document. So I just need to keep the imported styles and go from there.

                     

                    Don't ask exactly how I got there, but now I seem to manage the import (and reproduce the result) just by checking the "Convert bullets & Numbers to Text" option in the "Import options" panel.

                    Your suggestion of converting the list into text in Word doesn't seem to work for me. I blame this on my inexperience to the programm and my great reluctance to work with it I can understand that it also might be a solution for people that have a better relationship with Word ...

                     

                    Cheers for your directions and help!

                    • 7. Re: Listing import from Word
                      [Jongware] Most Valuable Participant

                      You're welcome -- glad you could make it work!

                       

                      As you can infer from the mini-rant above, importing Word is not something you can "get good at" -- at times it feels InDesign and Adobe are fighting eachother instead of trying to git along and make life easier for us poor keyboard jockeys.

                       

                      About the hotkey combo: that's from memory so it might work if you press the correct one (the function is called "Unlink Fields"). I haven't used it for ages because I wrote a VB macro to do some rigorous clean-up in Word itself before attempting to coax the text into ID.

                      • 8. Re: Listing import from Word
                        AlienJoeri Level 1

                        [Jongware] wrote:

                         

                        You're welcome -- glad you could make it work!

                         

                        As you can infer from the mini-rant above, importing Word is not something you can "get good at" -- at times it feels InDesign and Adobe are fighting eachother instead of trying to git along and make life easier for us poor keyboard jockeys.

                         

                        That perspective is a relief

                         

                         

                        [Jongware] wrote:

                         

                        About the hotkey combo: that's from memory so it might work if you press the correct one (the function is called "Unlink Fields"). I haven't used it for ages because I wrote a VB macro to do some rigorous clean-up in Word itself before attempting to coax the text into ID.

                         

                        It is so weird that I can't get it to work. On the web I find all kinds of references to it AND the key-combination (also the alternative of ctrl-shift-F9). It annoys me and I can't give it a rest. Can you point it out for me in the menu that would be swell (saves me some time in endless searching the menu for that thing I saw once)?

                         

                        Anyways, thanks again!

                        • 9. Re: Listing import from Word
                          [Jongware] Most Valuable Participant

                          It used to be in a menu somewhere but disappeared at some time (pre-Office -- way before the awful Ribbon too).

                           

                          In VB it's simply this:

                           

                          ActiveDocument.Fields.Unlink
                          

                           

                          so perhaps you are required to write a one-line VB script and assign a custom keystroke to use this particular function.