Importing text into InDesign

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by watercool, Feb 18, 2016.

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  1. watercool macrumors newbie

    watercool

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2013
    Location:
    England
    #1
    Hi All,

    Trying to get to grips with using InDesign (cs6) and a load of text for a workbook type document.

    I've used Place to import my Word doc..(which is 290 pages) > Then Show Import Options and
    then shift and clicked the loaded cursor.

    I need the text to appear like it does in Word, as it's all in paragraphs and set up correctly. Thankfully most of this is correct when I import.

    But, problems:

    1) This new InDesign document is only 167 pages so is missing half the pages.

    2) The text boxes/images on a lot of pages are bunched up together.

    3) If I delete an object (say an image) off a page, the rest of the text below moves on to my page...when I
    actually want the gap where the image used to be, to be empty.
     
  2. superscape macrumors 6502a

    superscape

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    Location:
    East Riding of Yorkshire, UK
    #2
    I feel your pain!

    Unfortunately, importing from Word is an inexact science. Some things always go awry. How good/bad it is very much seems to depend on the structure of your Word document. Generally, if the Word document is quite simple and uses paragraph styles then you're in with a reasonable chance. If the Word user has got All Fancy with it, then it can be a nightmare.

    There's almost always some text massaging to be done. The good news is that there are a few tricks to make your life easier. Once good trick is to use paragraph/object styles in your InDesign files and apply them using GREPs (Find/Replace). You can also do some paragraph style mapping - that's to say, turning text in a particular paragraph style in the Word document into an InDesign paragraph style. And if you want to get really flashy then you can use a script to apply those find and replaces.

    In short, you're unlikely* to find yourself in a situation where you can import a Word document into InDesign and have it "just work". There's always *some* tweaking to be done - sometimes just a little, sometimes heaps.


    Good luck!
    s.



    * Although if you have control over the Word document, then you may be able to improve your chances.
     
  3. monokakata macrumors 68000

    monokakata

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Location:
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    #3
    When you scroll to the bottom of the text box (if that's page 167), do you see a little red + sign on the lower right end of the text box? If so, then your text box isn't big enough for the text. You can increase the size of the text box, load the cursor (at the + sign) and replace -- but I think that's only something to be done under pressure when you just have to get it done.

    I've been presented with some very large Word documents to be placed in InDesign (novels). I never try to import (Place) them all at once -- when I was learning, I used to try that, but it was so troublesome that I found another way.

    My recommendation to you is to use Word to break up that Word document in chunks, such as chapters. In Word, just copy each chapter, create a new document, paste in that chapter, save the document with an explicitly useful name like "Chapter 4.docx." It's a very easy workflow and faster than you might think:

    -- highlight the chapter
    -- command-C
    -- command-N
    -- command-V
    -- Save As, and give the new filename.

    Then place them one at a time, having declared to InDesign that your document is longer than you expect to need.

    I don't regard myself as an InDesign expert, so maybe others will offer different and better advice. But I've designed and set more than 20 books, some of them large, so I've evolved my own workflow that's successful for me.

    The key -- I know I'm repeating myself -- is to place the smallest chunks possible, each one in a different text box. That gives you the maximum flexibility.
     
  4. sarge macrumors 6502a

    sarge

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2003
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    #4
    Whenever I had formatting issues w/text I would sometimes copy it into Text Editor and remove the formatting - making it just plain text before placing it into InDesign.
     
  5. dadohead macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 27, 2008
    #5
     
  6. watercool thread starter macrumors newbie

    watercool

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2013
    Location:
    England
    #6
    Thanks for your insight :)

    I decided that yeah I need to cut the document up in to at least 3 chunks.

    So with my original InDesign document I deleted all the pages after the 100th page.
    But, when I delete the last heading and paragraph on the 100th page (as I want that paragraph to start on the first page of the new segment) it drags all the text up after I click delete each time!

    Does that make sense?
     
  7. monokakata macrumors 68000

    monokakata

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Location:
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    #7
    It does that. It's hellish.

    Honestly, my advice is to start over completely. New document. Really. I assume you're using master pages, and paragraph rules -- all those tools. Assuming you are, starting over is less work than you might think.

    1. Specify maybe 20-30 pages more than you think you'll need. You can delete them later.
    2. Place the first section (if it doesn't have all the front matter in it, place it far enough in so that you don't have a problem placing the front matter).
    3. Place the next section 4-6 pages beyond the end of the first section. This allows you room for changes you might make in the first section. Remember that in something this size, changing a font (for example) can extend (or contract) the text several pages. By leaving lots of room between sections, you won't get into trouble there.
    4. Same for the other sections.

    Then proceed to do the edits and formatting that you need to do.

    Save often, with a new name each time.
     
  8. watercool thread starter macrumors newbie

    watercool

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2013
    Location:
    England
    #8
    Thank you very much. I couldn't start again because I'd done a load of amendments to the doc...I also thought i'd separate the doc in to at least 2 sections but.. I've managed to get all pages on one doc, which I know is a risky and slow move but it's working so far.

    I've got a new obstacle to overcome now with the margins. Because apparently I'm an idiot when setting up documents!
     
  9. monokakata macrumors 68000

    monokakata

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Location:
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    #9
    Here's one thing you can do. Create a new Master Page that has the new margins you want (and also whatever else you're defining in the master page, if anything). Then, apply that master page to all your pages. That should take care of it.

    If you're changing to smaller margins, your page count will shrink and you don't need to do anything. But if you're going to larger margins, your page count will increase. So before doing that, add a bunch of pages to the end of the document. You can delete them later.

    Don't forget to save often (with a new name or numeric increment) before you make document-wide changes, and then immediately afterward. When setting the last book I worked on, I saved 36 distinct versions. As it happened, I never did have to return to any of them -- but if I'd had to, they were there. The book's gone to the printer, so now I'll delete all of them.
     
  10. watercool thread starter macrumors newbie

    watercool

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2013
    Location:
    England
    #10
    I've taken you advice on board - now saving, saving and saving !
     
  11. monokakata macrumors 68000

    monokakata

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Location:
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    #11
    Yes, indeed. Save and save.

    Next book up for me (not as author, but as book designer/producer for a small publisher) is a 550 page novel. The author has divided it into three large sections, each with smaller chapters. I'm going to load it section by section rather than chapter by chapter. What I will do, though, is go to the Word document and insert a page break before every new chapter. I could do that in InDesign, but it's easier to get that out of the way in Word.

    The author and I have already decided on a font, so I won't have any shrinking or expansion while changing fonts.

    Next up for you may well be "widows and orphans," which can be maddening. But if you want your book to look professional, you need to attend to those problems. Let me know if you're going to adjust the text, and I'll tell you my techniques (no doubt there are many; I can only tell you about mine).
     
  12. AlliePallie macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2015
    #12
    Why is it necessary to move your document to InDesign?

    If, and only if, necessary, then, as others have said, break the original document into brief chapters. Then, import each chapter into a _separate_ InDesign document. The general principle here is that each chapter can be corrected independently of everything else thus avoiding all sorts of messes. Then, when finished, join the chapters and "bob's your uncle."
    All this does simplify what can be an horrifying experience (been there).
     

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