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Old 06-13-2009, 12:54 AM   #1
Mike
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Default Importing Word files

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Originally Posted by ktinkel View Post
My clients usually send Word files, which is a bit problematic (I strip out all the Word junk to create a plain text file). Then I place (not cut and paste) the text in the layout program, and format it.
Do you find it problematic? I generally place Word files into inDesign using inDesign's standard import filter then do a run of FindChangeByList followed a font search-and-replace to substitute those fonts I don't want.

Then I define a basic style and delete all the imported paragraph and character styles replacing them with by basic style. That generally leaves all the styles overides (italic and bold, etc) in place and generates a clean file.

If I were to convert the Word file to plain text I would loose all the stuff like italics which, in, say, a 500-page book, would be a PITA to replace.

What do others do to clean up authors' Word files?

   
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Old 06-13-2009, 01:04 PM   #2
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Most of my experience predates InDesign. PageMaker had problems with Word styles (file corruption sorts of problems), so I just avoided them. I used to tag the italics, etc., which was easy enough, and then they were in the PM file.

I see that ID has different ways of handling imported styles, but haven’t pushed my luck, and continue to place plain text. Or if I get frustrated enough I set up a PM file, then use a thumb drive to get it to my working machine and open it there, saving it again as an ID file.

Too old to learn new tricks, or too impatient, anyway.

   
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Old 06-13-2009, 01:39 PM   #3
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Mike:
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What do others do to clean up authors' Word files?
It us to be hoped that anyone resetting a Word document in a layout program, such as FrameMaker, InDesign, or XPress takes the trouble to open it in Word and prints it out first. For one thing, he can remove much that is really junk. And he should consider just what his program will accept and what not. And it may make a difference whether he is dealing with a doc file or a docx file, since they're not by any means the same thing.

   
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Old 06-13-2009, 09:26 PM   #4
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I do mainly magazine stuff and print each article, then copy and paste the text into BBEdit where I get rid of the junk. Then I copy and paste the text into InDesign, which avoids problems later when it looks for text from an external source if I open the issue.

Many of the articles I get have been 'designed' in Word and need this sort of extreme treatment. They also contain lots of tables which I often can't put exactly where the original author had them.

Recently I did a small book from Word files, but it was only 140 pages and had lots of notes to the designer embedded in the text as plain text, so I just did what I usually do with magazine articles and it worked fine.

500 pages would be difficult, however, so I imagine your method would work better than mine.

   
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Old 06-14-2009, 02:29 AM   #5
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The hardest part in tidying up authors' files is sorting out the quote marks. Authors generally use double quotes but the publishers I work for require single quotes. Replacing all double quote marks with single quote marks is simple but I've not found a way of ensuring that quotes within quotes are double.

i.e. changing:

"The singer's rendition of 'How High The Moon' in '60s rock 'n' roll style left us cold," she said.

to:

'The singer's rendition of "How High The Moon" in '60s rock 'n' roll style left us cold,' she said.

   
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Old 06-14-2009, 02:39 AM   #6
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Yes, that's hard. There was a Red Cross poster in lots of public spaces here recently with the date as ‘09. I fixed all the ones I saw at work, but hate to think how many others were left with the wrong form of quote.

Not that most people would have noticed, of course. Those who heard me rant and watched me change the quote were a bit bemused...

Sometimes you just need eyes on the page to fix stuff, but it's expensive.

   
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