Importing Word equations to page layout?

Subject: Importing Word equations to page layout?
From: "Hart, Geoff" <Geoff-H -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 10 Sep 2002 14:10:45 -0400

W. Ross Stone reports: <<I am Editor-in-Chief of one of the IEEE magazines.
About 85% of our input comes in the form of Microsoft Word documents, with a
large number of equations in Equation Editor or MathType. Since we use
MathType to set all complex symbols and even units (for typographic
reasons), it is not unusual to have 500 - 1000 equation objects in an issue.
We currently print galleys from Word, and use manual paste-up and
photographic plate-making to produce the printing plates. We
want to go to computer-to-plate. Is there any page-layout software available
that will import Word documents while maintaining the equations?>>

I'm not aware of any automated way to get Word equations out of Word and
into real DTP software. One workaround you may want to consider involves
stripping out the equations and saving them in a separate document, then
importing the resulting equation-free document into your page-layout
software. That done, print the equations to disk as an EPS file, open that
file in Illustrator or similar software, and save each equation as a
separate, individually numbered graphic.

That's a lot of work, and offers many opportunities for screwing up,
particularly if your DTP people aren't comfortable enough with examining
equations that they can compare the final proofs with the original
typescript. (If you're like me, I imagine you've seen some unpleasant swaps
by DTPers who couldn't tell any of the equations apart.) A less
labor-intensive option might be to produce your plates directly from Word.
Word is a lousy typesetting program, but with a little experimentation, you
should be able to get it to generate acceptable PDF, and use that to produce
the printing plates. The key is to print the files to disk using the AdobePS
driver, then distill them in Acrobat; don't even think about using the PDF
export function (PDFwriter) that Adobe provides for Word.

--Geoff Hart, geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca
Forest Engineering Research Institute of Canada
580 boul. St-Jean
Pointe-Claire, Que., H9R 3J9 Canada
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