RE: Transitioning Text Across Platforms?

Subject: RE: Transitioning Text Across Platforms?
From: "Nuckols, Kenneth M" <Kenneth -dot- Nuckols -at- mybrighthouse -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 3 Jun 2005 08:01:55 -0400

Geoff Hart wrote...

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Geoff Hart [mailto:ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca]
> Sent: Thursday, June 02, 2005 8:45 PM
> To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com; Nuckols, Kenneth M
> Subject: Transitioning Text Across Platforms?
> Kenneth Nuckols wonders: <<I'll be faced with the task of transferring
> documentation content from MS Word 2003 to Adobe InDesign CS. It
> simple enough, but I'm afraid of all the hidden embedded codes that
> Word loves to cram into every document it creates.>>
> Don't be afraid. Oddly enough, InDesign (at least the Mac version)
> a better job of opening many Word files than Word does. No, really.
> I've recently had several files that instantly crashed Word every time
> I tried opening the files or inserting them into an open document, but
> they opened with no fuss whatsoever in InDesign. Copied and pasted the
> text back into a new Word document, saved under a new name, and all
> well. Go figure!
> Note that these have been 1-column files with no embedded graphics or
> text boxes or <shudder> graphics created in Word. I suspect InDesign
> will handle all of these curveballs too, but haven't tested this. As a
> general rule, you should extract all the text from any text boxes (an
> evil invention at best) and paste them into the text as a regular
> paragraph at roughly the right location. Then strip out all the
> graphics, and reimport them manually into InDesign.
> <<I want to strip out my text, all my text, and nothing but my text
> when I transfer the content to InDesign.>>
> This is probably a very inefficient way to work if you've applied any
> formatting (paragraph styles etc.) in Word. InDesign will let you do a
> search and replace to replace one style name (from Word) with an
> InDesign style. Why go to all the trouble of manually reformatting
> every paragraph when you can automate the process? If you absolutely
> must do this, "text" format generally works great, but RTF is a better
> choice because again, it preserves much of the style information.
> <<My first guess would be to export the documents to a plain old .txt
> file from Word, but that sounds too easy to get rid of all the
> codes that might want to migrate with my text.>>
> No, .txt really is the format of choice for getting rid of Word's
> garbage. It eliminates everything but the characters you typed. I just
> suspect it's not the most efficient way to go.

Thanks Geoff (and everyone else) for the reassuring and helpful replies.
I've used Word for years and used InDesign for about six months (in a
previous job) but I've never had to transfer content from one program to
the other. It was numerous situations I've encountered like the fellow
TECHWRLer currently struggling with Word and UK spelling standardz ;-)
that made me worry about this upcoming transition of platforms.

I was afraid I would have to give up a weekend fiddling with the
transition, but it sounds like I'll be in better shape than I feared.

Thanks again for the helpful replies and the always lively discussions!



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