Re: InDesign file to FrameMaker

Subject: Re: InDesign file to FrameMaker
From: Peter Gold <peter -at- knowhowpro -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Sat, 4 Sep 2010 09:03:18 -0500

Hi, Megan:

Tony's right about the cost of getting caught with illegal Adobe software.
Adobe's very aggressive on this issue; perhaps an individual might get a
wrist slap, but a commercial entity will get the full body slam in the

If the source documents will continue to be maintained in InDesign, there's
no honest way to avoid buying InDesign. You'll see below that
converting InDesign files to FrameMaker is a lot of work. Labor hours will
cost more than a seat of InDesign.

If the source documents won't be maintained in InDesign, consider using the
30-day free trial to open them and use File > Export > PDF (ID doesn't rely
on printing to .ps and distilling, though it can; exporting to PDF is the
preferred method.) Then export from PDF to RTF with Acrobat to get the text
and converted graphics; or import the original graphics. The trial times out
and can't be renewed. You can convert a trial installation, active or
expired, to a legitimate licensed working installation by paying for a
license and providing the license serial number when you start the trial.

Another option is to open the files with trial or licensed ID and copy the
text, then paste into a FrameMaker document and import the original

Place a cursor in each story (aka a FM text flow) and use File > Export >
Rich Text Format (or Text Only). That's a one-by-one process; to automate
it, search Google for "InDesign export all stories" without quotes and look
for the link to the free script that does that in one swell foop. Import the
original graphics.

If you need to reproduce the graphic layout, export PDFs from InDesign and
import the pages to FM; position each PDF behind the body page text frame
use it as a tracing to guide your placements in FM.

Another approach would be to hire someone with ID to do the one-time work;
you'll easily see that the cost will exceed by far that of one copy of ID.

If you'll need to move files from FM back to ID, again, there's no simple
way. Look at the ID MIF Filter ID commercial plug-in from It's
free, with a pay-per-page charge; you buy quantities with an account that
ticks off each converted page. When you run out, you pay again. It's sort of
a combination of a phone-minutes card, and a photocopy machine that logs
usage by operator, department, etc. The conversion is quite close visually,
page-by-page, but because of differences between how FM and ID work, editing
the ID file may reflow the content unpredictably in some places.



Peter Gold
KnowHow ProServices

> On Thu, Sep 2, 2010 at 11:44 AM, Bruce Megan (ST-CO/ENG2.2) <
> Megan -dot- Bruce -at- us -dot- bosch -dot- com> wrote:
> > Hello All:
> >
> > Does anyone know if you can import an InDesign file into FrameMaker? The
> > reason I ask is that I have just been told that I am going to be
> responsible
> > for another branch of our writing...said inheritance was using
> > InDesign....and my boss may not have the $$$ to purchase the
> > I would be stuck recreating the source files. I thought if there was
> > someway to convert the content....I would save myself some time and
> > grief....
> >
> > Thanks for your input.
> > Megan
> >
> > Mit freundlichen Gr??en / Best regards
> >
> > BeQIK
> >
> > Megan Bruce
> > ST-CO/ENG2.2
> >
> >

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