Best Practices - Recreating Tables from Word in FM

Participant ,
Jan 04, 2019

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Good morning,

I'm using Adobe FrameMaker 12 (version 12.0.4.445), and Microsoft Word for Office 365 MSO (16.0.10827.20118) 32-bit.

I regularly receive requests to pull all of the content from an existing Word document into FrameMaker. Often, these existing Word documents consist mainly of tables (hundreds of pages of tables).

What would you all recommend as the most robust way to pull these tables into FrameMaker? The table rows have irregular shading patterns, and the table text is irregularly indented.

All the best,

Cameo

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1 Correct Answer

Participant , Jan 04, 2019
dauphinb Participant , Jan 04, 2019
I have two questions: Does the irregular shading and indenting you describe need to be maintained in the FrameMaker version of the document?Does the table content need to be dynamic/editable in the FrameMaker doc?If the answers are no and yes, I would convert the table to tab-delimited text within Word, copy it into FM as plain text, and reconvert it to a table in FM. (If the answers are yes and yes, this might still be OK, depending on how burdensome it would be to reapply the formatting within...

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Participant ,
Jan 04, 2019

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I have two questions:

  • Does the irregular shading and indenting you describe need to be maintained in the FrameMaker version of the document?
  • Does the table content need to be dynamic/editable in the FrameMaker doc?

If the answers are no and yes, I would convert the table to tab-delimited text within Word, copy it into FM as plain text, and reconvert it to a table in FM. (If the answers are yes and yes, this might still be OK, depending on how burdensome it would be to reapply the formatting within FM).

If the answers are yes and no, I would save the Word doc as a PDF, delete/crop pages to create a (potentially multipage) PDF of each table to import by reference as graphic images.

If the answers are no and no, you could plausibly use either method.

A couple caveats:

  • My products are always books (either hardcopy or "virtual hardcopy" PDFs). If you need to publish to dynamic, online formats... <EmilyLitella>well, that's very different then; never mind!</EmilyLitella>
  • In my products, I generally want to reformat tables to our standards anyway, so washing out the table creators' formatting is A Feature, Not a Bug[tm].
  • I formed my habits in this regard years ago (i.e., circa FM 7), when import filters really weren't very robust. I'm comfortable doing what I do, but it's possible that directly importing Word is now orders of magnitude better than it was back then.

Hoping any of this is even remotely helpful....

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Participant ,
Jan 08, 2019

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Hello dauphinb,

Yes and yes. Reapplying the formatting tends to be pretty burdensome. Reapplying the cell shading isn't too bad, but setting up all of the tabs for the random indented cells really slows me down, given the number of tables.


Thank you for all of your help!

~Cameo

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 04, 2019

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For common table reformatting tasks, you can't beat Rick Quatro's TableCleaner script, available here.

I purchased it years ago, and it paid for itself in the first project.

Believe me, it'll be worth every penny!

-Matt

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cameol8779899 AUTHOR LATEST
Participant ,
Jan 08, 2019

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Hi Matt,

Thank you for sharing! I'll look into Rick Quatro's TableCleaner script.

~Cameo

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