Can I control the ORDER of separate (non-threaded) text frames?

Community Beginner ,
Jan 19, 2022 Jan 19, 2022

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I have a 2-page doc with a bunch of separate textframes (it's more like an infographic, so each short item is in a separate frame w/ border and placed on the page in an orderly way).

 

This is being translated into multiple languags, so I was playing with CAT software to potentially manage & streamline the project. I saved an IDML file and imported it into the software, but the text is out of order from the visual flow on the page. For example, text in frames 1-11 (visually, in order of reading) show up as 1, 4, 2, 5, 6, 10, 3, 11, 7, 9, 8.

 

There are many more separate items in this doc and I'm wondering if I can control the order that they export in the idml file to make things easy/uniform for the translators?

Alternatively, if there's no way to control this, if I start a new, blank document and start placing (copy/pasting) the text frames in the order, I want will that do the trick?

 

Note, I do not speak "code" but have been able to copy and run scripts in the past... if that's necessary to get the desired result.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 19, 2022 Jan 19, 2022

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Well, when I want to prep an InDesign doc to run through a CAT tool and want to ensure that a jumble of frames are read by the translation supplier in a given reading order, I usually thread the text. Different tools use different methods of processing the stories in the IDML, but in general they tend to respect the numbering of stories inside the IDML. (In case you didn't already know it, if you rename the .idml to a .zip and look inside, you can see the folder structure, and can find the folder that has all the individial stories in it.) Others do their own story collection without regard for InDesign's internal numbering, but they usually do the typical top-down left-right prioritization of story collection. In either case, if you've positioned individual frames in your layout, you have no real control of the order in which those frames are collected. 

 

So the best way to preserve the logical order of the text in many frames is to thread those frames. Some CAT tools allow you to re-order the segments after the stories are extracted, but I never assume that some other localization engineer or DTP operator will go in and re-order the stories to be in reading order for the translation supplier.

 

Back when I had to do this sort of thing all the time, I used the Quick Stitch feature of Rorohiko's TextStitch to reduce the amount of clicking I had to do to thread each story. If you only have eleven frames, then the process of adding frame breaks and threads is not onerous, but if you have thousands of frames to thread, reducing the number of clicks is very desirable. If you do go the Rorohiko route, make sure you don't use the Auto-Stitch! It will most likely collect your frames in that deranged visual order you described in your initial post.

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