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Converting Publisher files to InDesign

New Here ,
Oct 20, 2013 Oct 20, 2013

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I'm currently searching for a cost efficient and reliable way to convert Publisher files to InDesign. Any suggestions for converting these files would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Community Expert , Mar 04, 2017 Mar 04, 2017

They offer a file conversion service: File Conversion Service | Markzware

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Community Expert ,
Oct 20, 2013 Oct 20, 2013

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The Markzware PUB2ID product is the only I know that does a conversion:

http://markzware.com/products/pub2id/

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Participant ,
Jan 04, 2015 Jan 04, 2015

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$ 200 FOR A CONVERTER !! They must be comedians.   You're better off just copying and pasting the text into Indesign.   JEEZE.   

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Community Expert ,
Jan 04, 2015 Jan 04, 2015

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I think that might depend on how many files you need to convert....

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Jan 04, 2015 Jan 04, 2015

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Quite frankly, I have no financial or any other interest in Markzware, but how much do you value your own time? Do you have any idea how much work it takes to develop software to convert a file in Publisher's format with its set of features to a file in InDesign's format with an overlapping but not identical set of features? And this is for a very limited market! It would take quite a few sales of $200 licenses in a very limited market to recoup the cost of developing such software!

If this software does a fairly respectable job of converting the Publisher file to InDesign and saves you three or four hours in rebuilding a document from scratch with cut and paste, $200 is not a steep price to pay!

Again, it all depends on how much you value your time and what else you could be doing with time wasted in a file regeneration exercise.

          - Dov

- Dov Isaacs, former Adobe Principal Scientist (April 30, 1990 - May 30, 2021)

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Participant ,
Jan 05, 2015 Jan 05, 2015

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I can understand where you are coming from.   Very limited use in my case.  If Publisher would at least save in a Quark Express format then that would solve everything.   

Publisher can save as XPS.  

Can I open that format in Adobe Indesign?  

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Community Expert ,
Jan 05, 2015 Jan 05, 2015

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Not out of the box. Probably no plugin for it either.

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Community Expert ,
Jan 05, 2015 Jan 05, 2015

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I'm not at all familiar with XPS, but it looks like it might be a flavor of XML, so you might be able to convert it to XML that ID can read through File > Place..., but that's way outside my area.

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LEGEND ,
Jan 05, 2015 Jan 05, 2015

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XPS is a print-oriented format like PDF. It won't hold design information.

We are dealing with proprietary (secret) formats here - InDesign, Publisher, QuarkXPress. It takes enormous effort and study to reinvent the formats and make converters - which therefore seem astonishingly inexpensive, given the limited market.

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Explorer ,
Oct 27, 2017 Oct 27, 2017

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I have a grumpy tendency to return Publisher files to the client. The filespec is almost the publishing equivalent of deep encryption, and print vendors despise it. The contents of a publisher file might as well be locked away in the Arc of the Covenant.

I do see the investment point of the $200 price tag, might very well be worthy if you have to to a lot of it - i.e. in an institutional situation and Publisher is the management decreed application, and you're the poor sap responsible for making well-meaning, but unprofessionally prepared documents actually printable. or getting a bunch of edits and revisions - after you've gotten the file. That never happens.

But the majority of Publisher files that come across my desk are essentially in the category of "If you wanna help, don't help!"

Given that Markzware has discontinued the plugin and if you're dealing with a fair number of the beasties - it might almost be practical - even cost effective to just get a copy of Publisher (heresy!) just for the purpose of extracting the text and images! I am already running Windows in Parallels for Mac on one of my workstations for the primary purpose of testing email campaigns in another legendary PITA - MS Outlook.

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Enthusiast ,
Oct 27, 2017 Oct 27, 2017

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Do you know that you can open Publisher files in Open Office variants. I know you can for sure with LibreOffice.

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Community Expert ,
Oct 27, 2017 Oct 27, 2017

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I didn’t know that.

FWIW, I haven’t even seen a Publisher file in many, many years.

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Explorer ,
Oct 27, 2017 Oct 27, 2017

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HUAH. That's a new on on me. Thank you. Worth keeping in the back pocket.

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Guide ,
Oct 27, 2017 Oct 27, 2017

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There's always a two-step conversion - get a PDF from the client (I wish!) and then use PDF2ID (recosoft) or PDF2DTP (markzware).

Or, suggest that an import feature be made for upcoming versions of InDesign: Adobe InDesign Feedback

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New Here ,
Jun 06, 2022 Jun 06, 2022

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Arc of the covenant indeed!

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 10, 2015 Feb 10, 2015

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Rickyaz -- Apart from the other explanations (by P Spier and Dov Isaacs) of why $200 is fair and reasonable. You're making a GIANT and false assumption that the designer has Publisher. A lot of us don't, because it's so rarely needed, but once in a blue moon we get a Publisher file from a client... or the client's client. So, no option there to copy and paste, and a converter's needed.

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New Here ,
Mar 04, 2017 Mar 04, 2017

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It seems the Markzware only runs on Mac platform.  Do you know of one for the Windows platform?

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Community Expert ,
Mar 04, 2017 Mar 04, 2017

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They offer a file conversion service: File Conversion Service | Markzware

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Enthusiast ,
Oct 21, 2013 Oct 21, 2013

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A lower cost but more painful way is to create a pdf of the Publisher files open in Illistrator and them copy and paste into Indesign. May be a lot of work or not depending on how complex the document is.

Or edit the file in Illustrator and place in ID if you need to.

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Community Expert ,
Oct 21, 2013 Oct 21, 2013

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Illustrator is not a multipurpose PDF editor. In any way, shape or form.

It would be better to use Acrobat.

Save the file as a RTF - delete all the imagery from the RTF in Word

Extract all the Images/Diagrams/Graphics from the PDF using the Edit Object command.

Raster images will open in Photoshop and Vector in Illustrator (can be setup up through Acrobat preferences)

Reassemble the layout in InDesign.

But whatever you do *Don't open the PDF in Illustrator. And don't start copying and pasting from Illustrator to InDesign*

Do it right - or else face headaches down the road later on.

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New Here ,
Jan 03, 2016 Jan 03, 2016

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‌I sometime get publisher files sent to me from clients. Makes me feel awkward to ask them to either supply printed copies or PDFs to me to recreate as I don't have publisher on my Mac. But I found this online paid (but cheap) service To convert one-off files easily. http://www.convertquarktoindesign.com/shop/convert-microsoft-publisher-to-indesign/

You can also convert quark files to indesign as well as well as a few other file types

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