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Importing an entire book manuscript into InDesign: What are the best practices?

Explorer ,
Jun 10, 2019 Jun 10, 2019

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Hi. I'm new to InDesign, but have read up on creating a book. The recommended practice seems to be importing each chapter as a separate document and then creating a book file. However, I created my multi-chapter book manuscript  as a single file in MS Word.  Should I break up the manuscript into separate chapter files before I import into InDesign? (That will take some work.) Will importing the whole thing into InDesign, as a single file, create a mess?

If I do break up the manuscript and import each chapter separately, what will happen to the automated page cross-references I have set up in Word?

All advice much appreciated!

Marie

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 10, 2019 Jun 10, 2019

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Depending on the length of the book I suggest you try one document first. Place the MS into InDesign using the Microsoft Word Input feature (that may not be the exact name, but I can’t check at the moment).

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Explorer ,
Jun 10, 2019 Jun 10, 2019

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Thanks, Derek!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 10, 2019 Jun 10, 2019

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you can keep it all on one document and use the word to indesign style mapping feature. here:

https://indesignsecrets.com/solving-word-workflow-problems-with-style-mapping.php

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Explorer ,
Jun 10, 2019 Jun 10, 2019

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Thanks, Jonathan!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 10, 2019 Jun 10, 2019

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Hi Marie:

Addressing the best practices question—depending on the length of the book, I would break it into smaller chapters and pull them together in the book file. As stated above, you don't have to, but I do mostly book work and find it easier to work with chapters.

Other best practices:

  1. Design with template frames and linked master pages
  2. Use variables and auto-numbers for the running heads
  3. Define paragraph and character styles for all formatting
  4. Generate a table of contents from the paragraph styles
  5. Sync formatting from one chapter to the others for consistency
  6. Let the book handle the page and paragraph numbering

Unfortunately, I have bad news on the x-refs—they do not translate from Word to InDesign, yet. It's a good feature request for a future version.

Adobe InDesign Feedback

~Barb

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Explorer ,
Jun 10, 2019 Jun 10, 2019

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Thanks a bunch, Barb! I was afraid I'd get bad news re the Word cross-references. I'm guessing that there must be a way to recreate them in InDesign. Will hunt later.

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 20, 2021 Nov 20, 2021

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I'm writing a nonfiction book about my family history. I'm about half way done and have written so far in MS Word. I realize now that this can't be my final manuscript as it includes a great number of photos. I'm on my 7th chapter with about the same number to go. Fortunately each chapter is a separate document. I'm wondering now if I should import the 7 chapters into Indesign and finish the book there. Or should I write in word without images and import as I'm done with each chapter. My dilemma is the large number of high resolution photos I want in my final book. I understand that if I import my present Word chapters, images will not only be in line with text but will be only thumbnails and also need to be removed before replacing with high resolution images. Have you published any tutorials or have advice on how I should proceed? My final book will maybe be 400 pages and 400 photos. I would also like to print a 8.5x11 book. 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 20, 2021 Nov 20, 2021

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How many pages are you talking about? If more than a couple of hundred, I'd create separate chapters as individual documents and use the ID Book feature. 

 

Do not import the graphics with the Word document; place them after you get the text imported and formatted. 

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 20, 2021 Nov 20, 2021

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Each chapter is 25-35 pages. Book will have 16 chapters for a total of 400+ pages. The 7 chapters already written each have about 25 images in the document. Should I make copies of each chapter and delete images before importing? And then should I finish writing book in Indesign or write in Wird snd import?

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 20, 2021 Nov 20, 2021

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Each chapter is a separate document. 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 20, 2021 Nov 20, 2021

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I was replying to the original post. You may want to start your own post to get answers directly. 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 20, 2021 Nov 20, 2021

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LATEST

Thanks to David Creamer!

I learned something new and began an experiment.

In Word you can import a picture from a file.

Insert > Picture > Insert Picture from > This Device > Insert button (which has a triangle drow-down list)

You can Insert or Link to File or Insert and Link

Save and close that Word .docx

 

1. Now do a InDesign > File Place > Show Import Options...

If you Inserted an embedded file into Word in the usual way, the Microsoft Word Import dialog box can bring the text in along with embedded graphics. Great, but maybe later you relink to higher rez graphics, which is work.

2. If you InDesign > File Place > Show Import Options...

If you Linked to the picture file in the Word docx, you get ... NOTHING! Waaah!

3. If you InDesign > File Place > Show Import Options...

If you Insert and Link in the Word docx, you get an embedded graphic again, like in situation 1.

 

I was not expecting the behavior or situation 2 and 3.

Mike Witherell

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