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InDesign to Export RTF file - Which is the best Options (Tagged Text or RTF)

Explorer ,
Mar 12, 2024 Mar 12, 2024

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Hi All,

Here is my query, Can you anyone suggest which is the best options to export the InDesign to RTF file. 

I am using javascript to export the file, but I faced some issues for inline images are missing. Please refer the screenshots as below.

InDesign File input is the below screenshot:

InDesign.png

InDesign to Export RTF used has Tagged Text format is the below screenshot: Here all the inline images are missing while generating the RTF file it's replaced with the space.
 
Tagged_Text.png

InDesign to Export RTF used has RTF format is the below screenshot: The problem is some of the inline images are generated in the RTF file, some cases are not generated in the RTF file. What is the issue. All the inline figures are tif file format.

RTF.png

Your suggestion and ideas are much appreciated!


TOPICS
Experiment , How to , Import and export , InCopy workflow , Performance , Print , Publish online , Scripting , SDK , Type

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Community Expert ,
Mar 12, 2024 Mar 12, 2024

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There are no good paths to getting completely "clean" text out of InDesign. Any control or formatting characters peculiar to ID will be exported as the sort of random characters you're seeing.

 

The only sort-of method for getting any quantity of text to an exported, editable form is to export the ID doc to PDF, then use Acrobat Pro to export that document to Word — and it won't be a lot easier to work with, but it won't have as many glitchy glyphs in it.

 

If the amount of text isn't huge, you can also cut and paste the content into a Word doc, cleaning up line breaks and so forth as you go.

 

There are also tools that export ID content to Word directly, but they're not free and may not be worth the cost for a single export job. Just export to "best" and manually clean up and reformat the content.


╟ Word & InDesign to Kindle & EPUB: a Guide to Pro Results (Amazon) ╢

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Community Expert ,
Mar 12, 2024 Mar 12, 2024

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Hi @suntech, you might need to do some experimentation. I did a quick test: I exported selected story as HTML (gives lots of options, such as keeping original graphics) then from my browser I did Select All and Copy, and Pasted it into TextEdit (I'm on MacOS) and it seemed to do what you are asking. But that might be a direction you could explore—export html and convert html to rtf? Note that, on MacOS at least, .rtfd with embedded images is actually .rtfd.

- Mark

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Community Expert ,
Mar 12, 2024 Mar 12, 2024

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I guess there are endless permutations of export to one format or another, then export or capture from that format to save as a standard format. But for anything but what's already a clean text flow, there is likely to be garbage and broken formatting requiring line by line review and editing. ID to PDF to Word seems to be the most reliable method although it does require repair of the many line-breaks that PDF uses to control text flow — but a simple Search and Replace of all line breaks with spaces should do a 'mostly' job of restoring the text.

 

Export to HTML would probably work as well, depending on how many other elements are embedded inline.


╟ Word & InDesign to Kindle & EPUB: a Guide to Pro Results (Amazon) ╢

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Explorer ,
Mar 13, 2024 Mar 13, 2024

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@James Gifford—NitroPress I need the paragraph and characters styles as used in the InDesign, while export PDF and convert to WORD that is not workout for my request.

Anyway thanks for looking my post!

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Community Expert ,
Mar 13, 2024 Mar 13, 2024

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As the answers to this question always begin, there's no good way to get content back out of InDesign. It simply does not use any universal format that can be easily extracted or converted. You have to work from RTF snips, usually using scripting, or export to IDML and use tools that can work with that format (as is often done for translations, for example) or invest in the one Word/InDesign roundtrip app, which can be costly for one or a few projects.

 

But ID is almost completely a one-way application; content goes in and doesn't easily come back out.


╟ Word & InDesign to Kindle & EPUB: a Guide to Pro Results (Amazon) ╢

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Explorer ,
Mar 13, 2024 Mar 13, 2024

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@m1b thanks for looking into this post.

But i can't go with this options, because i'm using the word document for roun-tripping so it's not work-out to Export HTML and Convert to Word.

There are more un-wanted cleanup will have place in tool. And moreover I export the RTF file along with the styles and images caption and tables. 

The only issue is inline tiff images not come out, but i tested the JPG and PNG file format it's work and placed the inline images into the RTF file.

Thanks for sharing your ideas!


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Participant ,
Apr 29, 2024 Apr 29, 2024

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Several others have suggested export via PDF but stylesheets do not transfer well and tables are often a big problem as well. I have been developing a script that uses the "Article" mechanism to organise the export text into the correct order and then export the entrie article as a single RTF document. However, this is currently not handling embedded or linked graphics. Text already exports beautifully and styles and tables come through as desired. Will update this conversation as soon as I have sorted out the image issue …

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Explorer ,
Apr 29, 2024 Apr 29, 2024

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@Tim Sheasby 

Even if we go with the Article panels options user has to order the page elements one by one in every page items. Linked stories no issue, the problem is when multiple stories in the one pages that is the issue to order the elements that is visually we can identify easily, but scripting wise we have to do [x,y] that is also not good to order the page items text frames.

But in this case i request to user give the script lable and sort out the issues.

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Community Expert ,
Apr 29, 2024 Apr 29, 2024

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quote

@Tim Sheasby 

Even if we go with the Article panels options user has to order the page elements one by one in every page items. Linked stories no issue, the problem is when multiple stories in the one pages that is the issue to order the elements that is visually we can identify easily, but scripting wise we have to do [x,y] that is also not good to order the page items text frames.

But in this case i request to user give the script lable and sort out the issues.


By @suntech

 

What EXACTLY is your end goal? 

 

Export InDesign's document by element's order on the pages - including anchoring "side elements"? 

 

Kind of ePUB but as RTF? 

 

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Participant ,
Apr 30, 2024 Apr 30, 2024

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My usecase is to export the stories for my clients so they can edit the text and return the updated document. For text only this is working very well as creating the article is relatively quick compared to export via PDF and cleaning up the resulting document. Or, we would previously copy/paste text from the InDesign document into the final word document. This could take hours and using the Article route is about 10 times faster. But I still have to resolve the images issue. Even converting the images into inline PNG or JPG files does not seem to be working – I am still getting just the text. So yes, this is similar to ePUB. Does anyone know of an ePub to Word conversion process we can look at instead maybe?

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Community Expert ,
Apr 30, 2024 Apr 30, 2024

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@Tim Sheasby

 

How about InCopy?

 

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Community Expert ,
Apr 30, 2024 Apr 30, 2024

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LATEST

+1 for InCopy. This just seems like a ton of unnecessary work but also work that leaves you with more room for errors. An InCopy-only subscription is only $5/month.

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Community Expert ,
Apr 29, 2024 Apr 29, 2024

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@suntech

 

Have you tried converting your linked graphics to something "simpler" - JPEG / GIF / PNG - relink and then try again? 

 

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Explorer ,
Apr 29, 2024 Apr 29, 2024

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@Robert at ID-Tasker 

I replaced all the EPS file into JPG file format, then export to RTF all the images are present in RTF file.


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Community Expert ,
Apr 29, 2024 Apr 29, 2024

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@Robert at ID-Tasker 

I replaced all the EPS file into JPG file format, then export to RTF all the images are present in RTF file.


By @suntech

 

Great. 

 

EPS isn't exactly "widely popular" image format. 

 

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Community Expert ,
Apr 29, 2024 Apr 29, 2024

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You should never use EPS on the first place in modern times. PDF/X-4 has replaced EPS.

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Community Expert ,
Apr 29, 2024 Apr 29, 2024

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You should never use EPS on the first place in modern times. PDF/X-4 has replaced EPS.


By @Willi Adelberger

 

The problem isn't in exporting as EPS. 

 

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