Searching imported text for styling?

Enthusiast ,
Dec 26, 2021 Dec 26, 2021

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Just wondering if there's a way to "automatically" detect styles for imported text.

Example:

I have been given a Word document with lots of manual styling.

I'd like to import the document, pick a "typographical landscape feature" (e.g. a Section Heading) based on styling, and then search any content with the same styling and apply styles to it.

The catch here is that I'd like the style settings to be entered automatically in InDesign search (GREP I assume?)

OR... something like being able to click mid-text, and tell ID "find everything like this"!

Even better - would there be a way to identify each unique imported style (whether manually set or using a style) from Word?

--

Is there a way to do this? I realize that I could enter type styling setting manually, but trying to avoid that...

 

thanks!

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Community Expert ,
Dec 26, 2021 Dec 26, 2021

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Hi @turner111 ,When you check Show Import Options in the Place dialog there is an option to map incoming Word styles to existing InDesign Styles

 

 

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Enthusiast ,
Dec 26, 2021 Dec 26, 2021

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Been there 🙂

That's why I'm asking - with lots of articles coming in, all being written / edited by different folks, it gets... complicated.

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Community Expert ,
Dec 26, 2021 Dec 26, 2021

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There are a few approaches, and the one Rob provides is good. However... I have found that really messy Word docs are best cleaned up in Word, using consistent styles and Word's search and replace and so forth, rather than dragging a big mess into ID and trying to fix it there.

 

Word is a very capable tool at basic 'word processing'— and ID really isn't. Maybe if you master scripts and so forth, but use the better tool for each end of jobs like this.

|| Word & InDesign to Kindle (& EPUB): a Professional Guide (Amazon)

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Enthusiast ,
Dec 26, 2021 Dec 26, 2021

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This is essentially how I've been doing it for the past 3 books - I've created a Word doc full of styles, and provide it to my client. They have a small team that takes original content, applies the styles, then sends it my way.

(Side note: great trick: use colors for all styles so that you can, at-a-glance, determine if something has been styled...)

 

Anyway - even with this - there is a TON of invisible/missing/incorrect formatting submitted.

Fingers crossed for Adobe to start bringing ID up to speed with AI (uh... not Illustrator... 🙂 ) to screen / sort incoming styles, and a CSS Style Sheet-approach for global book styles!

thanks

 

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Community Expert ,
Dec 26, 2021 Dec 26, 2021

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No AI is going to replace the generationally-ingrained model of using Word like a box of fingerpaints. I have dealt with very sophisticated, demanding clients who needed to maintain or originate docs in Word and were very picky about formatting and a clean process to get the pieces to publication (through ID)... and if you so much as used the word "styles" they'd throw a temper tantrum on the floor—too hard, not necessary, I was just trying to get them to do my job for me, etc. Sigh. Double sigh.

 

The trick with coloring styles is  a good one, though.

 

I've never found a solution better than trying to enforce styles and then using a whole rack of cleanup and reformat methods (macros, etc.) in Word before importing the document. ID is just not as strong as Word at such text polishing. But it sounds like you've been around the block on this.

 

My worst case fix is this: export the Word doc to PDF and then strip the whole doc to Normal or Body. Clear everything, scrape out the white spaces, and start with, more or less, an old-school manuscript. Then import to ID and use the PDF as the formatting guide—or even do clean basic formatting in Word first.

 

That, or keep a Ken Griffey Jr model bat around to knock some sense into these clients. 😄

|| Word & InDesign to Kindle (& EPUB): a Professional Guide (Amazon)

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Community Expert ,
Dec 27, 2021 Dec 27, 2021

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@James Gifford—NitroPress wrote:.

 

My worst case fix is this: export the Word doc to PDF and then strip the whole doc to Normal or Body.



Why go to all that trouble when you can save as plain text! 

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Community Expert ,
Dec 27, 2021 Dec 27, 2021

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Because plain text loses everything but the characters, which is far too low a level for this process.

 

The export to PDF is to give a visual guide for re-formatting, so that you can reconstruct the author's intent.

 

The strip of all styles is to eliminate not only endless fixing in ID, but to kill all kinds of hidden problems that will choke a clean export to PDF, EPUB etc. from the new ID document, even if the reformatting appears to be flawless.

|| Word & InDesign to Kindle (& EPUB): a Professional Guide (Amazon)

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Community Expert ,
Dec 26, 2021 Dec 26, 2021

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I agree with NitroPress--do the clean up in Word using this feature:

image.png

Then apply the correct style to the selections. 

If the formatting is consistent from document to document, you can record a macro. (Much easer recording a macro than writing a script for some of us...)

 

Another tip: you can remove all manual formatting by selecting all the text and typing Control-spacebar (on Windows). Note that this will remove character styles too--leaving only paragraph formatting. 

David Creamer: Community Expert, Adobe Certified Instructor, and Adobe Certified Expert (since 1995)

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Enthusiast ,
Dec 27, 2021 Dec 27, 2021

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Thanks again David -

I'll take a look at this and perhaps the client's team will give it a go. However, the formatting, while generally consistent, still contains lots of blips.

One of the challenges is keeping italics intact, and there seems to be a fairly diverse blend of the way it's been applied 🙂

 

cheers

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Community Expert ,
Dec 26, 2021 Dec 26, 2021

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There's a few things I do in these situations.

 

There's a good article here 
https://graphic-design.com/2013/03/12/indesign-tricks-from-hergeekness-cleaning-up-those-nasty-ms-wo...

 

Another thing would be to use a Script

https://creativepro.com/perfectpreptext-a-smart-way-to-style-local-formatting/

This finds text to be changed to Italics, Bold etc. and applies character styles.

 

And then using the Paragraph/Character Style Override Highlighter is essential

https://helpx.adobe.com/indesign/using/paragraph-character-styles.html#:~:text=Highlight%20character...

 

Once you've removed the Blue override highlight text you know you've completed that section.

It's great for long documents - as you immediately know where you finished before. 

 

And another great tool for these things is a Text Comparison tool.

This will compare your Word File to the exported PDF from InDesign - and let you know if text attributes are not matching.

There's a few free ones and there's expensive ones - so it depends how far you want to go.

 

https://draftable.com/compare

 

to more robust solutions

https://www.schlafenderhase.com/products

 

 

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Enthusiast ,
Dec 27, 2021 Dec 27, 2021

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Thanks Eugene -

I've been using the "blue highlighter" pretty heavily, and making corrections pretty heavily as well!

Thanks for the links, too. Some of these look pretty good. Fact is, if it's something I'm going to continue to use, the cost gets factored in over time, so it may be a good deal.

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Community Expert ,
Dec 27, 2021 Dec 27, 2021

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Anne-Marie Concepción has produced a new LinkedIn Learning video training course that may be helpful: "Collaborative Workflows for Editors and Designers". You can get 30-days free access: https://www.linkedin.com/learning/collaborative-workflows-for-editors-and-designers/the-benefits-of-...

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Community Expert ,
Dec 28, 2021 Dec 28, 2021

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Hi turner111,

sometimes I find it helpful to highlight texts where certain paragraph styles are applied to.

I do that with a tool that is using a property of the paragraph style that is not exposed to the GUI, but can be accessed by scripting. It's been a while that I used it, so I'm not sure if it will still work with the latest versions of InDesign, but here it is:

 

StyLighter 1.4 for InDesign CS4/CS5/CS6/CC
Marc Autret, November 22, 2013

https://www.indiscripts.com/post/2013/11/stylighter-1-4-for-indesign-cs4-cs5-cs6-cc

 

Supporting article:

https://creativepro.com/style-highlighting/

 

For more technical details, see the original article with an earlier version of the script:

https://www.indiscripts.com/post/2012/05/the-hidden-way-to-highlight-styles

 

Regards,
Uwe Laubender

( ACP )

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