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Is there a way to automate or simplify this?
I have a very long, long Word doc filled with a thousand course descriptions titles (the bold part, below) composed of THREE elements: the course #, the course title, and the Credits. It looks like this:
The InDesign file, however, needs to look like this:
The trick is that half the Course Title is now AFTER the Credits. In effect, in InDesign, the type looks like: AC 2050 The Art of Creating Online 3 credits Content
To get that effect, I have started pasting a table before each listing, and then cutting and paste the three elements into it like this:
The obvious problem is that I am very likely to introduce errors doing it this way, and also it will take an extremely long time to do this manually.
Is there a way to import this or style it somehow to simplify or automate this styling?
To make matters worse, the formatting in the Word doc is messy and inconsistent. There's no differentiation between the Course # and Course Title, and between the Title and Credits it's a messy mixtures of spaces and tabs (see below), so anything I import into InDesign is going to also be weird.
Looks like the text is in a table and that's what makes it wrap. increasing the width of the cell for the course name or using a smaller font is what needs to be done to fit it on a line… or convert the table to text to remove the constraints of the cell.
To clean up tab, doubble tabs and multiple spaces to the same symbol use find change (with GREP if you are comfortable with that, otherwise it is a great oppertunity to learn GREP). You would also probably look to clean up so that you consistently just gave a return after the word credits. Cleaning text is a standard chore.
I agree with Lukas
Start by cleaning up the word file
There's a GREP in the Edit>Find/Change (CTRL F or CMD F)
Go to the GREP tab and look for the remove multiple spaces
After you've done this - all the double spaces/double tabs etc are removed from the file.
Next, you need to find the Course title and the credits and reintroduce clean tabs
Based on your sample file a GREP change for the courses would insert the appropriate tabs for the table
^(AC \d+) (.+?) (\d+ (?=Credit).+)
This replaces the spaces with tabs
Based on your current text - if the courses don't start with AC throughout - then a different approach is required.
However, this sets up the use of your convert text to tables.
Highligh the entire Text and choose
And you'll notice the table autosizes to the correct width of the text frame
Then you can manually adjust the Table
There's a few scripts out there for Resizing Tables
You might find it useful.
Let us know if there's other information you require - or perhaps a more complex search for course titles.
There's some excellent GREP experts on the forum who I think are fantastic and really helpful.
I can do some basic GREP searches but there are ingenious ways.
"Convert Text to Tables" was what I needed.
And there it was – right below "Insert Table" – and I had never noticed it and never used it before.
Formatting the file took some tricks, but once I got those tabs in place, I could make my tables without all the cut and paste. Incidentally, did you know that the row widths are created to match your tabs? Amazing.
Yes, I knew that - but with different lengths of text I figured you'd want different widths.
Anyway - glad it's working 🙂