IDML and data merge: Converting to IDML destroys some data merge fields

New Here ,
Feb 23, 2021 Feb 23, 2021

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Using InDesign 2021 on Windows 10.

Background:

We are working intensively with data merge and it works well. For translation purposes we need to convert the INDD-files to IDML-files: Trados, the programme, the translation agency is working with, does not accept the INDD-format but IDML only.

 

Problem:

When converting the INDD-files to IDML-files some (appox. 50% or less) of the Data merge fields are destroyed. This bug can be reproduced, the destroyed fields are always at the same position. See attached document as example: The PDF-file shows the result after the conversion from INDD to IDML - the head- and bottomline of the pages starting from page 3 are corrupt.

 

Is this a known bug? Is there a solution for this?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 23, 2021 Feb 23, 2021

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Hi Paul,

can you see the issue if you open the IDML file that you exported from InDesign 2021 without going through Trados?

If no, you should ask the translation agency for a solution.

 

( Did not have the time yet to look into your InDesign document. )

 

Hm. Can you provide the corresponding IDML file before it went through Trados and also the IDML file that you get after the translation software was used?

 

Regards,
Uwe Laubender

( ACP )

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New Here ,
Feb 24, 2021 Feb 24, 2021

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Trados was just part of the background information. The problem emerges after saving the file(s) from IMDD to IDML.

 

It seems to me to be a problem of the IDML format. We had the same problem with previous versions of InDesign.

 

Now attached also the damaged IDML file with addotations in the PDF document.

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New Here ,
Feb 24, 2021 Feb 24, 2021

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Have troubles attaching the IDML file. I try again. Hmm, it does not work. Also a zip-file ist not supported.

 

But the bug is easy reproducable. Download the IMDD file that I uploaded and safe it as IDML. The result will be the same as shown in the attached PDF above.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 24, 2021 Feb 24, 2021

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Hi Paul,

I can see the issue. No idea why this does not work for the data fields on the third page.

 

Workaround: To fix the issue one could copy/paste the text frames from the initial document to the one that is created when the IDML file is opened with InDesign.

 

Do you know if the text frames holding the data fields on page 3 are perhaps duplicated or copy/pasted from the ones on page 1 or2? Does it work if you delete both text frames, draw out new ones on page 3 and add the data fields from the source of your Data Merge panel? ( I cannot test this because I have no access to the data source text file. )

 

Can you see similar issues with other InDesign documents prepared for data merge?

 

Regards,
Uwe Laubender

( ACP )

 

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New Here ,
Feb 25, 2021 Feb 25, 2021

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Workarounds are possible. We are also working on a script that should manage to go through all IDML-documents after conversion and should be able to repair all broken fields.

 

The issue is that we are working with a big amount of documents. This is just - in terms of the amount of pages - a very limited example. Normally we are dealing with 10 - 20 documents, total 40 - 100 pages per translation request. We noticed that this bug is happening regularly, even though we think that we are working very clean and professional with InDesign.

 

I wonder if somebody else noticed this issue, an IDML conversion bug combined with data merge. (If yes, this could be a bug to be reported to the Adobe Support. Maybe a bug in the IDML conversion engine.)

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 25, 2021 Feb 25, 2021

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Hi Paul,

I cannot go into details now, perhaps next week, but I discovered a lot of bugs affecting data fields that are stored as IDMS files and IDML files as well. I'd need some hours to get back to them and explain the details. Also wrote some scripts that could repair the broken data fields. But, as I can recall, not in all cases.

 

Regards,
Uwe Laubender

( ACP )

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New Here ,
Feb 25, 2021 Feb 25, 2021

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Sounds interesting. Looking forward to next week...

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New Here ,
Mar 03, 2021 Mar 03, 2021

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Hello Uwe, did you have time to take a look at your documentation of data field bugs? As a workaroung the script for repairing the fields would also be very helpful!

 

Kind regards,

Paul

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 03, 2021 Mar 03, 2021

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Hi Paul,

what I can tell from my research in 2020 is this:

 

The bug is old. It can be seen even with InDesign CS6 8.1.0

IT AFFECTS ALL HYPERLINKS WITH TEXT SOURCES AND URL DESTINATIONS.

And that implies hyperlinks with data merge URL destinations as well.

 

Still, I have to do some tests with your InDesign document.

 

Regards,
Uwe Laubender

( ACP )

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 03, 2021 Mar 03, 2021

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Also looked up a discussion I started at InDesign Prerelease in June 2020.

 

From that I can see, that ( quoting myself  ) :

"All is well with hyperlink and destination definitions in designmap.xml of the IDML container.
So I came to the conclusion that the bug is with the IDML interpretation process when the IDML file is opened."

 

That means, you may not be able to fix the issue by editing the IDML files.

You have to fix the issue after you opened the IDML file in InDesign.

 

The cause of the issue is a bit strange:

Duplicated text frames, copy/pasted text frames, where hyperlinks are used with text sources and URL destinations.

 

Regards,
Uwe Laubender

( ACP )

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New Here ,
Mar 03, 2021 Mar 03, 2021

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What about the script you nominated? Is this available?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 03, 2021 Mar 03, 2021

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Hi Paul,

my script was able to fix the issues in the exported and re-opened IDML file from your 5a General Information DE.indd document. For further tests I need more IDML documents to test. The ones that come back from your translation service. We should discuss this in private, because I will not share the script in public.

 

Contact me through the Private Message function of the forum to exchange details.

Just click my name and send a message with the button "Send a message".

 

Thanks,
Uwe Laubender

( ACP )

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