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Extracting Word Files (RTF) from InDesign

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Melissa Higey
Extracting Word Files (RTF) from InDesign
on Apr 17, 2008 at 9:59:14 pm

I am looking for some advice. At my company we create paging files in InDesign, and after the project is completed, we need to extract an RTF Microsoft Word file of the text ONLY, maintaining all Word paragraph/character styles. We do this so that clients can edit the text in Word for future versions of the product. The Word file will be edited and then poured back into InDesign at a later time.

Here is our current process:

1. Open InDesign paging file. Create a new empty InDesign file.
2. Copy and paste all text from original file into new file (which is cleaner - our files are usually VERY full of photos/margin items/art/footnotes), inserting text call outs for Figures and Photos. All margin text/footnotes go at the end of the Word file.
3. Clean up file, stripping out formatting. Set everything as Times, 12pt, double space.
4. Export to Word for final clean up.

Basically this is an extremely time consuming process, which we are looking to speed up. Anyone know of any programs that could help us out? Plugins? Basically, we need something automated (wishful thinking) that could "read" certain styles in InDesign and perform an action on them, such as, grouping them together.

Any ideas/suggestions? Thanks!

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Kelly Johnson
Re: Extracting Word Files (RTF) from InDesign
on Apr 26, 2008 at 1:54:06 am

I might be a little confused. Have you tried setting up styles in Word that match exactly (same name as well) as those in InDesign?

At a publishing company I used to work for, we set that up so styles in both programs would be the same and very little clean up was needed when importing/exporting the doc between the two.

XML is a possibility, but I'm not real hip on how or what the latest Word can do with xml.

Another way, although the upfront time would be more, is to set up a web-based form with fields that correspond to the products that Title, sub-head, description etc.

Then, that information can be parsed into xml and flowed into InDesign fields that you set up to receive xml content which would already have the styles applied.

That's kind of involved to set up, but again the place I worked for had that set up so guest authors could submit their articles via the net from anywhere in the world and the information came into InDesign with tags for stylesheets and it was automatically applied.

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