Converting local formatting to character styles with a script
Video: Converting local formatting to character styles with a scriptWhen you're confronted with a Word document that has lots of local overrides, the one thing you want to do is to save the local overrides that you want by converting them to character styles. And then, that way it's a lot easier to get rid of the overrides that you don't want with all sorts of different methods in InDesign. In a previous video in this chapter, I showed how to do that manually with Fine Change. Now I want to show you a couple scripts that will help, and these scripts are free! Yay! I'm including, some of them in the, exercise files, and I'll show you, a webpage where you can download them as well, if you don't have the exercise files.
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Many designers used Microsoft Word and Adobe InDesign together, but the unique formatting and hidden markup in Word often cause issues when you bring text into InDesign. In this course, learn how to make these programs play nicely together and create beautifully formatted documents from existing text. Author and InDesign Secrets creator Anne-Marie Concepción shows how to clean up your text formatting, strip out Word styles and map them to InDesign ones, place Word document elements in InDesign, and fix the formatting once the text arrives. Plus, learn to repair corrupt Word files and explore alternatives to Word such as InCopy and Google Docs.
- Understanding the differences between InDesign and Word styles
- Identifying which formatting attributes transfer and which don't
- Controlling text formatting when cutting and pasting
- Placing Word files in InDesign with the Import Options dialog box
- Linking to Word files for automatic updating
- Working with footnotes, hyperlinks, and tracked changes
- Learning best practices for fixing text formatting
- Extracting embedded images and converting Word art
- Converting local formatting to character styles with free scripts
- Round-tripping to InDesign RTF to clear out file corruption
- Syncing Google Docs with InDesign via DocsFlow
- Converting Word docs to InCopy for fast and accurate formatting
Converting local formatting to character styles with a script
When you're confronted with a Word document that has lots of local overrides, the one thing you want to do is to save the local overrides that you want by converting them to character styles. And then, that way it's a lot easier to get rid of the overrides that you don't want with all sorts of different methods in InDesign. In a previous video in this chapter, I showed how to do that manually with Fine Change. Now I want to show you a couple scripts that will help, and these scripts are free! Yay! I'm including, some of them in the, exercise files, and I'll show you, a webpage where you can download them as well, if you don't have the exercise files.
Here is our Word document, you can see that everything is done in Normal. With overrides. And if I turn on Show Direct Formatting Guides, oh my goodness, look at all that, overrides. Let's jump to InDesign, where we have a waiting document with some paragraph, styles, and some character styles, and will flow in this document. So, I go to File place, go down to the document that we want, is the one that is normal, normal meaning normal formatting, normal style.
We want to remove the styles and formatting but preserve the local overrides. But unfortunately, in this case, that means all sorts of overrides, like type size differences and font differences. Now, let's look at the script that I wanted to use and you can find your scripts by going to the Window menu, going down to Utilities and choosing Scripts. Earlier versions of InDesign, have that under the Automation file menu toward the top. And the scripts I'm going to show you, I'm in CC. As far as I know they work from CS4 or 5 all the way to CC.
I didn't write these scripts, I got them elsewhere with their free, and the ones that I'm looking at are preptext, and then a couple called PerfectPrepText and one called ShowTextOverrides. The one that you use for an instance like this, where you have text that you have not yet styled in InDesign, or that has no paragraph styles that you want to retain. It's all normal. The one script that you run is called preptext. And this has been around for a few years. It was written by John Weir/g. And all it does is it goes through the document and it finds everything that's bold, italic, bold italic, superscript and so on and it creates character styles for you and it applies them, yes! Let me make this larger so you can see what's about to happen and we'll click inside here and double click preptext the end.
Is that fast or what? See up here, this has bold character style applied to it, and this has the italic character style applied to it. Notice that it ignored the existing italic character style. If there were one that had a capital I, it would have used that one. It created one for bold italic, it created, look at this! It created one for bold, underline plus small caps. Now it did not include the color. It just left the color as is. If you take a look under character color, it doesn't specify a color, which is interesting.
It just specifies, the case. But it also, I had a little guy right here, here it is. I have a little superscript, it made one for the superscript as well. Now what you can do is click in any paragraph and if I just click Body, you see that we have some other local formatting that we don't want, but we can easily just Option or Alt+click on body style and it will get rid of all the local overrides but keep our character styles. Yay! So you can do this to the whole document. No more fine changing just use preptext. Now, what about the other one? Let me, Revert. And talk about one you'd want to use PerfectPrepText.
I'm going to, show you this other document that I have, it is the same content except that somebody has gone to the trouble of applying Styles. So we have body text, we have heading two, and so on. The problem with preptext is that it's meant to be run on un-styled text. It will sometimes do too good of a job with styled text, and will apply character styles, on top of, paragraph styles, that are unnecessary. So, in that case, let's go ahead and, flow the, styles text. We'll click Open, and this time you want to Preserve Styles and Formatting.
And Shift > Click, to pour it all in. And see, if we ran preptext here, and by the way, before you run any of these scripts, you should always save. That way, if something goes blooey, you can revert back to it. 'Cuz some of these scripts, especially the free ones, they do like 300 steps, and in order to undo, you'd have to undo each of those 300 steps. So, let's go ahead and do that, I'm going to do a Save As to this document. And we'll call it "2". Watch what happens when I double-click "preptext". Oop, I didn't have an insertion point, so I have to click inside here and then double-click, there we go. So it did create character styles, small caps and super, but look at this paragraph style, it also applied a character style called "Bold". Right, so we don't want Heading 2 plus a character style, that's kind of crazy. It's not really meant for this, it'll do the job but it might bite you in the end, let's put it that way.
So I'm going to Revert. Okay. And now this time instead of running, (INAUDIBLE) we don't have the character style applied. But what we do want to do is we want to create character styles for things like, me walk, up here and that's when we use this other script written by a friend of mine named Peter Carl, called PerfectPrepText. There is one called Do and one called Ask. I can show you a webpage that explains the difference but essentially, just use the one that says Do. So click inside the text frame. Double-click the one that says Do. The end. But basically, if you were watching it tore it apart, removing all of the styles. Created and applied the character styles it needed to and then put the paragraph styles back.
And what's nice is that it didn't apply the bold character style to this heading because it was already bold. That's whats so perfect about PerfectPrepText. I explain the differences between these in my InDesign secrets post from last year called; PerfectPrepText: a smart way to style local formatting and explain the difference and have download links for you. And if you don't know how to install scripts our website at www.InDesignsecrets.com will also tell you. By the way, I have this one other script that's wonderful called; Show Text Overrides, and I've already installed it and watch what it does.
Let me Revert. You don't want to undo. And if I go to the Type menu, you see it added a menu item called Show Text Override. And if I select it, it's really great. It goes through the document and it puts this non-printing highlighting on everything that it overridden. So it's an easy way for you to check to see if you've gotten all of the direct formatting and replace them with character styles, a nice little clean up thing. That is a free script that I've downloaded, I can't really distribute it, from a friend of mine named Harbz /g, who runs a company called "in-tools.com," and if you go to in-tools.com, just look for "Scripts".
And he's got one called Showing Text Formatting Overrides with a download link and that also works in earlier versions of InDesign as well as CC. So when you're confronted with either a very messy Word document with lots of local overrides or one that's perfectly styled, but you still want to apply character styles to the local overrides. Be sure to check out and work with these wonderful scripts, and they're free!
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