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What if you want to export a story, that is all the text inside of a frame or a bunch of text frames threaded together. The trick is to place the text cursor inside the frame before you choose Export from the File menu. So, I'll grab my Type tool, click inside this text frame, go to the File menu and choose Export. When you do that the Export dialog box gives you several formats that you don't ordinarily get. For example, you can choose InCopy Document. That makes an ICML file, which is appropriate to send somebody who's using Adobe InCopy.
Another option is the InDesign Tagged Text format. Tagged Text is used rarely these days, but it's an interesting idea. It's a way to represent all your text formatting using special tags inside of a text-only document. That text-only document could be read by any text editor or even imported into a database. A third option is the Text Only file format. It just saves the text, no formatting, nothing special. You just get the words. But the one that I used most often is Rich Text Format, an RTF file.
RTF is used by almost every word processor in the world. So, you could open this RTF file in Microsoft Word or WordPerfect or pretty much anything and it will save as much of the text formatting as it can. Obviously, those programs don't have all the typographic features that InDesign does, but most of the formatting comes across, like font size and so on. Of course, while all of these file formats have their pros and cons, sometimes the best and fastest way to get some text out of InDesign is the simplest. Just copy it and paste it into another program.
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