From InDesign to Frame: The Beginning

As I mentioned in my last post, my next task for my internship is to take the workshop materials that were created in InDesign and bring them into FrameMaker.  This process has a number of different steps involved:

  1. Get text from InDesign to FrameMaker, in such a way that preserves as much formatting as possible.
  2. Run the Edufont removal script.
  3. Check to make sure that paragraph/character styles/formatting are mapped correctly, and fix any errors that show up as a result of importing from InDesign.  Also fix any issues that came up as a result of running the Edufont removal script.
  4. Re-insert images into anchored frames.
  5. Make sure everything looks its best and that there are no other errors, publishing-wise, in the document.

So far, I’ve completed step one: getting the text from InDesign to FrameMaker.  I tried a few methods, to see which would work the best and preserve as much of the formatting as possible.

Export from InDesign as HTML: This was the first method I tried.  While the export created an HTML file that looked pretty close to the original materials, bringing it into FrameMaker gave results that weren’t what we were looking for.  I needed to use Structured FrameMaker, a version of FrameMaker that allows import of XML files and other types of files to create digital documents – there was no specific method for importing HTML, so I ended up adding an XML declaration to the top of the file and saving it as an XML file instead of HTML – this allowed it to import, but not without errors – and definitely without formatting.  This method included images, but considering there was no formatting whatsoever, it was decided that bringing HTML into FrameMaker wasn’t the best idea.

Export from InDesign as a Rich Text File: The next method involved saving the InDesign documents as Rich Text Files, where I then copied and pasted the resulting text (which kept its formatting, for the most part) into our new FrameMaker template.  This resulted in text that mostly kept its formatting (although the resulting text wasn’t mapped to existing paragraph/character styles) but did not include images.  Despite the issues that popped up, it was decided that InDesign to RTF to Frame was the best method of getting the content from the materials where we needed it to be.  We decided that we would redo the screen captures for the materials and reinsert them, at the same time adding alternate text for the images to describe the contents.

So far I’ve completed step one of the process – and Greg, the materials coordinator, will be running the materials through the Edufont removal script today – which means that I’ll be tackling step three soon.  That looks to be one of the more time-consuming steps, as I know that none of the styles are mapped correctly, but it’ll be good reinforcement for knowing what paragraph and character styles to use for specific parts and tasks in the materials, and help me get more acquainted with our new template.

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