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Restoring text with multiple stories into InDesign (Read 10809 times)
bobkatz
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Restoring text with multiple stories into InDesign
03/03/11 at 00:54:03
 
I'm very glad to have found TextExporter! Great product. As an author, now I can work with my editor without having to buy both of us InCopy and continuing to use our MS Word workflow. It's been a long journey, we started in Word, then to QuarkXPress for the 1st and 2nd edition, then via Markzware Q2ID exported all the chapters to Indesign for the 3rd edition. I'm glad to be rid of Quark.

Now, for the 3rd edition, I've successfully exported each chapter of the second edition of my book to MS word. Each chapter contains multiple stories. It would be nice if TextExporter marked the divisions between the stories with some kind of a marker, but it's not too bad, it's pretty easy to see where they break up. My question is what procedure do you recommend for reimport back to Indesign on a story-by-story basis. Should I copy a story into a temporary file and then do an import into that story in ID? Is it that simple? Not too bad with chapters that really don't have that many stories.

Thanks for a great set of products, I'm bound to buy more Rorihiko as I'm a big fan of productivity! Smiley
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Kris Coppieters
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Re: Restoring text with multiple stories into InDesign
Reply #1 - 03/03/11 at 16:44:10
 
Hi Bob,

Thanks for the encouragement! What you're asking for is essentially part of the reasoning that made us create StoryTweaker.

TextExporter is really a one-way street: we're doing our best to get the text out of InDesign in a reasonably usable state, but without worrying about the fact that people might want to re-import the text.

Because you're not the first to ask for a re-import, we designed StoryTweaker - which is still very much a work-in-progress.

StoryTweaker has been growing and building for a while - we have a reasonably usable stable version, and we've been hard at work on the next version. We do have a beta of the next version available, and this beta is actually a lot more capable than the latest stable version, but also, the beta is nowhere near finished yet - it's a pretty sizable undertaking for a small company like ours, so it takes time.

StoryTweaker is all about 'round-trip' - getting text out, allowing people to edit it without incurring additional costs for InCopy or similar, and getting edited text back in so it flows back into the layout, to the exact same spot as where the original came from.

Our initial 'imaginary target user' would be using it for translation (so you get English out and flow French back in, so to speak, and the French text goes where it is supposed to go) - but it can be applied in all kinds of situations where people who don't own InDesign need to make changes to the text of an InDesign document.

Because StoryTweaker needs to keep track of a lot of stuff to allow for re-importing, nor text nor RTF is a suitable format and we initially started using a home-grown XML-based format. We provide a freely distributable editor (called AssignmentTweaker - it comes with the StoryTweaker software) for these files (because 'raw' XML is too hard to edit).

For the next official release of StoryTweaker, we'll drop support for the CS3 version of InDesign and switch to IDML instead of our own version of XML (because from CS4 onwards, we can use IDML which is similar to what we attempted with our own XML file format, but also much more complete).

I suggest you check out StoryTweaker:

http://www.storytweaker.com

Using StoryTweaker for document translation:

http://www.rorohiko.com/wordpress/?p=59

Using StoryTweaker for text edits:

http://www.rorohiko.com/wordpress/?p=1060

I suggest you look at the beta. Do keep in mind it's a beta - it's not finished yet!

Cheers,

Kris
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bobkatz
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Re: Restoring text with multiple stories into InDesign
Reply #2 - 03/04/11 at 04:27:08
 
Dear Kris (Mate!). Without bothering to read the StoryTweaker Documentation, can you tell me if it's going to be able to work with Indesign styles. I'm a big fan of using microsoft word to define styles, even if they don't have the final or the right look, it gives the editor a bit of an idea of what the intent is going to be on the finished printed page. That's what the rtf workflow enables. So if your StoryTweaker XML workflow will allow using ID styles, and an editor and writer to (economically) share the editing process, I'll be happy. But I'll tell you, using textexporter is not a bad thing at all!
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Kris Coppieters
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Re: Restoring text with multiple stories into InDesign
Reply #3 - 03/04/11 at 08:32:17
 
Hi Bob,

Yes, StoryTweaker works with ID styles - I think it'll do what you need.

AssignmentTweaker-using editors are not allowed to create new styles, but they can use whatever styles the layout designer has prepared in the ID document. Especially if the style sheets have been sensibly named, using them should be easy.

It works with a sort of 'style painter': when editors add new text, it takes the same style as the 'surrounding text' but if necessary, editors can apply ('paint') styling based on any of the styles that have been used in the document.

Keep in mind: StoryTweaker is NOT fully WYSIWYG, nor will it ever be. You can see close visual approximations of text styling in the AssignmentTweaker editor. Pretty much the same as the RTF text mimics the InDesign text styling - you see bolds, italics, font changes (if font is available, of course)...

But as a small company we're not in a position to create a fully self-contained InDesign document rendering/text flowing engine.

Once an editor starts making text changes or additions, he won't be able to see how that text will eventually 'flow' over the pages - recalculating the text flow over the pages is postponed until the text gets back from StoryTweaker into InDesign, at which time the layout designer can make layout changes and do copy fitting and so on.
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bobkatz
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Re: Restoring text with multiple stories into InDesign
Reply #4 - 03/07/11 at 05:40:15
 
StoryTweaker sounds like a good idea. Please let me know when it gets out of Beta. Maybe I'm lazy, but I don't want to rock the boat. I'm having good success with TextExporter. And we may be doing an ebook instead of a printed book next time, so the entire layout and style sheet situation will seriously change.  Sad
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