Style maps behaving strangely in InDesign CS4

6 11 2008

How weird, the style mapping for importing word docs to InDesign CS4 seems to be really flaky.  

I’ve done a lot of things; originally I just plonked my old SMP files in to CS4’s word import presets directory – that didn’t work.  It picked up the smp file upon import, but when I viewed the style maps all the mapping info was simply not there.  Needless to say the mapping didn’t work in the slightest after placing the word doc.

So, attempt two; I manually re-created the style maps, saved a new preset file, and placed my word doc in.  No go again – completely ignored what I’d told it to do.

So I’m wondering, ‘maybe there’s some style map conflicts’.. So I go to place the doc in again; and see that there was only minimal conflics, say 3 conflicts, when about 15 styles didn’t map – so that didn’t add up.

I checked the presets that I’d created in attempt 2, and just like attempt one, everything I’d already entered in was gone.  Weird.

So, I re-created again, attempt number 3.  I then looked at the SMP files in dreamweaver, since they’re basically just XML.  The XML had all the info in, but still the maps didn’t work as they hadn’t in attempt 1 and 2.  I decided to replace the XML with my old XML – that didn’t work either.

I dunno what’s going on with it, but it’s got issues.. until I get to the bottom of it I’m very un-impressed.

Cell padding in InDesign

13 08 2008

We had a fair few hiccups in our overall Word to InDesign conversion recently (see previous posts regarding study guides and InDesign).  One of the problems involved table and cell styles in InDesign not applying the specified cell padding!

This was really frustrating, because even though you’d applied the table/cell styles to the tables in the document, you still had to manually add the cell padding in.  .. and yes, cell padding is entered in on the cell style specs so there’s no reason I can think of why it’d get ignored.  It is possible that the settings from Word were overriding the cell specs.. That’s probably all it was actually.

Anyway, a solution was found by trawling through the Adobe InDesign Exchange for third party scripts.  I ended up finding ‘TableStyle’, which was fantastic.  It lets you specify a whole range of table formatting, and does a selection or an entire document automatically.  All I had to do was copy the script into InDesign’s script panel directory and voila, double click on the scrip from the automation panel in InDesign and the whole document is done.

The only tweaking I did was to edit out the code which updated table borders and colours, since they interfered with our existing table styles.  That was only a quick 1 min javascript edit though.  Easy!

Overall I’m impressed by the scripting capabilities of InDesign, I’ll be looking in to what else we can do in the future to get around various problems.