Convert Indesign(.indd) File into Word (.docx )?

Amzad Mohammad
Amzad Mohammad used Ask the Experts™
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Hello All,

Is it possible to convert an Indesign file ( i.e. CS 5.5, CS 6) into a Word document (.docx)?

Please help me out how it can be done and what will be the steps for the same?

Thanks in advance....
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Pawan KumarDatabase Expert
Awarded 2016
Top Expert 2016

Commented:
First export your INDD file to PDF and then export to word.

Step 1 .File -> Export -> Adobe PDF
Step 2. File -> Save -> Microsoft Word
Amzad MohammadSoftware Professional

Author

Commented:
Is it possible through Java??

Can we generate code for that?
TomMicrosoft ISV Partner

Commented:
Saving direct to Word is not an option in Indesign.

Best results is:
In InDesign: Export to PDF X1a with normal prepress settings
In Acrobat Pro:  Save as Other Word document (under Options, choose retain layout).
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Amzad MohammadSoftware Professional

Author

Commented:
I think doing manually is not a big deal, till now I am working in the same way, Is it possible to do it in JAVA or in any other coding preferences.

Because for me the numbers of the file and the size of Indesign file is in a large manner.

What will be the right procedure for that?

Thank you...
Pawan KumarDatabase Expert
Awarded 2016
Top Expert 2016

Commented:
I am not very sure if you can directly do that but first convert to pdf and then to word is possible. You may need to visit the following references for that.
https://graphicdesign.stackexchange.com/questions/18796/indesign-script-to-print-indd-into-pdf
https://stackoverflow.com/questions/17986305/how-can-i-convert-pdf-file-to-word-file-using-java
TomMicrosoft ISV Partner

Commented:
Yes you can using Adobe ExtendScript ToolKit (saving to pdf)

Good place to start is https://forums.adobe.com/community/indesign/indesign_scripting
Amzad MohammadSoftware Professional

Author

Commented:
I already use these criteria but changing into pdf isn't right way for me because most of the time the data lost its existence (i.e the font, the page margin, paragraph spacing and the math-pi special characters).

So conversion is not appropriate that's why I am preferring JAVA for that.

Thank you...
TomMicrosoft ISV Partner

Commented:
As far as I know there is not existing any perfect solution with Java.
You will have conversion errors. Word format is highly complicated to deal with.
Pawan KumarDatabase Expert
Awarded 2016
Top Expert 2016

Commented:
Agree with tom. here or there you will face issues while converting things via code.
Amzad MohammadSoftware Professional

Author

Commented:
Not agree with Tom and Pawan because,


I am facing issues in my past that's the reason I wanted to code it, I got the success by using AppleScript and JavaScript into the JAVA, but its seems issues (which are traceable) somewhere. And wanted from others if they have some better option.

Anyways thanks for your efforts.
Top Expert 2016

Commented:
You didn't say whether the Word result needs to be editable
Amzad MohammadSoftware Professional

Author

Commented:
Editing isn't required because,
I need the same file as it appears into Indesign would be same into the resultant word file.
Top Expert 2016

Commented:
So, then the general strategy is to export as a print format and import into Word as a print format. pdf should do it
Amzad MohammadSoftware Professional

Author

Commented:
This is not the right way for me...

Please read above comment (ID: 42281675).

Thank you...
Top Expert 2016

Commented:
I already use these criteria but changing into pdf isn't right way for me
So you're saying that InDesign isn't saving/exporting  pdf properly? Or is something else not doing it right?

Your least fallible method is probably to export and import as a picture. You could probably script InDesign to export as jpg and then create a Word document containing that jpg.
Jim RiddlesPrepress/OMS Specialist

Commented:
CEHJ,

First, let me say that I understand your pain.  We have had clients request this functionality from us in the past, and there simply exists no silver bullet solution for this process.  That said, there is a plug-in that you may find useful.

ID2Office

They have a demo available so you can try it before having to purchase it.
TomMicrosoft ISV Partner

Commented:
Jim,
Did you read the comment on Youtube?

Bear Roebuck For 5 md. ago
Try the demo before buying this $199 piece of software. Also, read the fine print at the bottom of Recosoft's website that lists all of the elements that may not convert correctly.
This was a big disappointment for me as the number of items that were wrong in the converted Word document outweighed any time savings that I was hoping for by doing my layouts in InDesign.
Fonts were wrong, styles were a mess, all photos on a page were rendered as a single image, tables were totally messed up and had inconsistent fonts throughout.
Jim RiddlesPrepress/OMS Specialist

Commented:
Tom,

Well, I wasn't on Youtube, so I don't see how I could have read any comment there.  As was previously stated, "there is no silver bullet for converting from InDesign to Word".  They are two completely different applications targeted at completely different users.

I suppose if someone wanted to delve into the inner workings of the DOCX format, they could figure out what it takes to make a correctly formatted Word document.  Then, with adequate scripting experience, you could examine your InDesign document and try to convert it.  Someone could make themselves quite a bit of money if they could successfully create such a solution.
Top Expert 2016

Commented:
I think there's a misunderstanding about the requirement. Please look at this post

What is required is to make a Word document that looks the same as the original InDesign file. That can be done with an image. Styles and fonts issues disappear

Oh, and Jim - i can assure you i'm in no "pain" at all. I'm just commenting on someone else's issue ;)
Jim RiddlesPrepress/OMS Specialist

Commented:
My post here: a42281968 was intended for the author, and not CEHJ.  My apologies to CEHJ.
TomMicrosoft ISV Partner

Commented:
Jim

I was just clicking on your link, and they have the YouTube video on their frontpage. "Play on YouTube" and there you are.

I agree this type of program would have been quite profitable :-) but coming from a background dealing with  Microsoft products as an ISV partner I can also imagine how many versions you must have of the program for the different Office versions, including all the updates.
So for sure I'm not going down that rabbit hole. :-)
Amzad MohammadSoftware Professional

Author

Commented:
A very good morning guys,

After all the heavy discussions I AM AT SAME PLACE WHERE I WAS STARTED,

Let me first clear the picture that what I am trying to do currently and what issues I am facing:

step i) Firstly, I have an InDesign file, I am exporting this InDesign file by the help of APPLESCRIPT & JAVASCRIPT into Java.
step ii) That gives me an RTF file of that particular InDesign file.
step iii) Now again, with the help of script I am converting this RTF file into Docx file, but sometimes it lost the data which I mentioned above.

So I need a better solution especially in data & time-saving manner (because using the scripts in JAVA takes more time usually).

Thank a lot  ( especially CEHJ, JIM Riddles, TOM).
Top Expert 2016

Commented:
step ii) That gives me an RTF file of that particular InDesign file.
That is new information. And a problem. An RTF file is essentially a set of instructions (you can see them if you open one in a simple text editor) such as which fonts to use for a given paragraph. If those fonts are not available at the next stage then it will already be looking quite different. That's just one example. Add to that the fact that rtf is an old and relatively primitive format, then you're almost certainly going to run into trouble. You might find you're already in trouble even at the end of stage one.

I'm not going to tell you what I would do, as i've already told you several times
Jim RiddlesPrepress/OMS Specialist

Commented:
Mohammad Amzad,

I can appreciate that you are frustrated.  However, as we have all told you, there is no way to automatically convert an Adobe InDesign document into a MS Word document.  Although there are ways to convert a file, the formatting will rarely match perfectly.  These two applications are so very different.

You have indicated that there is no need to edit the final Word file.  If that is true, then why go through the trouble to convert those files into MS Word?  Anytime a client needs a file for viewing only, we supply a PDF.  It is universal, and matches the native design perfectly.  What is your client's use case for needing these files converted into MS Word?
Amzad MohammadSoftware Professional

Author

Commented:
Hello JIM Riddles,

Firstly, Please tell me the name of the guy who is telling you I am in such PAIN & FRUSTRATED too related to this query?

Secondly, I am getting InDesign file and I have to export it into DOCX (after that client will make changes into it, that's why I need the DOCX file) that is the client's basic need. (Because sometime client also guide to change the Font i.e. into TimesNewRoman and highlight the Callouts etc.).

And I think this is possibly the better way to do it in Docx file rather than
YOUR PDF file
...(Right JIM)

I fulfil 70-80% of the requirement, so I need some of the help from your side,  

However, as we have all told you, there is no way to automatically convert an Adobe InDesign document into a MS Word document.

Inspite of degrading my motivation(respectfully, being a very stripling in front of you), and I know I'll surely Automate InDesign into MS word soon.

So please suggest me with some positive response(if any) rather than these negative thoughts.

Eagerly waiting for your quick and eulogistic reply.

Thank you.
TomMicrosoft ISV Partner

Commented:
Mohammad,
Please kindly understand where we are coming from,
We are here out of free will with a true wish of helping out if we can.
So our comments is based on what we know and what we are able to do from our experience.

The payment we get from doing this is nothing, only the good feeling about helping out a fellow colleague in need.

So far the answer from the ones who have participated has been more or less in the same conclusion "it can't be done perfectly"

And I'm pretty sure  this will be the final answer to your question. Again this is coming from my knowledge only.

If you can come up with a better solution I'm 100% sure we would like to hear about it, as this will help many people in a similar situation.

Wishing you good luck in the search. :-)
Amzad MohammadSoftware Professional

Author

Commented:
Dear TOM,

it can't be done perfectly.
.

Really inspiring.

Thank you.
TomMicrosoft ISV Partner

Commented:
No one will be more happy than me, if you prove me wrong :-)
Amzad MohammadSoftware Professional

Author

Commented:
Believe me, I am not here to prove someone "WRONG".

Anyways, where I should arrange a party for the succession of this query???

I know
I can
do this"..
TomMicrosoft ISV Partner

Commented:
That's what I like to hear! Love your spirit, now go out and do it.
Pawan KumarDatabase Expert
Awarded 2016
Top Expert 2016

Commented:
Exactly :)
Top Expert 2016

Commented:
Editing isn't required because,
I need the same file as it appears into Indesign would be same into the resultant word file.
Secondly, I am getting InDesign file and I have to export it into DOCX (after that client will make changes into it, that's why I need the DOCX file)
??!
I think it might be time for me to leave this question ...
TomMicrosoft ISV Partner

Commented:
Houston we have a problem..
Jim RiddlesPrepress/OMS Specialist

Commented:
Mohammad Amzad,

The tone of your comments suggests to me that you are frustrated.  The pain that I refer to is the pain of trying to solve your problem.  It does not refer to literal pain.  You have indicated that you have a mostly working solution, however you have not shared any part of your working solution to show where you are having the specific issues.

I, and I am sure the others, never intended to dissuade you from achieving your goal.  You asked a question, and we answered from our experience.  You have provided contradictory information.  Telling us that there was no need to edit the file before eventually stating that the file needs to be editable.

All of that being said, I did some more research this morning, and found a site that converts PDF to RTF format.  The conversion was very nice on a test document that I created with two text boxes with an image in between.  Give it a try.  http://pdfonline.com/
They appear to offer an API that can e used in Java, as well.
Amzad MohammadSoftware Professional

Author

Commented:
I think you are unable to find what I wanted to tell you (that's why you are taking it as contradiction information). As the matter of fact, I am not having any issues with the current code (it's running well) rather than sometimes the data lose its existence which is a big deal for me.

I am working for it and INSHA-ALLAH will do it surely.

but if anyone read my starting comment (With comment ID 42281651), you will find what I want exactly before diverting me somewhere else.

Eager to know some better and easier solution that's why I raise this question...
And JIM I am enjoying my work (without any pain) and will let you know after completing this task.

Thank you.
Jim RiddlesPrepress/OMS Specialist

Commented:
I object to the way this is being closed. The author's question was answered numerous times, by several of the participants.  We can't help if the author is unhappy with the answer.
Scott FellDeveloper & EE Moderator
Fellow 2018
Most Valuable Expert 2013

Commented:
The question was, "Is it possible to convert an Indesign file into a Word document?" and that has been answered. InDesign -> PDF -> Word is the common workflow.

Subsequently, the additional directive of doing this in Java was added. I am not a Java dev and this is beyond the scope of my knowledge, but there is an SDK you may be able to utilize.  http://www.adobe.com/devnet/indesign/sdk.html  

As stated, you can export as a PDF file.  You can also export to HTML. Either will allow you to open in MS Word. I have downloaded the sample scripts that are in vb and javascript and can confirm this is available.

What you would want to start with is the link I provided, there you can click on the link for whichever sdk you want to use. Then you will see zip files for Server, plugins and scripting. Go through the documentation and start generating your own scripts to do what you need. As you get into trouble and need help, post a new question for each problem you run into. Make sure to include your code and specific errors.

Personally, if all you are looking to do is have somebody else make edits, that is what InCopy is for, You can have your InDesign users export for InCopy, then allow editors to make copy changes only leaving the design in tact. That is going to be the easiest work flow. I would also add you can use creative cloud to manage usage rights of the file and collaborate.

Best of luck on this.
Pawan KumarDatabase Expert
Awarded 2016
Top Expert 2016

Commented:
I think we should divide.
Jim RiddlesPrepress/OMS Specialist

Commented:
I want no part of this question.  Do as you see fit,
Amzad MohammadSoftware Professional

Author

Commented:
Hello All,

Sorry for late response. As suggestion given in the comment ID https:#a42300145 has already endeavoured. After augmentation, the code reaches towards some success but a bit of common hindrance was there which I want to share like (Tables are missing, and somewhere text it is not finding properly after bullets) Please find attachments.
TestRTF.rtf
TestInDesign.png
Top Expert 2016

Commented:
TestRTF.rtf
I explained HERE why not to use RTF
Amzad MohammadSoftware Professional

Author

Commented:
Hello CEHJ,

Initially when I started this conversion. I am not able to get Tables, Boxes, & sometimes text also but now somewhere I am getting it. Hope after some more positive efforts will surely get all the missed data in the same RTF format.

Thanks anyways.
Amzad MohammadSoftware Professional

Author

Commented:
Thanks a lot for your kind concern.

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