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How can I open Indesign (indd and idml) Files in Publisher?

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1 hour ago, CraigB said:

I've read all the apologists about a 'maybe later' IDML import. Unfortunately I (and a couple of other book designers I spoke to) don't want to keep 2 tools around for publishing: it's inefficient. And, for us, the single missing feature in Publisher is an import feature for documents created in the software against which Serif is trying to compete (and against which they actively market with their 'no subscription' mantra).

Serif know who their competitors are. For us to accept that they failed to position themselves as a viable upgrade is silly. Few professional designers can afford to make a wholesale change to their workflow without the ability to reuse and update old projects.

To head things off at the pass: I did attempt to import a few PDFs but the imports were quirky at best - and unusable in many instances. Orphaned lines of text within paragraphs, odd page sizes, unlinked text frames...basically impractical for anything beyond a flyer or poster. And doing a copy/paste from INDD is fraught with possible problems - such as the day INDD stops working with MacOS (and that day is coming).

I completed 5 book projects since Affinity released Publisher and could not, in good conscience, produce any of them in a software that may not make it into widespread production. Affinity must set Publisher up to directly compete with INDD and part of that is the ability to import--and create--interchange formats. 

I updated the beta again today in hopes the IDML import feature would have been implemented since the last time I looked. After a test I ultimately deleted the app.

I'll look at it again when Serif announces IDML import functionality (with a comparable interchange export functionality). Hopefully CS6 won't stop working with a future Mac update or I'll be going back to Quark (who added IDML import late last year). If I incur the significant one-time cost to move to Quark I will have little reason to consider Affinity Publisher for a very, very long time.

Try this:

  1. Open PDF instead of importing. You will get Publisher ready material but without styles.
  2. Link text boxes.
  3. Copy/Paste the text from InDesign to the end of the (now) Publisher file. This should bring you the text styles from InDesign.
  4. Now, delete the (second) imported text from step 3 because you got the styles.
  5. Apply the styles to the text.

Best regards,

Petar Petrenko
Typesetter, Graphic Designer, Photographer
Skopje, Makedonija

Windows 10 x64 Pro
Dell Inspiron 7559 i7
Intel Core i7-6700HQ (3.50 GHz, 6M )
16GB Dual Channel DDR3L 1600MHz (8GBx2)
1TB HDD + 128 GB SSD Hard drive
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In 199x? Apple switched to system 7. Killed several apps. People did what they had to. 2000 along cane a total revamp OS X which killed MANY apps.  We all did what we had to do.  In 2003 I finally switched to InDesign from Ready set go.  In my head I thought this will be hell. Thousands of files.  But when it came down to it. I did what I had to do.  Starting over wasn’t as bad as I thought. In fact as with many things you do a better job the second time.  What it came down to was InDesign was far better in some ways than ready set go. I still miss many things in ready  set go and OS9.  If Affinty comes up with something magical, easier, faster. I’m sure adobe will be right on it if it’s legal.  That said we all have our needs. As Tourmaline points out.  Not to forget the $69 purchase vs a $500 Quark or an adobe monthly fee choice.  Affinty seems like a great company. “With it. On it. Caring.” I hope it works out.  We know that if Affinty continues to grow, one day there will be something out there to read the InDesign files.  Wether it be by Affinty or a third party. 

Even though adobe does not even have indd files that are readable by  older versions. So is it possible for another company to ever have the ability to import /export back and forth freely if even adobe does not? It has been said here that this is very difficult if not impossible with InDesign   To a certain extent Photoshop yes  illustrator yes (save as older versions and even open newer with restrictions)  InDesign no - so there must be a reason   The .idml thing sucks if you use CC.   

As with any tool we all have our different needs. I’d like to see where we all are ten years from now. 

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12 hours ago, Petar Petrenko said:

Try this:

  1. Open PDF instead of importing. You will get Publisher ready material but without styles.
  2. Link text boxes.
  3. Copy/Paste the text from InDesign to the end of the (now) Publisher file. This should bring you the text styles from InDesign.
  4. Now, delete the (second) imported text from step 3 because you got the styles.
  5. Apply the styles to the text.

I agree that IDML import is essential. Serif has put off the release of Publisher beyond their original target date in order, as they say, to implement important user feature requests. Presumably this will include IDML import capability. It will make Publisher far more viable, as pretty much everyone on this forum have stated.

Meanwhile, I don't know where you get the idea that Adobe will be leaving the Mac platform. Sounds like FUD to me. As for CS6 not working with the next version of macOS, since you're working on a Windows PC I don't understand your concern. The fact is, however, that the next version of the Mac OS, to be released in late 2019, will be incompatible with InDesign CS6, which is a 32 bit app. Of course, no one is obliged to upgrade to the latest OS version. Which is why I'm looking at Publisher. As long as you're using a Windows machine you won't have to worry about Quark. According to the stats at the end of your post you're already running on a 64 bit platform which can, apparently, still use 32 bit apps. As far as I know, Microsoft has not yet specified at 64 bit only version of Windows. Though that day may come eventually. Then you'll have to look at Quark Express—if Publisher doesn't get IDML import.

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6 minutes ago, Whitedog said:

I agree that IDML import is essential. Serif has put off the release of Publisher beyond their original target date in order, as they say, to implement important user feature requests. Presumably this will include IDML import capability. It will make Publisher far more viable, as pretty much everyone on this forum have stated.

Meanwhile, I don't know where you get the idea that Adobe will be leaving the Mac platform. Sounds like FUD to me. As for CS6 not working with the next version of macOS, since you're working on a Windows PC I don't understand your concern. The fact is, however, that the next version of the Mac OS, to be released in late 2019, will be incompatible with InDesign CS6, which is a 32 bit app. Of course, no one is obliged to upgrade to the latest OS version. Which is why I'm looking at Publisher. As long as you're using a Windows machine you won't have to worry about Quark. According to the stats at the end of your post you're already running on a 64 bit platform which can, apparently, still use 32 bit apps. As far as I know, Microsoft has not yet specified at 64 bit only version of Windows. Though that day may come eventually. Then you'll have to look at Quark Express—if Publisher doesn't get IDML import.

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Best regards,

Petar Petrenko
Typesetter, Graphic Designer, Photographer
Skopje, Makedonija

Windows 10 x64 Pro
Dell Inspiron 7559 i7
Intel Core i7-6700HQ (3.50 GHz, 6M )
16GB Dual Channel DDR3L 1600MHz (8GBx2)
1TB HDD + 128 GB SSD Hard drive
UHD (3840 x 2160) Truelife LED- Backlit Touch Display
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M 4GB GDDR5

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On 12/27/2018 at 6:51 PM, mgincnj said:

Really?  There's a great deal of conflicting info on the web about this.  Many complaints from folks who upgraded and can't run it.  Any thoughts on why it worked for you?  I've been reluctant to move to Mojave from High Sierra as a result.

It is possible some Mojave setups do not run CS5 but generally there is no real trouble. You just have to install legacy java (to make licensing work?) I think OS even prompted to install it as it detected software that needed it to run.

About IDML/INDD import: It sure would make work easier to many designers, but recreating layouts is not very difficult. Most of the time is spent on thinking how to present things and that was already done in earlier INDD design. Repeating that design in Publisher does not take too much time (provided Publisher can do it in the first place,..) and probably will be adjusted even better that second time.

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On 12/29/2018 at 5:25 AM, Fixx said:

It is possible some Mojave setups do not run CS5 but generally there is no real trouble. You just have to install legacy java (to make licensing work?) I think OS even prompted to install it as it detected software that needed it to run.

About IDML/INDD import: It sure would make work easier to many designers, but recreating layouts is not very difficult. Most of the time is spent on thinking how to present things and that was already done in earlier INDD design. Repeating that design in Publisher does not take too much time (provided Publisher can do it in the first place,..) and probably will be adjusted even better that second time.

One solution is to load an older version of the macOS into VMWare Fusion or Parallels Desktop and run your 32 bit apps from there. That's what I will probably end up doing, supposing I can find the serial numbers when I reinstall the apps. Besides the cost of Fusion or Parallels there is the question of whether you have enough RAM to run InDesign in as well as a guest OS.

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2 hours ago, Whitedog said:

One solution is to load an older version of the macOS into VMWare Fusion or Parallels Desktop and run your 32 bit apps from there. That's what I will probably end up doing, supposing I can find the serial numbers when I reinstall the apps. Besides the cost of Fusion or Parallels there is the question of whether you have enough RAM to run InDesign in as well as a guest OS.

I'm currently running CS5 ID and PS in a Parallels 14 macOS Sierra VM along with another critical app that stopped working in High Sierra. Runs fine on my iMac. Just create the VM using a USB drive containing the Sierra install app, then restore your new virtual HD from a Time Machine backup. No need to install the apps again.

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I though of that. But it requires a lot of space on your hard drive for a VM with your entire system in it. That's fine on an iMac with a large internal drive, say 1TB or more. But on a Mac laptop that solution is unlikely to work. And most Macs are now laptops. Which is why I didn't suggest it. But thanks for the solution. I'm sure it will be useful, as I haven't actually done the procedure and would have had to propose it theoretically; and, as I'm sure you know, theory doesn't always work in practice. So now we know it can be done, and how to do it.

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I'm DISmayed at the number of DISSes here for a beta app. 

Patience, people; patience.

Indd and idml import capabilities are important to me, too, just for the record, but I wasn't surprised to find out they are not yet included in the app.

Thanks to all at Affinity for your hard work. I'm certainly not writing you off, yet.

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8 hours ago, KenzDen said:

I'm DISmayed at the number of DISSes here for a beta app.
Patience, people; patience.
Indd and idml import capabilities are important to me, too, just for the record, but I wasn't surprised to find out they are not yet included in the app.
Thanks to all at Affinity for your hard work. I'm certainly not writing you off, yet.

Only someone who is completely amalgamated can react with such foresight and magnanimity ;-)


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On 12/27/2018 at 6:40 PM, CraigB said:

I completed 5 book projects since Affinity released Publisher and could not, in good conscience, produce any of them in a software that may not make it into widespread production. Affinity must set Publisher up to directly compete with INDD and part of that is the ability to import--and create--interchange formats. 

If you think that a software in version 1, which is being developed with a lot less manpower, and costs a lot less, can immediately out of the box compete with a software which is being developed for 20 years, is in version 14 now, costs a lot more, and is being developed with a lot more manpower, then i want to know from which planet you are coming.

Affinity Photo can't compete with Photoshop either, in terms of features, and ease of use. Don't get me wrong, i think Affinity Photo is a great program, and total overkill for me as a mere hobbyist, but... Photoshop is a whole different caliber. Everyone with half a brain to be able to judge that will tell you that. That's fine though. It's another market. Affinity products are semi to pro, while the Adobe products are used by students around the world to get to a professional level, when they get into a job.

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47 minutes ago, chakko007 said:

costs a lot more, and is being developed with a lot more manpower, then i want to know from which planet you are coming

Sometimes a smaller number of people focused on a task with minimal administrative overhead can accomplish more than a large number of people who need to jump through hoops to get anything approved to take place and then keep stepping on each others' toes.

 

Sure Photoshop and InDesign have more features, but that isn't always a good thing.  There are plenty of times when it is possible to do more with less.

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6 minutes ago, fde101 said:

...There are plenty of times when it is possible to do more with less.

Sometimes more is more. More capabilities is just that, more. Anything else are work-arounds to less. Less always takes longer to accomplish a design idea, which means one works harder to accomplish the same thing, or one is forced to change design parameters.

Personally, I like more.


My computer is a nothing-special Toshiba laptop with unremarkable specs running Windows 10 64-bit.

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3 minutes ago, MikeW said:

Sometimes more is more.

Sometimes, yes.

There is a balance to be struck: if there are 500 ways to do the same thing will someone just randomly pick one and stick with it (in which case the others go to waste) or spend hours trying to decide which one to use even though any of them would have taken only a few seconds?

Do I need to sift through 600 menu options to find the one that I am looking for?

Do I need to spend several months learning to use a program effectively when I need a grand total of 3 of its features?

 

Having more *useful* features is a good thing so long as the overhead of learning those features does not outweigh the benefits of those features.  Having more bloat that slows down the program, gives more options to sift through when looking for the one that is needed at the moment, and increases the learning curve without adding significant benefit...  that is another story.

 

So less can be more, and more can be more, depending on what it is less or more of.  I don't believe there is a one-size-fits-all solution for any of this.

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No one wants a bazillion ways of doing something or 600 menu options.

But, in the context of this thread, importing IDML is a better route than opening a PDF for editing. In wider consideration, being able to do X function is better than having to be creative to figure out a means of working around a non-existent function.

Layout work can be a complex task. Having functions to do that is better than not having said functions.

At the same time, Serif needs to work on the UI. Who really wants to go to a text menu in order to import a text file? It should be the same Place menu item and that would in turn remove one of those "600 menu option" you are concerned about.


My computer is a nothing-special Toshiba laptop with unremarkable specs running Windows 10 64-bit.

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1 hour ago, MikeW said:

No one wants a bazillion ways of doing something or 600 menu options.

But, in the context of this thread, importing IDML is a better route than opening a PDF for editing. In wider consideration, being able to do X function is better than having to be creative to figure out a means of working around a non-existent function.

Layout work can be a complex task. Having functions to do that is better than not having said functions.

At the same time, Serif needs to work on the UI. Who really wants to go to a text menu in order to import a text file? It should be the same Place menu item and that would in turn remove one of those "600 menu option" you are concerned about.

Indeed. Especially in light of the PDF import issues mentioned in this forum. It may work for a quick and dirty edit, but PDF import doesn't actually work very well and is all but useless for long, complex documents. IDML import is probably the best option. Of course a copy and paste that included all styles and formatting from the original document might be preferable. That has worked with MS Word for a very long time, which is one reason it has remained a primary document source. But it might not be possible with InDesign. From what I've read in this forum, IDML import is the only viable option.

Of course the most desirable option would be the ability to open an InDesign document directly in Publisher, with all style sheets and formatting preserved, but that seems implausible. So IDML import it is.

Up till now placing content in InDesign documents has been my end point. Witch meant getting my text into Word and then into InDesign. If Publisher is to replace InDesign in the future, that means, for me, a different end point, as clearly it does for many other potential users of Publisher. There are innumerable users who cannot afford Adobe any more. And there are many others who want to overcome their dependence of the Adobe ecosystem, for one reason or another. Serif seems the way to go if one wants a well integrated suite of apps, as we have gotten used to with Apple and Adobe. It seems to me that publisher will be the capstone of this suite, if it can do the job.

If I were younger, I would jump to Affinity Photo and Designer as well, but I no longer have the energy, or the necessity, to learn such heavy duty apps. My career is winding down. Still, while I don't do much image editing any more, I still write a lot. And sometimes I like to use some style and pizzaz. So a basic text editor is not enough. If I can more away from InDesign, that would be a good thing, for me, anyway. YMMV. 

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On 12/27/2018 at 12:40 PM, CraigB said:

I've read all the apologists about a 'maybe later' IDML import...

...

I'll look at it again when Serif announces IDML import functionality (with a comparable interchange export functionality). Hopefully CS6 won't stop working with a future Mac update or I'll be going back to Quark (who added IDML import late last year). If I incur the significant one-time cost to move to Quark I will have little reason to consider Affinity Publisher for a very, very long time.

There's no need to carelessly classify another as an "apologist" to diminish their credibility and recognition of the reality. Nobody can expect to effectively import ID design data if you don't have the Affinity features ready yet to support features coming from ID.

If you're old enough, look back to the advent of ID. It had a very crude PM and QXD importer. ID users most often had to recreate their legacy documents. ID has never had a QXD importer beyond version QuarkXPress 4 and the PM imports (from Adobe's own software) have always been garbage. Adobe had huge resources to develop importers with ID1 (and all subsequent releases) but still did not live up to our current expectations of Affinity.

As you know, each page layout developer intentionally limits the interchange of their documents. We recognize this as "vendor lock in". Instead of blaming developers for not being able to read/import, we can blame ourselves for choosing a proprietary format.

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Everyone's needs are different. Let's not forget that Publisher is still in Beta! Affinity seem pretty good at listening to their customers, so let's see what happens when it becomes commercial - I can't wait!

I hated the transition when I still had files in Quark which needed to be updated, and had started working in InDesign for all my new projects. As time went on, I opened Quark less and less until I stoped using it completely.

Very occasionally I received Quark files from clients, and needed to be able to edit them. After a lot of digging about, I came across Markzware's Q2ID which does a pretty good job at converting things.

I really don't want to have to upgrade InDesign as CS5 works fine for my uses. I looked at Quark 2019, and for me it's not moved on. There were real problems with dialogue box positions, and even though I still use Quark shortcuts in InDesign, it felt very clunky. Markzware now offer a converter so you can convert InDesign CC to CS5+ so that will suffice for now. 

There will be a need for converting files from InDesign, and Quark, to Affinity Publisher, although converted files are not always 100% accurate. If Affinity don't make it an integrated feature then perhaps perhaps Markzware or someone else will.

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2 hours ago, 3Dshark said:

I looked at Quark 2019

How did you manage that?  As far as I can tell 2018 is still current.

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In my case opening old ID files in Publisher would be somewhat useful only for some select serial publications that i layout, and only to save some time during the initial switch. Back in the day, when i started using ID, it seemed important that it could open old PageMaker files, but the conversion most often required so much cleaning up, that starting from scratch would have been just as easy (or cumbersome, depending).

Now I've found that copying text from existing ID projects and pasting it into Publisher brings the styles along. This is more often than not quite sufficient for me, as the design principles of the two programs are somewhat different, and things nevertheless have to be updated and adjusted. I understand that for very complicated files IDML import could be a benefit, but then again, the conversion would probably not be a hundred per cent accurate, so a lot of work would still be necessary. So for me, the lack of IDML import is not a dealbreaker for a first version of Publisher.

Transitions are always a bit messy, but keeping two programs around is in my opinion not a problem. I even have an old system 9 installation with PageMaker on an old G4 Mac. I  have never, ever actually opened PageMaker since I switched to ID, but hey - just in case…

More important will be the ability to open 32-bit ID CS6 in the rare cases it will be necessary in the future. So as MacOs progresses, I'll probably keep the Mojave installation with ID around on a separate disk.

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I believe it would be a very good idea to support import/export of indesign files. I have a lot of these, but are more than willing to switch from Adobe to Affinity if I could keep on working on my stack of INDD documents.

 

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3 minutes ago, MEB said:

Affinity Publisher will not support .INDD files but will be able to import IDML files.

IDML import won’t be available in version 1.7, will it? I’ll be pleasantly surprised if it’s available before version 2.0!


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