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

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38 minutes ago, dcrosby said:

Standardization is cool. Open standards are better. So mp3, obj, html, jpg, png, css, apache, Linux etc. are great and have probably moved the creative industry forward more than any proprietary formats.

Sure, but there is a lot more to an open standard with a page layout program then there is for an mp3, or image files. For an open standard to work with IDML files, all the programs that can open it would need to be able to do the same things Indesign does. Say you do something in Indesign that Publisher or any other program can't. How is the software opening the file going to interpret what it can't do. You now have an issue where it will not be the same as it was in Indesign and this open standard falls apart because you are not getting the same result on every program that you try and open an IDML file with. Nightmares already happen when people print in files for print from programs they have purchased online or using free software. 

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4 hours ago, wonderings said:

Sure, but there is a lot more to an open standard with a page layout program then there is for an mp3, or image files. For an open standard to work with IDML files, all the programs that can open it would need to be able to do the same things Indesign does. Say you do something in Indesign that Publisher or any other program can't. How is the software opening the file going to interpret what it can't do. You now have an issue where it will not be the same as it was in Indesign and this open standard falls apart because you are not getting the same result on every program that you try and open an IDML file with. Nightmares already happen when people print in files for print from programs they have purchased online or using free software. 

I agree, it would be much harder but jpg and mp3 are basic formats without any bells or whistles. I can import an mp3 and convert it to another format in order to add bookmarks for audiobooks for example or a jpg could be used to create a layered PSD or transparent png. A format like IDML (which Adobe will never open up) could just be a very basic page layout format. I haven't experimented with it much but the multilayered, multipage IDML files I opened in Publisher worked well, with colors and fonts intact and minimal cleanup necessary. If we accept the limitations it could be valuable to have something like that.

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5 hours ago, dcrosby said:

Standardization is cool. Open standards are better. So mp3, obj, html, jpg, png, css, apache, Linux etc. are great and have probably moved the creative industry forward more than any proprietary formats.

Open source is overrated. No page layout program has ever been an open standard. Though Microsoft Word came close. It was the standard text app for importing to AppleWorks, Pagemaker, Quark XPress, Indesign, and Pages—on the Mac. On the PC there are even more apps. Of course you can import or place Word documents in open source apps like Libre Office and Open Office. And there are other commercial word processors like Mellel and Scrivener. They all handle Word documents.

But Publisher does not. Given that most people do their writing in Word, to my mind this is a major oversight. While it can handle IDML files from InDesign, Word is not supported by Publisher. Which means Publisher is half-baked. Given that InDesign CS6 is a 32 bit app, on the Mac Mojave is the limit. I can place Word documents in InDesign and export them as IDML, but only as long as I don't upgrade to Catalina. Of course Word 2011 is also 32 bit, so if I ever do upgrade to Catalina I'll have to get a Word 360 subscription, or the standalone 360 app, which is another $150. While I'm using Mojave, I can export Word files to PDF, which Publisher does open, without style sheets, etc. A half-assed solution at best. The answer might be RTF, but though it manages most styles, it doesn't include the associated style sheets. But Publisher cannot handle RTF files either. Basically, compared to all other word processing programs, Publisher is a cripple, walking with one good leg. Granted I bought it to handle InDesign documents, but that it can do no more is, well, lamentable.

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11 hours ago, Whitedog said:

They all handle Word documents.

But Publisher does not.

Hello @Whitedog,

you must have missed this. APub does import .docx files that are created in Word. I think it was introduced with the 1.8.0 versions.

d.


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12 hours ago, Whitedog said:

But Publisher cannot handle RTF files either.

Yes, it can.


-- Walt

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13 hours ago, dcrosby said:

but jpg and mp3 are basic formats without any bells or whistles

Mind you, JPG and MP3 are delivery formats. Exchange formats are more demanding.

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15 hours ago, dcrosby said:

I agree, it would be much harder but jpg and mp3 are basic formats without any bells or whistles. I can import an mp3 and convert it to another format in order to add bookmarks for audiobooks for example or a jpg could be used to create a layered PSD or transparent png. A format like IDML (which Adobe will never open up) could just be a very basic page layout format. I haven't experimented with it much but the multilayered, multipage IDML files I opened in Publisher worked well, with colors and fonts intact and minimal cleanup necessary. If we accept the limitations it could be valuable to have something like that.

Not sure why Adobe would want to make their format open source. They are in it to make money, as all companies are. I don't see any benefit for them dumbing down the format so people can open it problem free with software they did not create. 

IDML files are hit and miss in Publisher. I have a business card I thought I would try, it had a few elements in it, a placed PSD file, a placed AI file, and a place EPS file. The PSD file was screwed up in Publisher, it is a file with transparent background and some minor things done to it, but it did not open properly and would take fixing to make it usable in Publisher. There will never be a truly easy and hassle free conversion from one application to another which is why I think you need to stick with one. If your co-workers, clients, or collaborators are using Indesign the wise thing to do is use Indesign, same would go if they are using Publisher though I doubt there are many using it at the moment as it is still very new.

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8 hours ago, wonderings said:

Not sure why Adobe would want to make their format open source. They are in it to make money, as all companies are. I don't see any benefit for them dumbing down the format so people can open it problem free with software they did not create. 

IDML files are hit and miss in Publisher. I have a business card I thought I would try, it had a few elements in it, a placed PSD file, a placed AI file, and a place EPS file. The PSD file was screwed up in Publisher, it is a file with transparent background and some minor things done to it, but it did not open properly and would take fixing to make it usable in Publisher. There will never be a truly easy and hassle free conversion from one application to another which is why I think you need to stick with one. If your co-workers, clients, or collaborators are using Indesign the wise thing to do is use Indesign, same would go if they are using Publisher though I doubt there are many using it at the moment as it is still very new.

The governing principle here is affordability. If you have a business with enough leeway in the budget for an InDesign subscription, then fine. If you don't want or need to upgrade to macOS X 15 Catalina, also fine. You can continue to use InDesign CS6—or earlier. I use Photoshop CC and Lightroom CC because the subscription is affordable—$10 a month. There is no such bargain for InDesign, so I'm working with Publisher. Yes, it has some shortcomings, like not being able to handle MS Word files, unlike every layout program before it for the last two and a half decades and more. But for me that's not a deal breaker. If I had to use a Word file, I would place it in InDesign, export it as IDML, and open it in Publisher. A bit tedious, but doable.

A simple solution for your business card problem would be to remove the Photoshop element after you have converted the file (or even before), and then place it back. No conversion necessary. If that's the worst problem you have, you're smelling like roses. A little creative problem solving can go a long way. A more serious problem would be if it messed up your text formatting. I converted a long text document with many style sheets without trouble, though I had to wait for several Publisher updates to be able to do it. The only issue I had was the loss of my user dictionary. Of course I had no graphics to mess up. That could be different. But I haven't tried converting some of my other InDesign files that are graphics heavy. That could be problematic, but I have PDFs of them that are suitable for printing and/or publishing.

In any case, I'm in no hurry to upgrade to Catalina so I will be able to use InDesign, if I need to, for the foreseeable future. And I have time to wait for Serif to improve Publisher as well. Bear in mind that InDesign did not replace Quark EXPress and Pagemaker overnight. It took many years for InDesign to mature and become the dominant layout program it is today. Not that Publisher is likely to replace InDesign, but it has time to mature as well. And it has the same kind of graphics support, with Designer and Photo, that InDesign has with Illustrator and Photoshop. So it's not hanging out there alone like Quark EXPress. And it's not like document conversion wasn't an issue for InDesign. It never handled Quark documents perfectly. It did better with Pagemaker, for obvious reasons. The move from EXPress to InDesign was not a smooth one. So cut Publisher some slack. At the price, it's a bargain even with its flaws.

The failure of the conversion of a long form document from IDML was a deal breaker for me for a short while. But Serif resolved the issue. There's no reason to suppose that they won't solve others.

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10 hours ago, walt.farrell said:

Yes, it can.

You are right. But when I first tried to open an RTF document, it was grayed out in the Place dialog window so I assumed it wouldn't work. I tried again, after your post, and I was able to select the document, even though it was grayed out. It placed properly. But it would not select other grayed out documents in other formats, like Word. So it's inconsistent treatment of available formats is a problem, in my mind. Other documents, such as PDFs, were not grayed out, and placed as expected.

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2 hours ago, Whitedog said:

Yes, it has some shortcomings, like not being able to handle MS Word files, unlike every layout program before it for the last two and a half decades and more. But for me that's not a deal breaker. If I had to use a Word file, I would place it in InDesign, export it as IDML, and open it in Publisher. A bit tedious, but doable.

I suppose it is worth repeating. Publisher can indeed place MS Word files; no need for that tedious work around.

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On 5/14/2020 at 8:29 PM, Whitedog said:

The governing principle here is affordability. If you have a business with enough leeway in the budget for an InDesign subscription, then fine. If you don't want or need to upgrade to macOS X 15 Catalina, also fine. You can continue to use InDesign CS6—or earlier. I use Photoshop CC and Lightroom CC because the subscription is affordable—$10 a month. There is no such bargain for InDesign, so I'm working with Publisher. Yes, it has some shortcomings, like not being able to handle MS Word files, unlike every layout program before it for the last two and a half decades and more. But for me that's not a deal breaker. If I had to use a Word file, I would place it in InDesign, export it as IDML, and open it in Publisher. A bit tedious, but doable.

A simple solution for your business card problem would be to remove the Photoshop element after you have converted the file (or even before), and then place it back. No conversion necessary. If that's the worst problem you have, you're smelling like roses. A little creative problem solving can go a long way. A more serious problem would be if it messed up your text formatting. I converted a long text document with many style sheets without trouble, though I had to wait for several Publisher updates to be able to do it. The only issue I had was the loss of my user dictionary. Of course I had no graphics to mess up. That could be different. But I haven't tried converting some of my other InDesign files that are graphics heavy. That could be problematic, but I have PDFs of them that are suitable for printing and/or publishing.

In any case, I'm in no hurry to upgrade to Catalina so I will be able to use InDesign, if I need to, for the foreseeable future. And I have time to wait for Serif to improve Publisher as well. Bear in mind that InDesign did not replace Quark EXPress and Pagemaker overnight. It took many years for InDesign to mature and become the dominant layout program it is today. Not that Publisher is likely to replace InDesign, but it has time to mature as well. And it has the same kind of graphics support, with Designer and Photo, that InDesign has with Illustrator and Photoshop. So it's not hanging out there alone like Quark EXPress. And it's not like document conversion wasn't an issue for InDesign. It never handled Quark documents perfectly. It did better with Pagemaker, for obvious reasons. The move from EXPress to InDesign was not a smooth one. So cut Publisher some slack. At the price, it's a bargain even with its flaws.

The failure of the conversion of a long form document from IDML was a deal breaker for me for a short while. But Serif resolved the issue. There's no reason to suppose that they won't solve others.

The entire suite is less then $100 a month. If this is a necessary tool and something needed, this is a small monthly price. I hate it still, but end of the day it does not break the bank and makes life easier in many ways as everyone is using the same version now.

You do not need to be running Catalina to run the latest version of Indesign, I am still on High Sierra as I do not want to lose support for a few non 64 bit apps I use. Not sure where that comes from that you need Catalina for the latest from Adobe. 

I know I can work around the problem, it was merely an example that it is not a straightforward conversion, you will have to check files when opening in Publisher and you will have to correct things. I would only go this route if I was fully moving to Publisher. Trying to maintain a collaborative relationship between Indesign and Publisher sounds like a real headache to me. I remember converting my shop from Quark to Indesign, was a big change getting people used to working in Indesign, but people quickly fell in love with it as it was a huge improvement over Quark. I believe when I switched us over it was CS3. Was like breathing fresh air for the first time. 

 

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On 5/15/2020 at 9:08 AM, wonderings said:

I do not want to lose support for a few non 64 bit apps I use

FYI, 32-bit apps still work on Mojave, it just complains about them the first time they are opened (that they are "not optimized" or some such).

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On 5/15/2020 at 9:08 AM, wonderings said:

The entire sweet is less then $100 a month. If this is a necessary tool and something needed, this is a small monthly price. I hate it still, but end of the day it does not break the bank and makes life easier in many ways as everyone is using the same version now.

 

For me, and a lot of other people I think, it’s not so much about the money. It’s about a single company controlling my ability to earn money or create art. You become more beholden with every project you create. It’s a new reality that craftsmen never faced before, that your tools could be taken away from you for non-payment, or a computer error, or sanctions against your country. They can raise the price, let the bugs fester, deny your right to use an older version of CC  You’ll take it and like it  

You might as well “owe your soul to the company store” like some kind of sharecropper. Pay and pay for decades and when you retire you keep paying just to create a church flyer or a graduation announcement for you grandkid cause you don’t own nothin’. Adobe literally owns “the means of production”

So I’ll go out of my way to avoid that, especially as I reach retirement and look forward to creating art for my own enjoyment and not so much for pay. 

If the sub works for you, beautiful, but it’s about way more than cost for some of us. 

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And for some of us it is about the cost. And the lack of ownership. Adobe may have found a good profit model for them. For us, not so much.

So Serif is an excellent solution. Right now it's $75 for all three apps. Even at the regular price it's a bargain. The closest Adobe comes is the Photo suite, at $10 a month. Even then you're locked in and hoping they don't raise the price.

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On 5/15/2020 at 6:08 AM, wonderings said:

The entire sweet is less then $100 a month. If this is a necessary tool and something needed, this is a small monthly price. I hate it still, but end of the day it does not break the bank and makes life easier in many ways as everyone is using the same version now.

You do not need to be running Catalina to run the latest version of Indesign, I am still on High Sierra as I do not want to lose support for a few non 64 bit apps I use. Not sure where that comes from that you need Catalina for the latest from Adobe. 

I know I can work around the problem, it was merely an example that it is not a straightforward conversion, you will have to check files when opening in Publisher and you will have to correct things. I would only go this route if I was fully moving to Publisher. Trying to maintain a collaborative relationship between Indesign and Publisher sounds like a real headache to me. I remember converting my shop from Quark to Indesign, was a big change getting people used to working in Indesign, but people quickly fell in love with it as it was a huge improvement over Quark. I believe when I switched us over it was CS3. Was like breathing fresh air for the first time. 

You'll soon have to migrate to Mojave if you still want to get software and security updates. Still, Mojave supports most 32 bit apps, just like High Sierra. I skipped High Sierra because it was buggy for me. Apparently it's not giving you any trouble. You're right, you don't have to move to Catalina, and I won't be doing so for quite a while yet. Even then I'll keep a copy of Sierra around, as I do now, for some apps that don't work well in Mojave—and won't work at all in Catalina.

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For freelancers like me, I think DCrosby has got to the nub of the issue, I abandoned Adobe when its business practices became fiscally oppressive. I am now retired from commissioned work and pursue my fine art work with the aid of the Affinity suite. This inevitably has led to a drop in income, which only reinforces the decision to move away from a 'rental' company like Adobe was the right one.

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On 5/17/2020 at 7:51 PM, dcrosby said:

For me, and a lot of other people I think, it’s not so much about the money. It’s about a single company controlling my ability to earn money or create art. You become more beholden with every project you create. It’s a new reality that craftsmen never faced before, that your tools could be taken away from you for non-payment, or a computer error, or sanctions against your country. They can raise the price, let the bugs fester, deny your right to use an older version of CC  You’ll take it and like it  

You might as well “owe your soul to the company store” like some kind of sharecropper. Pay and pay for decades and when you retire you keep paying just to create a church flyer or a graduation announcement for you grandkid cause you don’t own nothin’. Adobe literally owns “the means of production”

So I’ll go out of my way to avoid that, especially as I reach retirement and look forward to creating art for my own enjoyment and not so much for pay. 

If the sub works for you, beautiful, but it’s about way more than cost for some of us. 

I am no fan of the subscription model and hate how it seems everyone is going that way. The best model Adobe had (in my opinion) was offering CS Cloud and outright 1 time payment. Gave the end user choice. That being said there is some big pluses with the current subscription model. Everyone is on the same page with the same software with the same version (generally). I have not had issues getting a file from a customer who had a newer version then mine. I also have the freedom to change my OS. Before I was locked in to Mac and while I still prefer Mac OS over Windows, my investment in Adobe limited moving to it without a new purchase. I could run my Adobe apps on my iMac and if I wanted I could run on my PC at home rather then my MacBook if I really wanted/needed more power. There is freedom (inside the cage) here. Now my experience is in commercial print which is far different then making art so the needs will be different. I need to be able to import PDF's without issue, to make PDF's without issue, use illustrator vector files from customers, I need it all to work and work with everyone as it is the standard. Affinity is not that and if we tried to migrate to Affinity and leave Adobe it would create more headaches and cost more money in time trying to fix everything. 

I get not wanting to pay Adobe for software, there is unfortunately no replacement for it at this moment. In time I believe Affinity will get there with competitive apps, but this forum alone shows it is not there yet. Fantastic software for the price which is why I bought all 3 to check out and play with hoping one day it can be used in a production environment as it would save a bundle with the current price model. But the headaches it brings is not worth it at the moment. 

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I understand what you're saying and agree completely. Everyone's needs are different and Adobe's had 30 years to fine tune it's software, innovate and buy their way to industry standard, and leverage their success in order force customers to do things they really hate doing. Affinity is competing with a 800 lb gorilla in Adobe and many of the "missing features" are only missing because they exist in Adobe software. Are Adobe users complaining that they don't have live previews or that InDesign can't open PS directly in the app? Are they complaining about features that no one has thought of yet? Affinity has to have everything Adobe has and more.

That said, Affinity has been well received by consumers, pro-sumers, disgruntled old-timers, and various digital artists who don't need to be "compatible." But they've reached the point where seasoned, working designers have become interested and have certain expectations which have to be met. This is where I see much of the negativity towards the software and these folks are totally correct. Affinity needs to move fast to plug these holes. Publisher is probably the most important part of the trinity. It's also the least mature and undoubtedly the most difficult to get right.

I'm holding on to InDesign CS6 as if my life depended on it but what if someone were to gift me a brand new Mac that only ran Catalina. I shudder to think of it, lol.

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On 5/17/2020 at 10:04 PM, Whitedog said:

You'll soon have to migrate to Mojave if you still want to get software and security updates. Still, Mojave supports most 32 bit apps, just like High Sierra. I skipped High Sierra because it was buggy for me. Apparently it's not giving you any trouble. You're right, you don't have to move to Catalina, and I won't be doing so for quite a while yet. Even then I'll keep a copy of Sierra around, as I do now, for some apps that don't work well in Mojave—and won't work at all in Catalina.

I just upgraded to High Sierra last week, lol. No serious issues thus far, I think I'll stay awhile. 

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Sorry, I don't know if there is any answer in the previous posts, but I can't read all 28 pages!
I have several old Indesign (Adobe) files.
I tried to open them but Affinity Publisher today doesn't allow it.
Would it be possible at least to have the possibility to import them in some way?
Do I really have to buy Indesign back?
I don't use them for work, it would be an excessive cost for me.
Thanks!

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29 minutes ago, Raff said:

Sorry, I don't know if there is any answer in the previous posts, but I can't read all 28 pages!
I have several old Indesign (Adobe) files.
I tried to open them but Affinity Publisher today doesn't allow it.
Would it be possible at least to have the possibility to import them in some way?
Do I really have to buy Indesign back?
I don't use them for work, it would be an excessive cost for me.
Thanks!

If you still have InDesign on your machine you can Export them as INX or IDML ( depending on what version of InDesign you've got ). You can then open that file in Affinity Publisher. If you've no longer got InDesign then take a look at IDMarkz ( https://markzware.com/products/idmarkz/ ) which does a pretty good job at creating an IDML file which can be opened in Affinity Publisher.

Hope that helps!

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7 minutes ago, 3Dshark said:

If you still have InDesign on your machine you can Export them as INX or IDML ( depending on what version of InDesign you've got ). You can then open that file in Affinity Publisher. If you've no longer got InDesign then take a look at IDMarkz ( https://markzware.com/products/idmarkz/ ) which does a pretty good job at creating an IDML file which can be opened in Affinity Publisher.

Hope that helps!

Thanks, 

I no longer have Indesign installed, and I work on Windows 10 ...

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1 hour ago, Raff said:

Thanks, 

I no longer have Indesign installed, and I work on Windows 10 ...

Then I'm afraid you're out of luck, and won't be able to access those files using Affinity Publisher.


-- Walt

Windows 10 Home, version 20H2 (19042.685),
   Desktop: 16GB memory, Intel Core i7-6700K @ 4.00GHz, GeForce GTX 970
   Laptop (2021-04-06):  32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz
, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU
Affinity Photo 1.9.2.1035 and 1.9.2.1005 Beta   / Affinity Designer 1.9.2.1035 and 1.9.2.1005 Beta  / Affinity Publisher 1.9.2.1035 and 1.9.2.1024 Beta

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1 hour ago, Raff said:

Thanks, 

I no longer have Indesign installed, and I work on Windows 10 ...

In that case I'd download a trial version of Adobe CC, convert as many old InDesign files you can get your hands on to IDML and cancel the trial.

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2 hours ago, 3Dshark said:

In tal caso, scaricarei una versione di prova di Adobe CC, convertendo tutti i vecchi file di InDesign su cui puoi mettere le mani in IDML e annullare la prova.

Yes, I think it's the best thing to do at this point ...
Thanks!

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