Adobe FrameMaker: Smoother Import of Word Files with Style Mapping
by Barb Binder, Adobe Certified Instructor on FrameMaker
We have been able to import Word documents into FrameMaker files for as long as I can remember, but with FrameMaker 2015 the process has been dramatically improved. Now when you import a Word document (.doc file is recommended) into FrameMaker, you will be presented with a new dialog box offering style mapping for paragraph styles, character styles, tables along with the ability to remove excess white space. Let’s take a look.
If your authors use styles in Word (and if they don’t, they should), you will now be able to map the existing Word paragraph and character styles to the styles found in your FrameMaker catalogs. In the example below, I am mapping the Word Header and Footer styles to Body (because they don’t come in anyway and I don’t want the new paragraph styles in my catalog) as well as mapping the Word Heading 1s to the FrameMaker spelling (no space) and the Word default style Normal to Body. In the past, I would have handled this through multiple Find/Change queries: one for each paragraph tag. You can do the same thing for character styles.
Tables can now be assigned styles via this dialog box as well. Simply select the table style from the Tables menu, and all the tables in the Word .doc file will be assigned the selected table style automatically.
The importance of the inline styles check box
This little checkbox is easy to overlook, but most of us will want it checked. On my first FrameMaker 2015 project, I was so excited about all the time I was saving with style mapping, I completely missed it. After laying out the first 100 pages of my book, I finally noticed that all of the bold and italics had dropped out of my FrameMaker files. If you want the inline formatting (aka bold, italics, small caps, etc.) to show up in FrameMaker this must be checked, unless the Word user consistently used character styles (highly unlikely, in my experience).
Removing excess white space
The Advanced button gives you access to two additional features: removing manual page breaks and empty paragraphs. We’ve been able to remove manual page breaks on import for years, but please join me in celebrating the automatic removal of the empty paragraphs!
Save these settings as a Preset
The first time you tackle this dialog box, it will take some time to figure out. But here’s the best news: once it’s working for your documents, you can save all of these settings as a Preset File.
Once saved, for all future imports you can just select the .sts file at the top of the dialog box and all of your settings are loaded and ready to go.
Thank you, Adobe, for this much needed feature.