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    Converting Word doc to Pagemaker (97 SR2)

    I'm starting work on a rather large document (probably 200 pages, maybe more). My employer has faithfully (stubbornly?) stuck with Office 97, although I'm told there are plans to upgrade to Office 2003 within the next six months.

    I understand that when we enter the printing phase, we're going to convert this document to Adobe Pagemaker. I've no experience with said application, and this is my first experience with a document of this size. I'm reasonably comfortable with some of Word's more obscure features, such as styles. Now that I understand styles and can at least figure out how to build stable outline numbered lists, I plan to use such features in the development of this document.

    I'm not the sole writer

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    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: Converting Word doc to Pagemaker (97 SR2)

    If you can convince your co-authors to use a common template, that probably will help.

    I've never used PageMaker, but I suspect it will import RTF. Perhaps create a test document and see what gets lost in the shuffle?

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    Re: Converting Word doc to Pagemaker (97 SR2)

    Thanks, Jefferson. This morning, we had a meeting to discuss not putting this thing into print at all, but to publish it electronically. That makes more sense. Meanwhile, I'll work on the standard template and try to get everyone to work with it.

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    Re: Converting Word doc to Pagemaker (97 SR2)

    You're correct in anticipating problems with this sort of project.

    * PageMaker does not support character styles, though there is a way to emulate them using PageMaker's native scripting language.

    * Jefferson's right on to bring up RTF. While PageMaker can import Word files (especially ones created in Word 97), you'll get better results if you save the Word files as RTF, and then import them.

    * PageMaker has *no* support for autonumbering or outline numbering. I strongly suggest making sure all the numbering is correct before you import to PM. Once in PM, the numbering is all hard-coded text. Again, there are scriptable options (and a few expensive Plug-ins), but it's not easy.

    * While PageMaker is scriptable, the language is not for the faint of heart -- the syntax is pained (and this comes from someone who uses Perl regularly), and the debugging features are nearly non-existent.

    * Adobe stopped caring much about PageMaker when they started work on InDesign. I'd suggest using InDesign if possible; it's similar enough to PageMaker that you won't feel totally out of place, but it also includes character styles, and better scripting support (using VBA, AppleScript, or JavaScript).

    As for dealing with less-experienced co-writers, it's worth the effort to try and educate them on at least the proper use of styles. If nothing else, you want them to do *something* to their text to distinguish one type of element from another.

    As a final thought, I've heard positive things about the direct-to-print capabilities of Open Office http://www.openoffice.org, though I haven't personally done that sort of work with it.

    Good luck!

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