The Transition is Complete: Part Two

Technically moving documents from Quark 4 to InDesign CS (IDCS) is an easy transition. Quark 4 files open in IDCS just fine. Styles and Libraries are a different thing all together. However some of the objects on the documents came over to IDCS with some weirdness to them. This is a "real world" account of moving from Quark 4 to InDesign CS. Just because we are a college newspaper does not mean our production process is any easier or less complicated then a newspaper with a much larger circulation in a small or large city. I have seen first hand newspapers in different markets, and that myth is not true at all.
You may want to read the first part of this series.
DOCUMENTS: We use many templates for front and inside section pages. Opening these in IDCS had all but no ill effects. The one problem was the weird runaround on objects. Even though the Text Wrap palette in IDCS says there is none on the objects. This happened on both text and picture boxes. I had a lot to do, so the things that did not absolutely need to be recreated didn't get special treatment. Later I might recreate all page objects "the right way." This amounts to about 4 points of margin on the inside of the text boxes. That is not good when you are trying to align headlines with body copy, photos, and other page objects that need to align to a strict grid. I checked in Quark, to see if the original objects had a small runaround value on them. None of them did. This weird runaround was on all objects, not just ones on the templates themselves, but also objects from our library. For objects that are center aligned, this 4 point "margin" is no problem. I had to, however, recreate all objects that have left or right aligned text in them. The picture boxes that were brought over from Quark to IDCS had runaround applied to the outside, not the inside like the text boxes. In most cases that is not a problem, so I did not have to recreate many picture boxes. Now here is another wrinkle in this mess. Some text boxes came over to IDCS with no runaround (the way they should) but this was too few and way too far between to be called a trend. I do not know if this peculiar runaround (now called text wrap in IDCS) is something that always happens when moving Quark documents to ID, I cannot imagine it happens all the time. I have not had the time to test this myself by making a new document in Quark 4 and bringing it into IDCS. I imagine when I get a chance to try that out, I will not see runaround on the objects. I will have to see. I don't even have OS 9 on my TiBook much less Quark 4, so I will have to try this out at work tomorrow. In this case, I had to pretty much recreate every template. That was not a fast process. But then none of this went by quickly. Recreating most all text boxes on the templates took the least of my time, however. LIBRARY: Quark documents will open in IDCS. Quark libraries on the other hand, will not. I also have a rant about how the IDCS library works, but that is another post. The only solution is to drag all the objects from the Quark library into Quark documents. Then opening those Quark documents in IDCS and creating a IDCS library. We have many, many items in our library. Mostly everything needed to create the newspaper is in our library. After making the IDCS library I realized the runaround problem on all the text objects. Of course it happened in that order. Minor details. STYLES: All the styles had little disk icons next to their names when brought into IDCS from Quark 4. This means the style is an imported style. Imported styles are bad, very, very, bad. I had to recreate every style. We use somewhere between 40 and 50 different paragraph styles. We used no character styles. Yet with all the imported Quark 4 templates and normal documents I now have a Normal character style. It is set to Helvetica (which is the default font in Quark 4). Everything that is not set with a paragraph style is assigned this Normal character style. This means all the objects used to recreate our library as well, all have Normal assigned to them. This would not be such a big problem but when I go assigning paragraph styles, or an actual character style, I get weirdness as the paragraph styles do not work because it is competing with Normal. I had to go through and kill the Normal character style all over the place. CONCLUSION: I now know of many of the side effects when bringing a document from Quark to InDesign. I know there are many more, but these are the problems I faced while getting everything ready to publish the paper in IDCS. I now know that the first thing to do is delete the Normal character style first. Doing that first, not third, is the way to go. I don't know how to prevent any of the other headaches I encountered taking our newspaper from Quark to InDesign. As much of a pain in the rear this was, it was needed. I have not done so much as touched InDesign before this summer. So to that end, I needed to learn IDCS hyper fast. The Total Training DVD's we bought help, but not as much as fixing up these templates to work smoothly. More to come on this transition soon...

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