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InReview: ID2Office

InDesign Magazine Issue 126 coverThis article appeared in Issue 126 of InDesign Magazine.

Steve Caplin reviews a solution from moving InDesign layouts into Word, PowerPoint, and Keynote.

Word and PowerPoint are, like it or not, the world’s most-used applications for word processing and presentations. But their ubiquity doesn’t mean they’re the best tools for the job; both suffer from awkward layout tools that try too hard to second-guess you. It can be difficult in either program to create precise, attractive layouts without the interface taking over and preventing you from doing so.

InDesign, on the other hand, is the layout program that gives the user full control over every aspect of a document’s appearance, without trying to dictate your approach. It’s with this in mind that Recosoft has created ID2Office, a plug-in for InDesign that turns documents into usable, editable Word and PowerPoint files. The plug-in is useful for professional designers who need to turn a lot of complex InDesign files into other formats.

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Steve Caplin
Steve Caplin is a freelance designer, illustrator, and speaker at CreativePro Week 2018. His YouTube channel 2-Minute Photoshop is a growing, free library of Photoshop techniques, each just two minutes long. Steve makes unlikely furniture in his spare time, which you can see at curieaux.com, and you can find out more about him (and even read his 1,000- word short stories) at stevecaplin.com.
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4 Comments on “InReview: ID2Office

  1. I bought the plugin and tried it on different documents. The results in PowerPoint, Keynote and Word is quite impressive. BUT! Because there is a “BUT”, all images are flattened and combined as one big image for each page/slide. So I would say that this plugin does the job of converting InDesign documents, but it lacks the ability of moving images in the slide after the conversion. 75% happy with the plugin. It will save us hours of frustration when doing presentations in PowerPoint or Keynote directly. InDesign is more professional and accurate than these two softwares.

    • As you’ll see if you read the full review, this flattening of the images is my major criticism of the plug-in. And I agree with your conclusion: 75% happy with it sounds about right.

  2. I have very recent experience with ID2Office and had the same issue as Wolfgang, with individual images (plus a couple of other layout objects) being combined into a single graphic. This rendered the tool useless to me.

    I ended up using a workaround that combined the Recosoft plugin with the Acrobat Export to Powerpoint option. Acrobat exported a pptx that maintained the individual images in full quality, but combined aligned text boxes into a long table (!!!) while ID2Office maintained my individual type objects, but merged the graphics. I was under deadline (of course) and so kludged my way through a three-app +plugin process to get to a good solution that worked for my client.

    My personal review of the PowerPoint part of the tool is: A lot of money for a badly flawed solution. For someone who has to produce a ton of content for Office, this may be more useful. For someone like me who does this kind of work maybe once a year, it’s not worth the trouble. I could start over with just Acrobat and construct a better solution than what I ended up trying to use ID2Office.

  3. I represent Recosoft the creators of ID2Office. I want to thank all of you for your comments and in particular Steve for the fair and fantastic review he did for ID2Office. We listen to all feedback and the topic of “graphics combining” into 1 has been a high priority item for us to solve.

    For straight-forward designs, we can make ID2Office separate the graphics. However, through the years we’ve accumulated a large database of InDesign files and for the majority of these, separating the graphics makes the end result something unacceptable as it ends up distorting the look.

    We welcome all active feedback and criticism. As ID2Office has to support 3 formats (Word, PowerPoint and Keynote) its an engineering challenge to write to these file-formats accurately; so our priority goes in ensuring the files created are correct (ie. can be opened and edited in the various pieces of software).

    Finally, ID2Office is constantly enhanced and updated and newer features and property support are always added.

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