InDesignSecrets Podcast 234

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(17 MB, 32 minutes)

In this episode:

  • Latest news:
  • PePcon Recap! And we each share one tip we learned at the show
  • A number of tips to know about (Auto-) Numbered Lists
  • Obscure InDesign Feature of the Week: Dimensions Include Stroke Weight

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13 Comments on “InDesignSecrets Podcast 234

  1. I think I learned the unzip-a-word-doc tip at the first pepcon! You can also do something similar with an IDML file by changing the extension to ZIP and then unzipping it. I frequently use that tip when getting large word docs from clients. By unzipping them and extracting the images, I can them easily use them outside of InDesign without having to unnamed them.

    And you can insert a a native AI file into Word. But when you go to unzip the word file, somewhere along the line (either at the time of insertion, or the time of conversions) the beautiful AI file gets converted to an EMF file. So while it is a way to get vector art into Word,be careful.

  2. Seriously though, I’ve been looking for a way to disable “Dimensions Include Stroke Weight” for years! This is super-annoying when combined with another annoying default feature, the automatic 1pt black stroke on objects! My favourite is when you drag out an image or text box between two column guides, but then when you add or remove a stroke (or change it from outside to center/inside), the box no longer snaps to the guide! Why isn’t InDesign smart enough to know that I want this thing to span this other thing, especially because it snapped there in the first place!

    So thank you very much for letting me know about this, is what I’m saying.

    I never knew IDML or DOCX files are archives, and can be “unzipped” but I’ll give it a go next time someone sends me one. I actually don’t have MS Office on this computer so it will actually come in handy for grabbing the images.

  3. It’s great that you can unzip word docs, but I always request the images sent as images rather than in a Word file. Problem is that when you unzip them they are named image001.jpg image002.jpg and so on, which isn’t helpful in a 90 page document of images with no captions…

    • HI Eugene, I believe that if the goal is to have all images extracted from the word file in just 1 click, it doesn’t matter the name they have after this operation. You have the same result copying and pasting the images one by one…. Or you know another tip to keep the original file name of the image insertwd in the word doc.. Let me know, thanks. :-)

  4. AFAIK, Bob Levine wrote the tip on IDS in 2010:

    However, the implications of this trick go above and beyond docx and can be used on ANY file that has an underlying XML structure. From memory I think that includes keynote, pages, epub, etc.

    It is worth noting though that sometimes not all of the media winds up in the “media” folder, especially if images placed in word for example were taken in from another program designed to work together with word… instead they end up in a folder called “embeddings” and have a .bin extension. I’ve been told that the extension can be changed and matched up with the program that made the graphics, but I’ve never had any luck with this.

    I’ve had mixed success with this trick recently with a word file created in a recent edition of word (on a Mac). When using the “zip trick”, math formulas created with equation editor in word would normally appear in the media folder, but not lately. I was formatting a chemistry book and only noticed the issue when I compared the PDF prepared by the client to their word file, and noticed lots of formulas that had simply vanished. I’ll have to pursue a plug-in related fix via math type, math magic or mathtools.

  5. I’m sorry, but I’ve never understood why this tip is necessary, even after I read Bob’s post long ago.

    If you place a Word file with embedded images into an InDesign file, the images come through exactly as they would if you followed this “unzip .docx” tip. They’re in the Links panel. You can shift-click all of them and choose Unembed from the Links panel menu, and InDesign will obligingly save them to the folder you specify. File sizes, flattening, etc. are all the same as this unzip mehtod.

    Watching Renee show this tip again, and the wildly enthusiastic audience reaction, made me think, I must be missing something. So I just tried it again with a file with all sorts of images inserted into a Word file. (Download my test file yourself here: but see no difference in the quality or type of images that result in the end.

    (Except that with the place-and-unembed method, the AI file and the EPS file are not converted to EMF, they’re EPS’s. But the size is the same as the EMF version, so I think it’s just a matter of internal image tagging. Illustrator can open either one.)

    Well there’s one instance where I find the .docx > .zip file trick useful. That’s if I want to place the Word file in InDesign without formatting … since the only way to include the images when you place a Word file is to choose to “include formatting.”

    • Perhaps if we put to one side the use of Microsoft Word here and use a different example where the trick still applies.

      A better example would be a Microsoft Powerpoint file that is .pptx. InDesign cannot import a powerpoint file, however once the “zip trick” is used, one can gain access to the images within via explorer or finder. Keynote is another file format where this trick works. It SHOULD work with .epub but when trying to do this on my Macbook Pro running OSX el Capitan, I couldn’t do it… probably doing something wrong here. Should also work with .pages, but I couldn’t find a .pages file to test!

  6. You can also extract images from older versions of Word by saving as HTML (not the all-in-one option). The option creates a single HTML file and a folder with all the images extracted—two versions of each, actually: a preview version and the original version.

  7. Thanks for the mention Anne-Marie and David.
    That Word tip was something I learned at my first PePcon, and I believe Colin is right, it might have been during Bob’s session. I thought it was genius for those times when clients send me word docs with nothing but images in them and I just need a couple (yes, it happens.) Unzipping it works well. Since I did the tip I found out about its application with other files like PowerPoint, IDML and ePub, so I’ve learned something yet again.

  8. Thanks for the bit about extracting Word images! Can you change a .doc to a .docx then to a .zip with the same effect?

    I also found this for extracting images out of PDFs.

    Yes, ideally, we want to ask suppliers for original high res images but sometimes, you get what you get.

      • Hi David, the reason I asked about just changing the extension outside of Word is that I don’t currently have the MS Office Suite. I use either Google Docs or Open Office (both of whom can save as .doc but not .docx).

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