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Chapter 3. Converting to InDesign from A... > How the Conversion Is Handled

How the Conversion Is Handled

InDesign CS2 converts the file formats discussed in the previous section, but what about the actual elements in the file? What happens to them, and how do they appear to you after the file is converted? When you open a file that is not native to InDesign, your application reports any issues it encountered during the conversion. This report is one you can read, save, and print, and it warns you about situations you might need to review or correct. Here are the conversion specifications:

  • InDesign converts the original file (Quark or PageMaker) information to native InDesign information.

  • Quark text boxes are converted to InDesign text frames.

  • PageMaker threads are converted to InDesign text frames.

  • Quark paragraph and character styles are converted to InDesign styles.

  • Quark color profiles are ignored, but PageMaker profiles are converted directly.

  • Text and image links are preserved, with the exception of embedded graphics (that is, PageMaker files), which are not converted. There is no support for OLE embedded elements or Quark Xtensions.


IDCS2 doesn’t have a Superior type style: If you have a lot of Superior-styled dollar signs, for example, those become normal-size characters with a positive baseline shift.

Setting Your Composition Preferences

Text wrap options need to be set correctly for conversion to be accurate. Set your composition preferences in InDesign to Text Wrap Only Affects Text Beneath. Also, consider applying Adobe Single-Line Composer, found in the Paragraph palette, to affect paragraphs.

InDesign will treat each line separately, which can preserve the original line breaks.

Figure 3.2 shows the Text Wrap Only Affects Text Beneath preference setting. You will find this in the Composition tab of Preferences.

Figure 3.2. Text wrap options in Preferences.


When converting PageMaker files, you should copy linked files to the same folder as your PageMaker publication to ensure that links are maintained before converting.

  • Master pages and layers are converted for both applications.

  • Master page objects and guides are converted.

  • Grouped objects stay grouped, unless there are nonprinting items (PageMaker only).

  • Strokes and lines are converted to the closest option in InDesign.

  • Custom stokes and dashes are converted to custom InDesign strokes and dashes.

Colors are converted exactly, except for the following:

  • Quark 3.3 HSB to RGB.

  • Quark 4.1 HSB and LAB to RGB.

  • Quark 4.1 colors from the color library are converted based on CMYK values.

  • Multi-ink colors from Quark are mapped to mixed ink colors in InDesign, unless no spot colors are in use. If no spot colors have been used in a Quark multi-ink color, they are converted to process colors in InDesign.

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