I know I must be missing something
August 31, 2011 5:42 PM   Subscribe

I have a Word document with Word-generated bar graphs, and an InDesign document. I have to get the graphs into the InDesign document and I'm getting a little stuck.

I'm using Windows 7, Word 2010 and Adobe CS5 (InDesign and Photoshop). The document I'm making is for print and web.

My usual method is:
Zoom into the document in Word until it looks about the right size
Take a screen grab (print screen)
Paste it into a high-res Photoshop doc
Try to crop it to 4.25 inches and realize it's still the wrong size
Save it as a high-quality JPG
Place it into InDesign.
It still doesn't look great

It works okay as far as image quality but it's incredibly finicky to get the size right with Word's zoom function. Once it's been shrunk or enlarged in Photoshop the text and lines look blurry and terrible.

I feel like rebuilding the graphs at high-res in Photoshop might be the best way to go about it. Before I embark on that though, because it will be an incredibly tedious process, I wanted to make sure there wasn't something I was missing.
posted by bleep to Technology (8 answers total)
Best answer: Could you perhaps turn your bar graphs into a PDF (using Word's inbuilt exporter if it's a late enough version to have one, or something like CutePDF if not) and then import that?
posted by flabdablet at 6:01 PM on August 31, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Ok, so I don't use Word too often but I know a thing or two about Creative Suite.

So here's my possible solution.

1 I believe you can save a PDF from a word document.

2 Open said PDF in Illustrator. You will be able to edit and grab however MS Word outputs those graphs to PDF. It's either going to be vector or an embedded jpg.

3 Grabbing the graphics may be a tad challenging if you're not familiar with Illustrator, as PDFs tend to group things in illogical methods. The white pointer should help you (there's also a black one).

4 Once you managed to isolate your graphics, you can cut them and past them directly into InDesign or save them in their own AI file and place them into your InDesign document.
posted by straight_razor at 6:03 PM on August 31, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Save the file as a PDF from the Word document. Then you can import the PDF itself into InDesign as an image, or you could open the PDF in Photoshop at 300 dpi and save them as your desired Photoshop format.

If you are going to rebuild them, I would use the bar graph function in Illustrator instead of trying to build them in Photoshop.
posted by blacktshirtandjeans at 6:03 PM on August 31, 2011 [2 favorites]

You can probably just copy/paste between Office and Adobe, e.g.: select the element in Word, copy, switch to Photoshop, new document (will have dimensions of clipboard contents), paste.

(The last time I tried this was actually Excel to Illustrator, and it pasted a vector-based version of the graph, but I suspect it will word the same for Word-to-Photoshop)
posted by misterbrandt at 7:46 PM on August 31, 2011

Oh, I just saw the part about it being for print output.

I would suggest producing the graphs in Excel (and pasting into Illustrator, and saving out a PDF), or producing the graphs directly in Illustrator, using the chart tool. You want a vector-based graph if at all possible, or a bitmap in the 600dpi range, for print quality output.
posted by misterbrandt at 7:50 PM on August 31, 2011

For print, I would suggest going and making the graphs in Illustrator if the graphs are simple and you are proficient in Illustrator.
posted by jadepearl at 8:51 PM on August 31, 2011

Best answer: I did this for a ton of graphs. I think I probably did the PDF export trick. And if memory serves, copying (from Word) and pasting (in Indesign) also works. No intermediate photoshop/illustrator steps necessary.

I would only redraw them if they're painfully ugly.
posted by O9scar at 12:18 PM on September 1, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Okay, finally had a chance to go back to this today. I made a PDF of the Word doc, opened that in Illustrator. Then for each graph, copy/paste into a new Illustrator doc that is the correct size I want to fit in the space. Resize manually to fit. Then save as a new PDF and place that into InDesign, nice and clear and perfectly sized. It works! I never would have thought to do that. Thanks for your help everyone!
(Pasting directly from Illustrator -> Indesign didn't work as it came up in InDesign weirdly and text wouldn't flow around it, and my object styles made it look invisible..? Whatever.)
posted by bleep at 5:02 PM on September 8, 2011

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