Add Text Import Preferences To Script

Last week’s blog was a quick overview for automating InCopy for a story-first InDesign workflow. We will now look at a few details that can be added to that script to manage how the text is imported from a file.

Showing Options

If you want to allow the user to determine the properties to be in effect when the text is imported, set the showing options property of the place method to true.

For our example script, this would be part of the placeStory handler:

   on placeStory(textFileRef, docRef)
      tell application "Adobe InCopy CC 2014"
         set storyRef to story 1 of docRef
         tell insertion point 1 of storyRef
            place textFileRef showing options true
         end tell
   end tell
end placeStory

Text Import Preferences

On the other hand, you can have the script set the values as needed for the appropriate import options. Depending on the type of file being imported, these preferences can be part of one of the following:

  • tagged text import preferences
  • word RTF import preferences
  • excel import preferences
  • XML import preferences

These preferences are for the application, so once set will be applied to all documents thereafter. If your settings are only for the specific import, you may want to save the original settings, have the script set the properties as desired, and restore the original settings after the settings are used. However, if you will want the settings to be permanent, you may want a separate script to set the properties for the application and only override these settings as needed for specific needs.

For the most part, these settings are self-explanatory. There are only a few settings exposed for plain text files. On the other hand, the list of properties for Microsoft Word and RTF files is considerably longer. The following sample demonstrates:

Set Import Preferences Sample Script

   set textFileRef to choose file with prompt "Select file for editing"
   set fileInfo to info for textFileRef
   if kind of fileInfo is "Plain Text Document" then
   else if kind of fileInfo contains "Rich Text Document" or kind of fileInfo contains "Word" then
   end if
   --included for testing; assumes document is open
   tell application "Adobe InCopy CC 2014"
      tell insertion point 1 of story 1 of document 1
         place textFileRef
      end tell
   end tell
   on setPlainTextPrefs()
      tell application "Adobe InCopy CC 2014"
         tell text import preferences
         --see dictionary for list of settings for this property
            set character set to UTF8
            set convert spaces into tabs to false
            set spaces into tabs count to 5
            set strip returns between lines to true
            set strip returns between paragraphs to true
            set use typographers quotes to true
         end tell
      end tell
   end setPlainTextPrefs
   on setRTFPrefs()
      tell application "Adobe InCopy CC 2014"
         tell word RTF import preferences
            set convert bullets and numbers to text to true
            --can be none, page break or column break
            set convert page breaks to none
            set import endnotes to true
            set import footnotes to true
            set import index to false
            set import TOC to false
            set import unused styles to false
            set preserve graphics to false
            set preserve local overrides to true
            set preserve track changes to true
            set remove formatting to false
            --can be resolve clash use existing, resolve clashauto rename, and resolve clash use new
            set resolve character style clash to resolve clash use existing
            set resolve paragraph style clash to resolve clash use existing
            set use typographers quotes to true
         end tell
      end tell
   end setRTFPrefs

Notice how the type of file is detected prior to setting the preferences. The script is provided only as an example.

Upward and Onward

Refer to our script overview in last week’s blog. Add text import preferences as needed and see what a script can do for automating your text editing workflow. Next week we will take an in-depth look at scripts to clean the text of double spaces and other common problems.