Fixing some quirks with File>Import Text

Using File>Import Text is the best way to transfer text from Word to Quark, but there are two particularly frustrating quirks that can lead to a lot of wasted time. However, don’t panic — they can be fixed, if in a rather roundabout way.

The bullets and numbering problem

Importing text has one big problem — for some reason, using Import Text causes you to lose the automatic bullet points and numbering in MS Word, which can be a real headache especially if your publication has numbered headings and lots of bullet points.

Thankfully, there is a way around this and it means setting up a macro in Word. There doesn’t seem to be a straightforward way of saving macros, so I’ll have to talk you through some code.

Open up Notepad and paste in the following text:

Attribute VB_Name = "NewMacro" 

Sub ConvertAutoNumsandBullets()
' Numsbullets Macro
' Macro recorded 07/04/2006 by Brookes
    Selection.MoveRight Unit:=wdCharacter, Count:=1, Extend:=wdExtend
    Selection.MoveLeft Unit:=wdCharacter, Count:=1
    With Selection.Find
        .Text = ChrW(61623)
        .Replacement.Text = "·"
        .Forward = True
        .Wrap = wdFindContinue
        .Format = True
        .MatchCase = False
        .MatchWholeWord = False
        .MatchWildcards = False
        .MatchSoundsLike = False
        .MatchAllWordForms = False
    End With
    Selection.Find.Execute Replace:=wdReplaceAll
End Sub

Save the file as NewMacro onto your desktop.

In MS Word, go to Tools>Macro>Visual Basic Editor. In the left hand pane, right-click on the ‘Normal’ icon (you may have to select View > Project Explorer to make this visible). Select Import File, then select the Notepad file you’ve just created (you’ll have to select Files of Type>All Files to make it visible). Close the editor, clicking Save if prompted to do so.

The next step is to make a shortcut to this macro via a button in MS Word. Select Tools>Customize, then select the commands tab. Select Macros in the left hand pane then find the new file — it will be called Normal.NewMacro.ConvertAutoNumsandBullets.

Drag this onto one of your toolbars at the top of the screen. The new button will have a long and unwieldy name — with the Customize box still open, right-click on the new button and select Default Style. You may want to right-click again and select Change Button Image, to display a distinctive icon. (If you’re really motivated, there’s a function in the drop-down menu to make your own button.)

I found this macro sometime last year — someone had thoughtfully posted it on the web (I’d gladly credit them if I could find it again). Running the macro, by pressing the button you’ve just made, converts all automatic numbers and bullets into editable characters, which will import into Quark.

Of course, this command is not reversible at a later stage, so keep a backup of your original file just in case.

A strange problem with indents

Another odd glitch I’ve noticed comes when you’re importing numbered headings with indents, of the form 1[tab]Introduction, for example.

QuarkXPress has an odd habit of making the indent spacing smaller than you’ve defined it in your Quark styles.

Initially, I had to fix this heading-by-heading, but a better way is to go back to your Word file and amend all the paragraph and tab settings so they match your settings in QuarkXPress. It will only take a minute or two to amend the Word style sheets then reimport into Quark.

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