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Converting Scripts between QuarkXPress and InDesign

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To convert a script from QuarkXPress to InDesign, or vice-versa, use the corresponding Convert to menu item of the scripts menu.


What is converted


Essentially, everything is converted, except the QuarkXPress (or InDesign) templates that are used by the converted script.


Script conversion replaces all the references to .QXP QuarkXPress files, of the current script, to references to the same name file, but with the .INDD extension of InDesign files (and vice-versa when converting a script from InDesign to QuarkXPress).


This affects the value of the Output FileName property of the Book Format script line, as well as the Quark Filename of all the Quark Pages script lines of the current script (or the InDesign Filename of all the InDesign Pages script lines of the current script, in the case of converting an InDesign script to QuarkXPress).


Additionally, the file name extension of each Grid Template used in any of the Diary Grids script lines of the current script will also be changed from .QXD to .INDD (or vice-versa when converting a script from InDesign to QuarkXPress).


What is not converted


What the script conversion does not cover is the creation of InDesign .INDD files, from the existing QuarkXPress .QXP files, or vice-versa.


Below is a table of the available options to automate the conversion of QuarkXPress files to InDesign, and vice-versa.



to InDesign

Markzware proposes well-established solutions to convert QuarkXPress files to InDesign for Windows or Macintosh. Both software versions give you a head-start on QuarkXPress to InDesign file conversion, although some manual tweaks are almost always needed, to address the differences between QuarkXPress and InDesign document structure.


Converting files of QuarkXPress versions 8-2017 to InDesign


Note that, if you are converting QuarkXPress files of versions 8-2017 to InDesign, and you are using style sheets with fonts in electronic bold and/or electronic italics, then the font styles used in the converted InDesign styles will most likely refer to nonsense font styles (as InDesign does not support electronic bold or electronic italics).


to QuarkXPress

To convert InDesign files to the QuarkXPress format, the simplest option is to use the IDML Import (InDesign Import) feature, available from within QuarkXPress, since QuarkXPress 2017, without the need for a third-party solution. Other options, are also available from Markzware, for Macintosh and Windows, but these are really only useful if you need to convert InDesign INDD files to IDML and you do not have access to InDesign.


All the above options require some manual tweaking, but they do get you very close to a fully converted document. In particular, these automated solutions have vastly improved over the past 10 years.


Conversion Options


When you launch script conversion, the dialog shown on the right, appears, letting you choose between converting the current script, or converting a copy of the current script.


Convert a copy of the current script (RECOMMENDED)


When you choose this recommended option:


1.A duplicate is made of the current script.

2.A duplicate is made of all the Grid Templates of the current script.

3.A duplicate is made of all the Quark Info Pages or InDesign Info Pages of the current script.

4.A duplicate is made of all the Saras used by the current script.

5.The duplicated copy of the script is then modified so that it refers to all the duplicated Grid Templates, Quark Pages, InDesign Pages and Saras.


This means that you now have 2 identical scripts, one based on QuarkXPress and one based on InDesign, and that none of the existing Grid Templates Quark Pages or InDesign Pages, possibly used by other scripts, have been modified.


Note that the individual Grid Templates, Quark Pages, InDesign Pages and Saras are only duplicated if they have never been duplicated as part of the conversion of a Script (from QuarkXPress to InDesign, for example). This means, for example, that if you convert multiple QuarkXPress script that use the same Sara, then that Sara is only duplicated once, and all converted scripts use the same duplicated Sara (just as all the original scripts were using the same original Sara).


It also means that, if you need to modify some of the Saras due to differences between QuarkXPress and InDesign, then any other script that uses those Saras is not affected.


Convert the current script (not recommended)


When you choose this option, the changes of file references extensions from .QXP to .INDD are made directly to the current script.


In addition, as mentioned above, the file name extension of each Grid Template used in any of the Diary Grids script lines of the current script will also be changed.


If some of these templates are used by other scripts, then this conversion between the QuarkXPress and the InDesign file formats may have unintended side-effects, as it may make other scripts, using the same Grid Templates, unusable.


For the above reasons, we do not recommend this option.


Conversion from QuarkXPress Preferences


Additionally, there are a few options in the InDesign preferences which assist in the handling of attributes and options used in QuarkXPress but which do not exist in InDesign (such as italics).


Topic 184955, last updated on 25-Oct-2023