InDesign to Illustrator

keith1

Well-known member
Greetings,

Does anyone have a magic formula for getting files that were put together in InDesign CS5.5 to Illustrator CS5 and still have them somewhat editable?

Scenario:
Label printer wants Illustrator files. I don't know why they can't use InDesign files. That would solve everything.
Text in Illustrator sucks, so I use InDesign. However, if I export to EPS or PDF (same difference I guess) and open in Illustrator it ends up with a billion layers with every spec of everything in the universe on it's own layer.

I don't want a discussion on how Illustrator is not a PDF editor. I know that.
I already have many labels set up in InDesign and don't want to remake in Illustrator.

This would be OK it it were simply CMYK, but there is a white ink layer involved that gets mixed in with all the CMYK layers and it would take 10 years to separate everything.

I've made a separate white and CMYK PDF from InDesign and linked those to a 2 layer Illustrator file. I *think* that should work if nothing has to be altered. They have to make a die-line for alternating front/back labels. I don't know why the die-line can't be made in InDesign.

Thoughts?
Thanks,
Keith

PS/ There was a time when I partied on Friday nights :(
 

DCurry

Well-known member
Your label printer sucks. Shop around for someone who can work with industry-standard files.
 

Bill W

Well-known member
They might not suck necessarily, perhaps they just want to avoid Adobe lock in.
Greetings Dan,

Guess I am feeling a bit vulnerable today, cause I have to take a bit of exception to your comment. I have been involved in preparing labels (flexo) in a digital form since 1991. Illustrator 3.3 was definitely better at preparing art at that time then the two page layout programs available - Quark and Pagemaker.

Maybe because I have been using Illustrator for so long, I am just better in it than Indesign (to quote from Quigley Down Under - did not say I could not use it, just said I do not have much use for it). I still feel that Illustrator better for label layout than InDesign. Does not mean we have not figured out a way to use design when needed.

We print a lot of labels (10 plants across the USA) and have even won some awards. So if being a label printer and using Illustrator means we suck, I guess we suck.

Prinergy 6.0
(Illustrator - unfortunately including CC)
 

Stephen Marsh

Well-known member
Have you tried copying from InDesign and Pasting into Illustrator?
Well I'll be damned! Why didn't I try that before?! This is a sterling example of why this forum is here.
Thank you so much!
Keith
Depending on your application program settings, you may need to juggle things and see what works the best. InDesign Preferences/Clipboard Handling and Illustrator Preferences/File Handling and Clipboard.

Some scripts that you may find helpful if you have to work with “broken text”:

wundes.com (Join TextFrames, Divide TextFrame)

Index of /scripts/scripts/nvkelso (MakeAreaType, MakePointType)
http://kelsocartography.com/scripts/

Depending on how the stacking order comes in, you may need to run something like the following before using the join/area scripts above:

https://forums.adobe.com/message/4603644


Stephen Marsh
 
Last edited:

Stephen Marsh

Well-known member
Scenario:
Label printer wants Illustrator files. I don't know why they can't use InDesign files. That would solve everything.
Commercial printer wants InDesign files. I don’t know why they can’t use Illustrator files. That would solve everything. ;]

Although you may not agree with an industry practice, Illustrator files are the defacto standard file format for packaging and labels.

PDF workflows are the great equaliser for commercial print, labels, packaging etc – whether the PDF is from Illustrator or InDesign. Many printers outside of commercial printing do not wish to make the investment in tools when working with PDF files, so they prefer to use the traditional native file workflows. I am guessing that most labels setup by clients are not truly “print ready” and require some sort of editing.


Stephen Marsh
 
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keith1

Well-known member
Hi Stephen,

Thanks for these links. I'll check them out. Copy & paste will work for now. Really all that's needed is to separate a couple layers. Or 3 in this case: White Ink, CMYK Ink, and Crops & Bleed. It was just a matter of copying each InDesign layer to an Illustrator layer.

Keith
 

keith1

Well-known member
In my experience I've found label printers are accustomed to using Illustrator and convert whatever files they get over to Illy. Maybe early versions of InDesign or Quark didn't work for them - I can never remember features from one version to the next, so don't recall what early versions could or couldn't do.
Label pre-press has conceded to me that they have been burned on occasion when the conversion missed, or re-formatted elements of files. I guess you get good at spotting these things after awhile and they manage to catch a lot.
Also, I suppose they must deal with what they have to work with and some owners are resistant to update when they think something works for them. They may not realize that pre-press is saving their ass several times a day. To go further and invite nasty comments, I've found some label people to be only marginally advanced over letterpress people on the evolution scale. Yeah I know, not *all* label printers ;)
Each to their preferences. I'm happy to get native files from my customers, simply because I can't trust the PDF files they send me and I prefer to make my own.
Anyways, my problem/frustration is solved for now, thanks to the initial suggestion to copy & paste.

Keith
 

keith1

Well-known member
"Friday nights just called, they want their Keith back"

Party on, Dude.
It shames me to concede I have grown too old. The price to pay for partying these days is 3 days of suffering. Long gone are the days when I could wake up on a strangers lawn and happily carry on merrily with the day.
 

pcmodem

Registered Users
Greetings Dan,

Maybe because I have been using Illustrator for so long, I am just better in it than Indesign (to quote from Quigley Down Under - did not say I could not use it, just said I do not have much use for it). I still feel that Illustrator better for label layout than InDesign. Does not mean we have not figured out a way to use design when needed.
I haven't worked with label printing and I am sure there are several of us who are just like me. Can you explain what you have to manipulate in an Illustrator file to get it to print on a label (flexo press). Perhaps this will help the rest of us understand what is needing to be done to our files.
 

DCurry

Well-known member
zoran said:
They might not suck necessarily, perhaps they just want to avoid Adobe lock in.
Z, how does rejecting Adobe InDesign files in favor of Adobe Illustrator files avoid "Adobe lock in"?



So if being a label printer and using Illustrator means we suck, I guess we suck.
Bill, no offense was meant (unless you are the OP's printer!) and I certainly didn't meant to imply that the OP's printer (or anyone else) sucks simply because they use Illustrator as their primary app. They suck because, according to the OP, they won't accept InDesign files, thereby forcing the OP to jump through hoops to give them something they can print.

If the OP was using non-industry-standard software like Publisher, PowerPoint, Word or Excel and trying to submit files, then I would understand the printer's rejecting the files in favor of something more professional. While I know that label printing is a specialized niche, the printers need to be able to work with what is supplied, assuming that what is supplied is using an industry-standard app (it was, in this case) and the files are properly built (within reason - can't expect a designer to know every little pitfall of flexo printing).

Of course, everything could have gone smoother if the OP had found out from the printer what was acceptable in the first place, but we all know that all too often the printer is chosen well after the artwork is created.
 

keith1

Well-known member
After speaking directly with the prepress operator, who seems quite knowledgeable, there are apparently plugins to Illustrator that are used to support some of the label prep functions. I don't know what specifically.
However it also seems that over the years Illustrator has become to software of choice when it comes to label prep - even though InDesign (for example) could likely be quite suitable as well these days. She pointed out that probably only about 5% of their files received are InDesign.

Worth noting is that my original files would have been fine except, this run of labels is going digital and involves printing a white base over portions of silver stock.
Since my background is with offset, I prepared the white as a separate spot colour plate (file layer). I have learned that with HP digital press this is not the way it works, so label prepress had some extensive file manipulation to perform. Other files for different labels didn't involve the same intricate little knockouts etc. so were easy to work with.
She will send me a finished Illustrator file so I can see what's been done and have a better understanding of their process.

Keith
 

schenkadere

Well-known member
Greetings Dan,

Guess I am feeling a bit vulnerable today, cause I have to take a bit of exception to your comment. I have been involved in preparing labels (flexo) in a digital form since 1991. Illustrator 3.3 was definitely better at preparing art at that time then the two page layout programs available - Quark and Pagemaker.

Maybe because I have been using Illustrator for so long, I am just better in it than Indesign (to quote from Quigley Down Under - did not say I could not use it, just said I do not have much use for it). I still feel that Illustrator better for label layout than InDesign. Does not mean we have not figured out a way to use design when needed.

We print a lot of labels (10 plants across the USA) and have even won some awards. So if being a label printer and using Illustrator means we suck, I guess we suck.

Prinergy 6.0
(Illustrator - unfortunately including CC)
I'm with you...keep Indesign out of packaging and labeling.
 

dabob

Well-known member
I'm with you...keep Indesign out of packaging and labeling.

Heck . . . we print commercial and labels and packaging . . . you get it to us in anything (xcept corel) and we'll get your job done (it might cost a bit more) but our motto here is "no problem"
 

alibryan

Well-known member
Heck . . . we print commercial and labels and packaging . . . you get it to us in anything (xcept corel) and we'll get your job done (it might cost a bit more) but our motto here is "no problem"
It's interesting how the more experience people have, the more things become possible. I've worked at places that struggle with files and blame the customer for everything. Plates being remade (if caught) or jobs being reprinted. Then you work somewhere with people who know how to do their jobs and it's just like you said, 'no problem'.
 

schenkadere

Well-known member
Heck . . . we print commercial and labels and packaging . . . you get it to us in anything (xcept corel) and we'll get your job done (it might cost a bit more) but our motto here is "no problem"
We'll get it done in anything including Corel...it's just preference and the ability to use Esko Deskpack in Illustrator...I don't see packaging specific tools developed for Indesign, unless I'm missing something.
 

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