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We all need to get text into InDesign. And back in the Essential Training title, we looked at the basic method for importing text. For example, here I have an RTF file open in Word and I can see all my text and it is all been styled. For example, this first line has been styled with the pastille article subhead paragraph style, this is the pastille article body, there is the subhead, and so on. Now let's go ahead and import that into InDesign. I will switch to InDesign and if you look at the Paragraph Styles panel, you see we have the same named paragraph styles; pastille article body is here, pastille subheads, and so on. Now let's go ahead and import that file. File > Place. I will select the RTF file, click Open, and it loads the Place cursor.
In this case, I will click and drag to make a text frame exactly of the size I want. And when I let it go, it fills as much as it can in that frame and leaves an overset mark. So I will click on that, and I will come up here and I could click and drag some more. Or in this case, I am going to hold down Shift and Option or Shift+Alt on Windows to do the semi- automatic flow, which will actually fill all the existing text frames and pages with the story. In this case, it makes two more text frame. Move this out of the way. It makes two more text frames, one in the left column, one in the right column. This one it brought a little bit too high so I think I am going to bring it down. It started up here because of that margin guide was up here and let's bring this up a little bit too. We don't need that to go all way down to the bottom. Here we go, looking pretty good. Except that I am already seeing some real problems here. Let me select this text frame over here and go to 100% actual view size mode with a Cmd+1 or Ctrl+1. And I can see that this is the wrong font. I just happen to know that is definitely the wrong font.
And if I double click on it to place the text cursor in it, I can see a few clues of what is going on in the Paragraph Styles panel. The very first thing I notice is that the style that is selected has a small disc icon next to it. And that disc icon means that this style came from the file on disc. It was imported along with the Word file. This is not the style that I had in my InDesign document. And now I can see what happened. The style in my InDesign document was called pastille subheads while this was called pastille article subheads. Sometimes that happens. People working on the Word document change the name or they just have a different idea of what it should be called.
Well, that is okay because we can map the styles from Word into InDesign. Let's go ahead and delete all this text. I will just do a Cmd+A or Ctrl+A on Windows and delete it. And I am going to throw away that paragraph style in the Paragraph Styles panel. I don't want that hiding in there. So now I am going to place that story. So I will press Cmd+D or Ctrl+D on Windows to open the Place dialog box. I will select the RTF file. But instead of just clicking Open, I am going to turn on the Show Import Options checkbox. When that is on, I get an Import Options dialog box, which gives me a lot of control over how this file is going to be imported.
First of all, you can control whether InDesign will import things like a Table of Contents or an Index, if those things are in the Word document or the RTF file. You can also control things like Footnotes and Endnotes. Although as we learned in an earlier chapter, InDesign doesn't actually have Endnotes, so that kind of fakes it. You can turn on or off the Typographer's Quotes. That is, the curly quotes instead of using the straight quotes that might be in the Word document. And here is the important thing to me, Formatting. What do you want to do with any formatting that is in that Word document or in that RTF file? The first option here is Remove Styles and Formatting from Text and Tables.
That will actually strip up all the formatting. Well, that is not what we want. We do want to hold on to those styles that are in the Word document. So I am going to not use that one and instead I am going to say Preserve the Styles and Formatting from Text and Tables. But then I need to fine-tune that a little bit. Down here, do I want to import the styles automatically? That's what it usually is. That is a default setting. So for example, here we say, Paragraph Style Conflicts, Use the InDesign Style Definition. That is, if you have two paragraph styles, one in the Word document, one in the InDesign document, and they have exactly the same name; what do you want to have happen? Well, typically you want it to use the InDesign Style Definition, not the Word Style Definition. That is a sort of common sense.
Now the same thing with character styles. But in this case, we don't want to import the styles automatically. We want to customize the style import because the names are not the same but we actually want them to be. We want InDesign to pretend they are. So I will click on Customize Style Import and then I will click on the Style Mapping button. The Style Mapping dialog box let's me see the names of all of the styles in the RTF file on the left side, and on the right side the names of the paragraph styles in InDesign. And I can see that things like Body-variation shows up on the left side and the Body-variation on the right side. So it is trying to match those as best it can. On the other hand, pastille article subheads shows up here and New Paragraph Style shows up here.
That is what was happening before. When it was adding a new paragraph style in the InDesign Paragraph Style panel. So we don't want that. So I will click on that and it turns into a pop-up menu from which I can choose any paragraph style in InDesign. In this case, I will choose the one that I wanted it to use which is pastille subheads. So now anything that is formatted with pastille article subheads will turn into pastille subheads in the InDesign document. Let's try it out. I will click OK and by the way, before I go ahead and click OK again, I should point this Save Preset button. This is really cool. If you are going to be importing a lot of files that have the same let's say, mistake.
In other words, the same formatting of those paragraph style names. And you want to always bring them in; you always want to have that Style Mapping that we had just up. Well, go ahead and save it as a Preset. Then it will show up in the Preset pop-up menu at the top of the dialog box, and instead of having to go that Style Mapping dialog box every time, you just pull it out of the Preset pop-up menu once. That is just such a time saver. Okay, anyway. Now we are going to import that file by clicking OK and see what happens. There we go. It is no longer in the wrong font. It is now in the proper font. It looks just great. We can see that it is in the proper style, pastille subheads but there is an overwrite. Look at that, there is some size, and tracking, and letting overrides. I am just hovering the cursor over the name and it always shows you what those overrides are. And I can see the overrides well, there because of that little plus sign. The plus sign always indicates local formatting on top of the Paragraph Style. And in fact, everywhere I click here, I get a plus sign. That is really annoying.
And this happens a lot when I import files from Microsoft Word. And there is a quick trick to get around that and that is to use the Clear Overrides button. I will simply select all the text in here, Cmd+A or Ctrl+A on Windows, come down to the bottom of the Paragraph Styles panel and click the Clear Overrides button. Now wherever I click, I don't get that plus sign anymore because all the overrides are gone. On other hand, something else has gone too. I don't know if you notice that. You might have to rewind and play it again to see that some of this text used to be Italic up here and it is no longer Italic. Why? Because remember I told InDesign to clear all the overrides including the Italic text in there. So that is a problem.
But this text down here is Bold. That didn't get wiped out. Why? Well, let's check out the Character Style panel. Character style is set to body bold. Anything that has a character style applied to it will not get wiped out when I use Clear Overrides. So when you are importing a Word document and you want to make sure that some of the formatting is not wiped out when you Clear Overrides, be sure to set it to a character style first, then use the Clear Overrides, it will wipe out everything else but you are left with the proper styling of your character styles.
That may see somewhat convoluted but ultimately that solves most of the problems that people have when importing text into their InDesign documents.
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