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Cleaning up a local formatting mess

From: InDesign CS5 Essential Training

Video: Cleaning up a local formatting mess

One of the most common tasks in InDesign is importing a text or RTF file often from Microsoft Word. And one of the main problems that occur when people do this is that the folks using Word or some other word processor added some formatting that you want to keep as well as a bunch of formatting that you want to get rid of. For example, I'm going to go to the File menu, choose Place and pick this RTF file. This was saved out of Microsoft Word. I'll click Open and I'm going to place it inside this frame here. It threads through all the frames just the way I want, but I can see quickly because I know my template that this looks wrong, totally wrong.

Cleaning up a local formatting mess

One of the most common tasks in InDesign is importing a text or RTF file often from Microsoft Word. And one of the main problems that occur when people do this is that the folks using Word or some other word processor added some formatting that you want to keep as well as a bunch of formatting that you want to get rid of. For example, I'm going to go to the File menu, choose Place and pick this RTF file. This was saved out of Microsoft Word. I'll click Open and I'm going to place it inside this frame here. It threads through all the frames just the way I want, but I can see quickly because I know my template that this looks wrong, totally wrong.

Let's zoom on this little bit. It looks like the font is wrong, the size is wrong, all kinds of things are wrong. In fact, if I open my Paragraph Styles panel and double-click on some text to switch to the Type tool, I can see that wherever I click, I get a plus sign. It says plus there, says plus down here. Now I know that the plus sign means there is local overrides on top of the paragraph style. I want to strip all of that away. To do that, I'm going to select all the text, Command+A, or Ctrl+A on Windows, and I'm going to come down here and click on this Remove Overrides, the Clear Overrides button at the bottom of the Paragraph Styles panel.

But before I do that, I want to point one thing out to you. Look at this text here. "City by the Bay" is in italic. All right! Now the author made that italic on purpose and I better keep it italic or else I'm going to be in trouble. So what happens when I clear the overrides? Well, it looks a lot better. Let me deselect here, so we can see the text better, but the words, "City by the Bay" are no longer italic. Bad news, so I'm in trouble. I have to be able to remove some of the local overrides, but not the italics. How can I do that? Well, there is a trick.

So I'm going to undo this with a Command+Z or Ctrl+Z on Windows and I'll show you what to do. In order to keep some of my overrides, in this case the italic words, I'm going to need a character style. So, I'm going to deselect everything with a Command+Shift+A or Ctrl+Shift+A on Windows, click on Character Styles, and create a brand new character style. I deselected everything so that I wouldn't get any of that local formatting sucked up here into this dialog box. Now I'm going to make my own new character style called italic.

You can call it anything you want. And I'm going to make it apply the italic format. That's all it's going to do. Let me check General. I'll make sure that that's all it's going to do. It's simply going to apply the italic Style to anything that I apply this character style to. I'm going to make sure that Apply Style to Selection is turned off, because nothing is selected on my page. If I had this checkbox on, then this style would become my new default style for the document. That would be bad. So, I'm going to click OK and we can see that we're still set to None. That's good.

So now I need to apply that character style to any text that I want to stay italic. So I'll drag over these words here and I'll click italic, there we go. InDesign has now applied the italic character style to this, not just the local italic formatting. And that's not difficult to do, but if I had a long story and a lot of different words that were italic, this would get tedious pretty quickly. So I need a way to automate that conversion and I could do that with a Find/Change dialog box. I'll press Command+F or Ctrl+F on Windows to open Find/Change and because I'm only replacing formatting, I'm going to leave the Find what and Change to fields blank.

I'm not changing any text at all. I just want to pay attention to the two fields down here. I'll click in the Find Format field and I'm going to tell InDesign to search for anything that has local italic formatting. There we go. I just type italic in here. Click OK and we can see that it shows up. Now I'm going to click in the Change Format field and I'm going to say wherever it found the local italic formatting, make sure you apply my character style italic. That's the one I just created. Click OK, click Change All, and it says that I only have one replacement made.

Well, I know there is more italic words than that in this document. So let me click OK. Oh, I see the problem. The Search pop-up menu was set to Selection. That means that it was only changing this one selection. That was silly. Let's go ahead and try another one, setting this to Document. Now it is going to find all these words that are in italic throughout the entire document. Change All and it found eight of them. There we go, that's much better. Click OK, click Done, and I'm now ready to strip out all the local formatting, except for the stuff that is italic character style.

Let's try Command+A or Ctrl+A on Windows. It selects all the story. Go to do Paragraph Styles panel, click Clear Overrides, and check it out, there we go. All the local formatting has been removed except for the words that were in that character style. Almost every one spends too much time cleaning up imported text. It's a perpetual problem, but this basic workflow of creating and applying character styles, then clearing all the overrides, usually goes a long way to getting the job done.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for InDesign CS5 Essential Training
InDesign CS5 Essential Training

135 video lessons · 89266 viewers

David Blatner
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 5m 50s
    1. Welcome
      1m 33s
    2. What is InDesign CS5?
      2m 26s
    3. Using the exercise files
      1m 51s
  2. 54m 49s
    1. Understanding the Application window
      6m 0s
    2. Navigating pages
      6m 39s
    3. Zooming and magnifying
      6m 57s
    4. Managing more than one document window
      3m 36s
    5. Setting rulers and measurements
      2m 9s
    6. Positioning panels correctly
      6m 28s
    7. Saving time by making workspaces
      3m 24s
    8. Setting the view quality of artwork
      4m 9s
    9. Adjusting View and Preview settings
      4m 56s
    10. Rotating pages and spreads
      3m 2s
    11. Displaying a new view with the New Window feature
      3m 29s
    12. Setting application and document preferences
      4m 0s
  3. 21m 31s
    1. Using the Tool panel
      8m 1s
    2. Learning and editing keyboard shortcuts
      6m 24s
    3. Working with spring-loaded tool shortcuts
      1m 17s
    4. Using contextual menus
      2m 51s
    5. Choosing menu items with Quick Apply
      2m 58s
  4. 45m 25s
    1. Creating new documents
      7m 28s
    2. Saving and reverting documents
      3m 41s
    3. Using multiple Undo and Revert
      4m 28s
    4. Setting margin and column guides
      5m 16s
    5. Using ruler guides
      8m 10s
    6. Bleeding colors or images off the side of the page
      4m 29s
    7. Saving objects in libraries
      4m 49s
    8. Exporting and importing page snippets
      4m 29s
    9. Saving for CS4 with IDML
      2m 35s
  5. 31m 18s
    1. Inserting, deleting, and moving pages
      7m 23s
    2. Changing page size
      6m 14s
    3. Adding page numbering
      3m 43s
    4. Changing page numbering with sections
      5m 58s
    5. Creating and applying master pages
      5m 20s
    6. Overriding master page items
      2m 40s
  6. 1h 21m
    1. Understanding text frames
      4m 6s
    2. Typing and editing text
      4m 36s
    3. Filling with placeholder text
      2m 38s
    4. Inserting special characters
      4m 43s
    5. Importing text
      7m 49s
    6. Threading text frames
      4m 1s
    7. Setting text frame columns and insets
      6m 32s
    8. Setting vertical justification and first baseline position
      6m 9s
    9. Putting text on a path
      6m 51s
    10. Using the Story Editor
      8m 43s
    11. Checking spelling
      7m 42s
    12. Using Find/Change
      9m 25s
    13. Tracking text changes
      8m 1s
  7. 49m 50s
    1. Importing graphics
      8m 11s
    2. Importing from Mini Bridge
      5m 27s
    3. Using the Links panel
      6m 34s
    4. Embedding links
      2m 37s
    5. Editing graphics in their original app
      3m 14s
    6. Fitting graphics to a frame
      6m 12s
    7. Taking advantage of image transparency and clipping paths
      4m 53s
    8. Adding live captions
      5m 56s
    9. Colorizing images
      2m 1s
    10. Turning image layers on and off
      4m 45s
  8. 46m 15s
    1. Selecting objects
      5m 32s
    2. Applying basic strokes and fills
      8m 18s
    3. Using advanced strokes
      3m 28s
    4. Adjusting transparency
      4m 38s
    5. Adding drop shadows
      6m 41s
    6. Applying feathering
      4m 25s
    7. Copying formatting with the Eyedropper tool
      4m 35s
    8. Finding and changing object formatting
      4m 50s
    9. Making polygons and starbursts
      3m 48s
  9. 22m 56s
    1. Making interactive documents
      2m 6s
    2. Adding hyperlinks
      5m 52s
    3. Building bookmarks
      3m 38s
    4. Creating buttons
      8m 57s
    5. Animating an object
      2m 23s
  10. 23m 29s
    1. Creating color swatches
      5m 52s
    2. The danger and power of unnamed colors
      4m 47s
    3. Building tint swatches
      2m 18s
    4. Creating gradient swatches
      3m 56s
    5. Applying gradients
      6m 36s
  11. 50m 0s
    1. Positioning objects with the Page Gap tool
      2m 53s
    2. Stacking objects
      2m 13s
    3. Creating and controlling layers
      3m 53s
    4. Managing objects in the Layers panel
      3m 37s
    5. Nesting objects
      2m 46s
    6. Editing frame and path shapes
      4m 6s
    7. Adding rounded corners and other corner options
      3m 57s
    8. Grouping objects
      3m 14s
    9. Locking objects
      2m 39s
    10. Aligning and distributing
      5m 43s
    11. Understanding text wrap
      8m 13s
    12. Using anchored objects
      6m 46s
  12. 18m 49s
    1. Duplicating objects
      5m 39s
    2. Rotating objects
      3m 3s
    3. Scaling objects
      3m 57s
    4. Mirroring objects
      3m 46s
    5. Using the Transform Again feature
      2m 24s
  13. 25m 52s
    1. Applying basic character styling
      7m 8s
    2. Applying advanced character formatting
      4m 54s
    3. Changing case
      2m 51s
    4. Understanding OpenType features
      3m 19s
    5. Using Find/Change for text formatting
      3m 18s
    6. Using Find Font
      4m 22s
  14. 45m 27s
    1. Applying formatting to a paragraph
      4m 14s
    2. Spanning a paragraph across multiple columns
      3m 5s
    3. Splitting a paragraph into multiple columns
      2m 1s
    4. Using drop caps
      3m 16s
    5. Adjusting text hyphenation
      3m 21s
    6. Fine-tuning justified text
      4m 19s
    7. Setting tabs
      5m 54s
    8. Aligning to a baseline grid
      4m 24s
    9. Controlling orphans and widows with Keep Options
      2m 39s
    10. Adding rules (lines) above or below a paragraph
      3m 14s
    11. Adding automatic bullets
      4m 39s
    12. Working with numbered lists
      4m 21s
  15. 31m 3s
    1. Creating and applying paragraph styles
      6m 34s
    2. Using character styles
      5m 43s
    3. Applying styles automatically with Nested Styles
      7m 19s
    4. Using object styles
      3m 27s
    5. Using Quick Apply with styles
      2m 49s
    6. Cleaning up a local formatting mess
      5m 11s
  16. 37m 0s
    1. Creating a table
      5m 54s
    2. Adjusting rows and columns
      6m 35s
    3. Formatting a table
      8m 5s
    4. Adding headers and footers
      1m 58s
    5. Applying table styles
      5m 32s
    6. Adding Microsoft Word and Excel tables
      8m 56s
  17. 10m 26s
    1. Checking your document with the Preflight panel
      2m 54s
    2. Creating a custom preflight profile
      4m 45s
    3. Checking color with the Separations Preview
      2m 47s
  18. 31m 7s
    1. Packaging for output
      4m 13s
    2. Using the Print dialog box
      10m 22s
    3. Exporting a PDF
      8m 47s
    4. Exporting an interactive PDF
      3m 59s
    5. Exporting text
      1m 36s
    6. Exporting SWF files
      2m 10s
  19. 1m 32s
    1. Finding more information and help
      1m 12s
    2. Goodbye
      20s

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