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Okay, you have a text file such as this Word document and you need to get it into InDesign. The easiest method is just to select some text and copy and paste it, and while this often works just fine especially for small amounts of simple unformatted text, I really don't recommend it for anything more than a paragraph or two, and I certainly wouldn't use copy and paste for any text that was formatted or included foreign languages or special characters. I've just seen too many problems over the years with text showing up totally wrong after pasting it.
Instead, I strongly recommend that you use the Place command in InDesign. It's much more reliable. Let me show you. I'll switch back to InDesign, and I'll go to File menu and choose Place. Or you can press Command+D or Ctrl+D on Windows. Now I'll select that text file, this is simply a Word document but it could be a Word document or an RTF file, and then I'll click Open. InDesign loads the Place cursor with that story, and to place the story inside my InDesign document, I'm going to move my cursor up in the left corner, until I see a subtle but important change to the cursor.
The black arrow turned to a white arrow. You may have to squint to see it, but it's there. That white cursor means that when I click it's going to snap to the margins. So I'm going to get as close as I can to the edge, but I don't have to worry too much about it. Now I'll click, and it'll make a frame and flow the text into it. Notice that this document had no text frame on the page. There's no text frame on the Master page, it's just a blank document. Also, if I open the Pages panel you'll notice that there's only one page in this document.
So InDesign had no place to flow the rest of the story. But I happened to now this is a much longer story, and I really wish, I could get the entire Word document into InDesign. Fortunately you can. I'll Command+Z or Ctrl+Z on Windows, and it reloads the Place cursor, and now I'm going to place this text file with a modifier key. I'm going to hold down the Shift Key, and when you press the Shift Key the cursor changes. You get this kind of sneaky S-shape in there, and that indicates that when I click, it's going to flow all the text.
So once again I'll move the cursor to the upper-left corner and I'll click. This time InDesign not only imports just that one page, but the whole text story and it created a whole bunch of pages for me and on each of those pages, it created a text frame and threaded the text from one page to the next automatically. So that Shift Key modifier is really important when you're importing a bunch of text. There's one more important thing that I need to point out here. Look at the text formatting here.
It looks much nicer than it did in Word. I'll go back to Word here and you can see. Here it is in Word, it's all in Arial, kind of clunky but probably easy to edit. But over here in InDesign it looks different. Why? Well, I'm going to be talking about paragraph styles and character styles in a later chapter, but I do want to point right now, that if the styles are named exactly the same between Word and InDesign, then InDesign will throw away the formatting from Word and use the formatting that's defined in the InDesign template instead.
In this case, if I look in the Paragraph Styles panel, you'll see I have a lot of styles in here and they're named exactly the same as they were in Word. This workflow is typically what you want. So it's extremely helpful to make sure that you have the same names in your Word document and your InDesign documents. Now a moment ago, I mentioned about threading, the fact that this story threads from this page, down to these other pages. What's that about and how can you manually thread stories, from one text frame to another? Well, that's what I'm going to cover in the next movie.
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