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We have seen how using Paragraph styles can massively increase our workflow and productivity and ensure consistency and open up all sorts of creative possibilities. But what if we were to take it a step closer to the source? It's common for this text to be created in the first instance by somebody else, probably using Word or a similar word processing program, and they pass on that text document to you, you place it in InDesign, and probably the first thing you do is remove all of the bad formatting that they have included in that text document.
But what if there were a more open line of communication between you the designer and they the text processor? What if they were to include not bad formatting in the document but good formatting so that in a perfect world you might have to take that text file, place it in your InDesign document, and it formats itself. So that is the premise of style mapping. Let's see how this is going to work. So here I am in this document where all we have are the text frames already set up.
So the text frames are created and the threads, the text flow, has been established. And what I am going to do is I am going to place that text file into this text flow and hopefully we will see that it formats itself. Before we do that let's just pop over to Word, where we see here is the text file. It's called catalog copy. So I'm going to select that text frame, press Command+D or Ctrl+D, choose catalog copy, and it's not got in there, but if I just click on that first frame, we see that it does now. And look at that, it looks almost finished.
I say almost finished because there are a couple of glitches that have occurred. The world is not quite perfect after all, and here is one glitch right here, this paragraph has not come in with the right format. It has the right style applied to it but somehow the formatting got mixed up, so to fix that I can just hold down the Option or Alt key and then click on the style name. How and why did that happen? It happened because the person creating the Word document used exactly the same style names as we have in the InDesign document.
Notice it doesn't necessarily need to look the same in Word, it's all about the structure, using the same style names. And those style names we can find here on this dropdown menu or we can also find them under Format > Style, right there. So as soon as we take this text, put it in InDesign, the text defers to the InDesign style definitions. Sounds too good to be true, it probably is a bit too good to be true in the real world.
More likely, whoever has created the Word document has used a similar structure but different style names. And that's where Style Mapping comes in. In this case, we didn't need to map the styles because the style names were exactly the same. However, if we need to take more control, and I have just pressed Command+Z a few times to back up to the starting point, we can place the file, and this time I am going to place this document, catalog copy1.
Where the structure is the same but the style names are different, and I am going to choose Show Import Options. Way back, in an early chapter I was talking about the difference between copying and pasting text, and placing text. And this is where placing text really comes into its own, where it can give you far more options than copying and pasting. Because when you place, you can see the Import Options, which for an RTF or a Word document are these.
You can, if you want to, remove old styles and formatting. If you have got loads of really egregious formatting in this document you can just strip it all out here. And you could also strip out any Inline Graphics that you may not want. Now in our case, we don't want to do that. What we want to do is Customize Style Import. Choose Style Mapping, and then we get a list of the style names that have been used in the text document and a list of the style names in our InDesign document, and we just need to match them up. So when in doubt, I go to body text.
Now we get to the first word style, body text, but we are calling it body. Where the name is the same we have a match. What they have called Course, we are calling Course name, what they are calling dates, we are calling date, what they are calling Prereq, we are calling Prereq_ns, that _ns signifying that it is a Nested Style. And everything else matches up, click OK. And I could--if I were going to be receiving text from the same source multiple times--I could save that as a Preset, so the next time I placed the text file I didn't need to go through that, but I am just going to click OK, and we'll place the text file, and we are in the same position as we were before when the style names used were identical from Word to InDesign, but this time we have taken control.
Again, not everything is going to come across perfectly. So this isn't entirely the free lunch that you may have been hoping it was, but it can save you an enormous amount of time, and it doesn't mean that there isn't a duplication of effort. Your text processes are not formatting the document once only for you to have to remove that formatting and then reformatting yourself. You can piggyback on the work that they have already done, and then you'll have to do some cleanup inevitably when you get the text into InDesign, but still it should be saving you a tremendous amount of time.
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