Join David Blatner for an in-depth discussion in this video Import text, part of InDesign CC 2018 Essential Training.
- [Instructor] Okay, let's say you have a text file, such as this Word document, and you need to get it into InDesign. Now, the easiest method would be just select some text and copy and paste it. And while that 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 language 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 far more reliable. Let me show you. I'm going to switch back to InDesign, and then I'll go to the File menu and choose Place, or I could press Command + D on the Mac or Control + D on Windows. Now I'm going to select that text file. Like I said, this is simply a Word document, but it could be any text or an RTF file. Then, I'll come down here and click Open.
Because I did not have any frame selected on my page, InDesign loads the Place cursor with that story. If I had an empty frame selected, the story would have gone right into it. But here, to place a story inside my InDesign document, I'm going to move my cursor up to the left corner, here where the margin guides are, until I see a subtle but important change. That tiny black arrow turned into a white arrow. You may have to squint to see it, but it's there. That white arrow inside the cursor means that when I click, it's going to snap to the margin guides.
So I'm going to get as close as I can to those guides, but I don't need to worry about placing it exactly right. Now, I'll click and InDesign creates a frame for me and flows text into it. Now, notice that this document had no text frame on the page, and there's also no frame on the master page. It's just a blank document. Also, if I look over here in the Pages panel, you'll see that there's only one page in this document. However, I happen to know that this is a much longer story.
This should have filled multiple pages. I really wish I could get the entire document into InDesign. And fortunately, you can. Let me show you how. I'm going to undo this by pressing Command + Z or Control + Z on Windows, and that reloads the Place cursor for me. Now, I'm going to place the text file again, but with a modifier key. I'm going to hold down the Shift key. And when you press the Shift key, the cursor changes just a little bit. You get this kind of S-shaped arrow in there, and that indicates that when I click, it's going to flow in all the text.
So once again, I'm going to move the cursor to the upper left corner, near those margin guides, and I still have the Shift key held down. And now, I'll click. Now, this time, InDesign not only imports that one page, but the whole text story, and it created a bunch of pages for me. And on each one of those pages, it created a new text frame and then threaded the text from one page to the next automatically. So that Shift key modifier is really important when you're importing a long story.
Now, there's one more thing that I want to point out here. Look at the formatting on my page. It looks much nicer than it did in the word processing program, right? Let me go back to Microsoft Word, and I'll show you. See here, the fonts are all Arial and Georgia with 1 1/2 spacing to make it easy to edit. But it's not very pretty. Back here in InDesign, it looks very different. Now, how did that happen? Well, I'm going to be talking about Paragraph Styles and Character Styles in a later chapter, but I do want to point out now that if the styles are named exactly the same between Word and InDesign, then InDesign will throw away the original boring formatting, and it'll use the formatting that's defined in the InDesign document instead.
For example, I'll go to the Window menu, choose Styles, and then choose Paragraph Styles. You can see that I have a lot of Paragraph Styles in here. And importantly, they're named exactly the way they were in Word. So it's really helpful to make sure you have the same name styles in your Word documents and your InDesign documents. Now, a moment ago, I mentioned something about threading, the fact that this story here threads from this page, down to these other pages. Well, what's that about? How can you manually thread stories from one text frame to another? That's what I'm going to cover in the next movie.
- Creating a new layout
- Inserting pages
- Adding text
- Inserting graphics
- Applying color and transparency
- Drawing and editing frames and paths
- Formatting objects
- Formatting text
- Creating styles for uniform formatting
- Building tables
- Adding links and interactivity
- Printing and exporting InDesign documents