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- What are styles and why should I use them?
- Setting up and applying styles
- Dealing with style overrides
- Text styles
- Object styles
- Table styles
- Using style groups
- Sharing styles between documents
Skill Level Beginner
In reality, a designer typically won't be entering text content into a document themselves. Usually someone will write the copy for a project using another program such as Microsoft Word. This can actually be a very efficient workflow. You see, InDesign has excellent support for Microsoft Word documents. And allows you to utilize the formatting contained within the word document to give you a jump start or even utilize the document efficiently in your workflow. I have this document opened in InDesign, and it's in an intermediary state where we're going to flow the text into this center panel on this page.
Now you may want to turn off preview mode by clicking on this button in the lower left corner of the Tools panel. And I'm going to go ahead and switch my Type tool and click inside of that text train. Now just to show you my the word document the we're going to flow in is really just content that has been typed into word. And this is what you're typically going to see from somebody who enters the text in Word, in this manner. So back in InDesign, to flow a Word document into my InDesign document, I'm going to go to the File menu and I'm going to choose Place.
And if I navigate to the links folder. I have a kid's no format Word document. Now this is using the new .docx format, however a standard .doc document works just fine as well. Now, with this file selected, I am going to click on the Show Import Options checkbox. And when I click Open, you're going to see that it brings up the Microsoft Word import Options dialog box. Now, this is where I have a lot of control over what's going to be imported inside of InDesign.
You can see that if my Word document contains a table of contents, index, footnotes or endnotes It will import those into the InDesign document. I can turn on the option to use typographers quotes if the Word document is not doing so. And then the really important part is down here where I can control how the formatting is going to be handled. Now the default inside of InDesign is to preserve styles and formatting from text and tables. What this will do is simply honor any formatting that has been applied inside of the word document.
Now you'll often get documents where people have tried to format the content for you, and that may or not be of any help. So preserving the styles is going to try to retain the appearance. Another option is to remove the styles and formatting from text and tables. What this will do is simply strip out all of that formatting. So to show you this, let's go ahead and choose Preserve Styles and Formatting. And I'll go ahead and click OK. And you can see that all of the content from that Word document has been imported into InDesign.
Now just to show you something, if I open up my Paragraph Styles panel, you're going to notice that this style has been created. And it has a little floppy disc icon next to it, because that is a style that was imported from Word. If you look at the word document, you can see that pretty much default text inside of word is using the normal style. So, that is an easy way to flow text into InDesign, but I'd like to show you a slightly more powerful method. I'm going to press Cmd+Z or Ctrl+Z on my keyboard to undo that. And then I'll press Cmd+Z one more time, so that I'm not placing that text. Now, back in Word, I'm going to close this kids no format document. And show you that I also have a regular kids.docx document. The difference between the two, as you can see, is there's some formatting being applied.
However I've actually used styles in Word to format my text. You can see that I've created a body style, and I've even created a body indent style and I'm using the standard heading 3 style for most of the subheadings ... So, there is some formatting you can do inside of Word. Now, with that Word document I'm going to switch over to InDesign and show you another way we can import this text. I'm going to go to the File menu and I'm going to choose Place.
And we're going to select this time the kids.docx document. Make sure Show Import Options is turned on and click Open. Now you've seen that we can strip out all the formatting if we want to. We can preserve the formatting. However there's a really, really powerful feature inside of InDesign that allows me to customize that style import. If I click that radio button and click the style mapping button. What you are going to see is that this allows me to map my word style to existing InDesign styles so you can see this can be incredibly powerful.
If you are using a style in Word that exactly matches the name in InDesign it's automatically going to map them to the appropriate category. However, if you're using some styles that are a little bit different you can map them manually. So for instance, normal I may just want to map that to body. So basically any content that might be mapped to normal, we're just going to map it manually. And then for heading 3, I'm just going to map that to my subhead.
When I click OK and then OK again, you'll notice now that all of your content comes in preformatted. How powerful is this? So you can really save yourself a ton of time, when utilizing this method. Again, all you need to do is set up a couple styles in a Word template and instruct somebody how to use it. And this is how quickly it becomes for you to flow new text into your document. I'm just going to finish this up by clicking on the sub head at the top of the first column and applying sub head expand.
And it looks like everything's now formatted pretty much the way that I want it to be. As you can see in this video. At the most basic level you can utilize content created in Word with ease. But with a little preferration you can streamline the work flow process between you the designer and the author of the content for projects.