Join Nigel French for an in-depth discussion in this video Preparing text, part of InDesign CS3 Long Documents.
When you're preparing your text for your InDesign documents there are numerous different approaches you can take. One of which is just to create you text into InDesign itself and should you choose that option, the Story Editor is going to be your best friend and there is a whole chapter coming up on the Story Editor so be sure to check that out. A second approach and one that is gaining more and more popularity is to use an InDesign InCopy workflow. InCopy is a program designed to work with InDesign and this is going to be certainly the most harmonious approach and if that's the way you're going to go I would recommend you check out the excellent tutorials by Anne-Marie Concepcion on the lynda.com website on using InCopy with InDesign. But at this point in time probably the most common workflow is for somebody to create the files in Word and for you to inherit them and working with this, the third approach that I mentioned, Approach 3A is just to kind of take what you've given and then use a series of Find/Change routines, maybe GREP Find/Change routines, maybe a Find/Change script to clean up the text as necessary.
That may sometimes be easier than trying to explain to whomever who is creating the Word text exactly how you want to. But in a perfect world, 3B if you like, is going to be having the author or editor prepare the text in Word in just such a way so that when you place it in InDesign it takes on all the formatting that it needs to get. Now in order for this to happen, whomever's creating the Word document needs to be using the same styles as you are in InDesign or at least their styles need to follow the same structure.
Here I am in the Word. I'm in the realworldtravel2.rtf document and if I look at the Styles panel over here, we see the styles have been applied to this document and they are, not coincidently, the same style names as are being used in the InDesign document. Now, how these styles were created is that I exported some formatted text from the InDesign document to an RTF file and that may be something that you want to do. Export the RTF file. You can then hand that off to your text preparer and they could use that file as a template and it's going to have all the styles that you need in it.
Some obvious problems with using that approach: they may not have the same fonts that you're working with or may be some of your font sizes are not really appropriate when actually creating the text. So their text is almost certainly going to look a lot different in Word and may well be hard for them to resist the temptation of applying lots of formats to the text often under the mistaken notion they're doing you a favor, whereas in reality the first thing that you are going to do is strip out all of that formatting.
That's what's happened here. All of this text has been changed to Comic Sans, which we want to lose, but there is some local formatting in this document that we want to retain. There have been some of the place names called out in bold. This is good local formatting versus bad local formatting. Let's see how we can try and use as much of the good formatting that's going to this Word document as possible, but at the same time strip out the bad stuff. So I'm going to go to InDesign and insert my cursor in the first of my text frames and then go to the File menu where I'll choose Place and the file I'm placing is in the travel brochure folder. It is called realworldtravel2.rtf and I want to make sure that I've got Show Import Options checked and that will bring me up to my RTF Import Options and what I want here is a Customize Style Import.
First of all I want to make sure that this is checked or in fact even if it's not checked, but that is prerequisite to be checked and then we need to take it a step further by clicking on Customize Style Import and then I'm going to click on Style Mapping because what I want to do here is I want to map the incoming Word styles, as shown here on the left, to my InDesign styles, as shown here on the right. Now you remember that, that Word document was actually exported from InDesign so surely the styles should match.
Well, they should but because the InDesign document uses Style Groups that kind of confuses Word a bit and interprets the style name like so, whereas in InDesign they are represented like this. So that means we're going to have to work a little bit harder here on a case-by-case basis. OK. So when you have all of the styles the way that you want them mapped, click OK and so that you don't have to go through that again, click on Save Preset and you can give the preset a name. OK, and then I'll click OK to import my text.
It comes in and it doesn't look too bad. We're halfway there, but we can see of course it's retained the Comic Sans and if we look at our Paragraph Styles panel, we can see that we've got the ominous plus symbol indicating overrides have been applied. Now the challenge for us is to get rid of the bad overrides but keep the good overrides. If I were to do Apple or Ctrl+A to select all and then from my Paragraph Styles panel choose Clear Overrides, that's going to make everything look the way it should look except that we are going to lose, as is the case right there, we're going to lose that local formatting that we want to keep. So I'm not going to do that.
I press Apple or Ctrl+Z to undo that. Instead what I'm going to need to do is run a Find and Change on this. So I'll come to the Edit menu and choose Find/Change, but before I can do that I need to think about what it is I'm change to. I want to change this bold local formatting to a character style. So I'm going to go to my Character Styles panel where, making sure I have nothing selected, I'm going to choose New Character Style and I will call this bold and then in my Basic Character Formats I will make the Font Style Bold.
Now to Find/Change and I want to make sure the Find What and the Change To fields are both blank and the Find Format and Change Format field if they reflect any previous Find and Change routine that you did, clear those by clicking on the trash can. I'm going to click on the magnifying glass there and what I'm after, Basic Character Formats, I'm after anything that has the Bold Font Style applied and what I want to change to is that bold character style.
Now at this point, alarm bells maybe ringing because that's going to work OK except that if bold local formatting has been applied to paragraphs where the real definition of the style is bold as is the case in this opening paragraph here. This Find and Change routine that I'm about to do will also apply a character styling on top of that. Now at the moment that wouldn't change the way things look but it could come back to bite you later on, should you decide that you want to change the definition of this paragraph style because then what would happen is the character styling would stick around and is likely to create some confusion.
So you may want to further clarify your Find criteria depending on the state of the text you're working with. But in this case I want to further clarify this so that I'm only searching in anything in the body style that has local bold formatting applied to it and that's going to exclude this paragraph. So now when I click Find, we can see that it's only going to find these pieces of called out text in bold that have been applied locally and then I can click Change All. 10 replacements made.
That seems about right. I'll click Done and now I'm ready to select all and come over to my Paragraph Styles panel where I can clear overrides and because that bold formatting is now actually a character style, it's no longer considered an override and will stick around. So those are the hoops that we need to jump through in order to make sure that we can bring in our text cleanly from Word.
- Setting up templates and master pages
- Working with Bridge
- Creating books
- Planning and managing styles
- Troubleshooting with the Story Editor
- Managing footnotes and endnotes
- Searching with GREP
- Generating a table of contents
- Automating layouts
- Repurposing material as PDF and XHTML documents