Los Angeles InDesign User Group

InDesign and Word: Getting Them to Play Nice Together

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Roxbury Community Center, 471 S. Roxbury Dr., Beverly Hills, California 90212

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By Alvin Takamori


The Los Angeles InDesign User Group met at the Roxbury Community Center in Beverly Hills on September 21, 2017. This time the topic was how to transfer information between Microsoft Word and Adobe InDesign files. The presenter was Rod Huddleston, who teaches graphics and design at The Art Institute of California.


It didn't take long for Rod to make what I thought was a very important point. When using Word and InDesign, focus on what each application does best. Word is an excellent word processor. It has automatic grammar and spell checking, and word counting. InDesign is good at organizing and creating a layout, and making it look good. In most cases, this means your final output will be through InDesign.


To create the desired output, the first step is to plan ahead and decide what that output is going to look like. That means you have to begin with InDesign, even if the content is contained in a Word document. Go into InDesign and use dummy text to create all the text elements you plan to use, the headers, sub-headers, body copy, captions, etc. It's essential that you generate the Paragraph and Character Styles for each of those elements. To make the Styles think about the features of the text: the font, the font size, bold or italic, spacing, etc. As a side note, Rod mentioned that if you base one Style on another you might produce unintended results. If you make any change to the base Style later, all Styles based on it will also be changed.


Once you have created how you want the document to look in InDesign with all the Styles that are to be used, you can go to the next step. Open the Word document with all the actual content and recreate all the Styles. Use the exact same names for the Styles that you used in InDesign. You don't have to worry about applying the same characteristics to the text in the Word Styles, just give them the same name.


Next, place the content from the Word document into the previously created InDesign file replacing the dummy text. Make sure Show Import Options is checked. The Import Option Dialog box will pop up and you can check Preserve Style. You do not want to Import Styles. When you Import the text from Word, a warning about Style Name Conflicts should pop up and provide you with the option to choose InDesign to Apply Definition to the Style.


Using this process, if you have a client sending content in a Word document you can ask them to send unformatted files or provide them with a template containing all the correct Styles.


Rob told us there are three options for placing text into InDesign. The manual option drops text into a frame and it stops if there is overflow text. A semi-automatic option allows overflow text to go to following existing text boxes. Automatic text placement automatically generates additional text frames on additional pages to accommodate all the overflow text.


Frequently, Word documents from external sources will have issues with double spacing and double returns. You can quickly clean up all of that using Find and Replace. You'll also want to examine Widow and Orphan control and run the text through Auto Correct to check spelling and grammar.


Next, Rob showed us a how he created a glossary using Nested Styles. He also demonstrated how to Auto Place images using ISBN numbers and scripting.


He ended his presentation by answering questions. Our Co-Manager DeShawn added several of his own tips. Then we gave away what seemed like a million raffle prizes, courtesy of LAIDUG's many sponsors.


Refreshments included a number of Ralph's premium pies courtesy of the grocery store's bakery closeout shelves.



Farthest Attendee Prize Winner


Mighty Deals—Betty Hopkins



Auction Winner


Redokun translation software.  12 month subscription. Value $600.00—Betty Hopkins



Raffle Prize Winners


eDocker CREATE! 6 month subscription. Value $774.00—Myra Lerma

Adobe Creative Cloud. 12 month subscription. Value $599.88—Beverly Houwing

Stock Layouts. Full access to Stock Layout template library. 3 month subscription. Value $299.00—Betty Hopkins

WordsFlow Plus from Em Software. Value $300.00—Alice Hom, Traci Larson, Kim Senn

PDF2DTP from Markzware. 12 month subscription. Value $199.00—Stephanie G. Brown

ID2Office from Recosoft. Value $199.00—Traci Larson

Expo Creative Asset Manager for Mac from Insider Software. Value $149.00—Traci Larson

Font Agent Pro 7 from Insider Software. Value $99.95—Angelina Altobano

InMotion Hosting. Web hosting and free domain. Value $90.00—Colleen Gates

DTP Tools Cloud for InDesign. 6 month subscription. $77.40—Norine Lukaczyk

TypeDNA. Font management software. Value $49.00—Coleen Gates

Adobe Stock. 15 image licenses. $44.00—Myta Lerma

InDesign Magazine. 6 month subscription. Value $30.00—Traci Larson

Pluralsight. 1 month subscription. Value $29.00—Angelia Altobano, Stephanie G. Brown

LA Web Professionals Group meeting tickets. Value $7.99—Stephanie G. Brown, Beverly Houwing, Myra Lerma, Kim Senn





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