Working with Word and InDesign

Peter G.'s picture

I write a good number of papers for school and I would like to incorporate some of the good typographic style I’ve learned from Bringhurst. Specifically, I would like to take advantage of the OpenType features available in some of my good fonts.

The problem is Microsoft Word doesn’t support the OpenType features, and I can’t write my papers in InDesign because it lacks some of the essential features of Word (e.g. Spell Check as you type, Thesaurus, Grammar check, etc). Besides, I’m much more comfortable using Word for the actual writing. However, I’ve become fairly familiar with InDesign’s robust type formatting options so when it comes time to take the type into consideration I would like to be able to use them. But when I import my Word documents into InDesign—or Illustrator for that matter—everything gets thrown in to one text block and I lose my page breaks, pagination, footnotes, etc.

So here’s my question: is there a way to import/open Word documents in InDesign or Illustrator and not lose any formatting?

WurdBendur's picture

I thought InDesign had a spellchecker and a thesaurus.
Have you tried to copy and paste the text? May may also want to try an in-between format, exporting to that from Word and then importing it into InDesign. I'm not sure what formats InDesign can handle, though.
But unless your documents are a page or less, I wouldn't bother with Illustrator.

david h's picture

"and I can’t write my papers in InDesign because it lacks some of the essential features of Word (e.g. Spell Check as you type, Thesaurus, Grammar check, etc)"

Who told you that?

Go to Edit > Preferences (Windows); InDesign >Preferences (Mac) Autocorrect / Enable Autocorrect
or Edit > Spelling > Autocorrect

- - - - - - - - - - - -
Adjective5™ | Adj5™

carl's picture

I've been using .txt and .rtf as intermediaries for probably 15 years. That statement, of course, implies that this was an issue before InDesign existed. (Quark 4, PageMaker 6, etc.) As much as I like word processing software, there's just usually no business incentive for developers to make it work smoothly with typesetting software. I guess it could happen eventually by accident, but I'm still not bothering to try to make it work.
Both Microsoft and Adobe have "mature" markets, which means they don't have any close competitors. I don't expect things to change unless the market does.

pstanley's picture

I think these are different tools and (for various reasons) (e.g., footnotes, cross-references, automatic generation of tables of contents and so forth) I would generally stick to a word-processor for writing. You can still have something better than the typographic average if you use the tool properly. For instance, since you're not going to have ligatures, you choose a font that doesn't need them, and so on. Get the margins and leading right. Do everything using defined styles, set up in advance, using templates. What you get will not be perfect (it won't be what you would want if you were actually publishing a book), but it will not only be acceptable, it will be significantly better than average thanks to a little typographical refinement.

I would save InDesign for the very occasional piece that you want to make look even better. You then resign yourself to writing in Word (say), and then pasting it all into indesign and marking it up, which you do only when the "manuscript" is absolutely perfect in Word. For instance, if one were writing a PhD dissertation, one might do this as the last stage before submission. But not until then. For ordinary school papers it really is not worth the trouble.

One alternative is LaTeX, which will give you typographic refinement to some degree. I'm quite a fan, and if you are doing anything involving mathematical or symbolic things, LaTeX is probably the way to go. The trouble is font installation and set-up, and there is a very steep learning curve.

sim's picture

Did you try to import directly in Xpress?

Bert Vanderveen's picture

Peter, you can keep a "live" connection between the InDesign document and the Word document it's based upon. That way you can use all the features of Word you need AND all of the OpenType features of InDesign.

Just check the Help of InDesign (I can't right now, because there's InDesign on the machine I'm using right now).

Kristina Drake's picture

Set up your document and create a text box and, with the cursor in the text box, use "place" from the "file" menu to import your word document. Choose "show import options" in the bottom left of the dialogue box that appears for selecting the file you want to place. You can choose to include the table of contents, index, and footnotes, and to preserve/import formatting like page breaks.

I just did it with one of my essays and the essay looks the same as it did in word -- centred title, double spaced, bold where it's supposed to be, and so on. I'm using InDesign CS

Kristina.

Peter G.'s picture

I figured InDesign had spell check and even a thesaurus, but can it check the spelling and grammar as you type? I guess part of my hesitation in deserting Word completely for InDesign is my familiarity with Word and my lack of experience with InDesign. Footnoting was also a major concern. Some of my papers use lots of footnotes, and I find that Word handles those very well.

> Did you try to import directly in Xpress?
Don't have Xpress.

> I would generally stick to a word-processor for writing. You can still have something better than the typographic average if you use the tool properly.
That's what I've been doing thus far, Paul, and it's better than nothing and certainly better than the typical papers my professors get. In fact, last semester I set all my papers in Garamond Pro and I actually had a professor tell me my paper looked very nice and ask me what font I used. Since then, I've also been using a Word macro that finds "fi" and "fl" combonations and replaces them with the correct ligatures. I would just like to take it a step further and be able to use true small caps, and especially old-style figures.

Kristina, I'm know I've tried doing that, but I don't remember getting the same results. I think InDesign messed up my footnotes and it put it all in one text box. I'll have to try it again while following your instructions. I'm also using CS.

Bert, that "live" connection may also be the solution, thanks.

crossgrove's picture

As you say, InDesign has robust text-formatting tools, so why waste time doing those tasks in Word? I can't believe you still have any hair. Suppose you compose (type) your documents in Word, which is its ostensible purpose, then move the plain text (no formatting) to InDesign and do the layout/formatting there? This makes use of each application's strengths, and doesn't waste time in converting formats etc.

Kristina Drake's picture

Peter,

I tried it again just now from my office computer only to find that it isn't working the way I said -- so I wonder if it has something to do with the version of word the document was written in. It worked perfectly well on my home computer (with a document). Now I'm really intrigued.

Another option, as I think has been suggested, is to compose in word and do all formatting afterwards in InDesign (paragraph styles can be a time-saver).

I've never used footnotes in InDesign, though. Can't be of help there.
I'll let you know if I figure anything out, and I would be curious to know if you get anywhere with it.

As a side note, my reason for not composing papers in InDesign is that I can't select and drag passages to rearrange my sentences. I find it frustrating to cut and paste while composing.

Kristina.

Kristina Drake's picture

Hi again Peter,

Found it.
In the same "import options" box you need to de-select "remove text and table formatting".

The footnotes appeared immediately at the bottom of the text (no blank lines between) and with a header that said "(footnotes)".

One other thing I noticed: Pay attention to the InDesign character settings before you import. If you import a document with size 12 font and 14 leading and your InDesign set up is 8/10, your imported text is going to be squished. It seems to preserve the font size of the original document but not the leading. So in my case, I ended up with 12/10. Auto leading might be a good choice pre-importing.

Kristina

levonk's picture

Peter, you can get all you are asking for if you are using InDesign CS2. Make sure you define and use styles in Word. Creeat styles with the same names in ID and add the OT options that you want. When you import a word document, select preserve formatting.

Page breaks will not be imported, so you will need to do the page breaks in ID. In any case, you will need to go over the document and check for problems.

Peter G.'s picture

> Suppose you compose (type) your documents in Word, which is its ostensible purpose, then move the plain text (no formatting) to InDesign and do the layout/formatting there?
I guess I'm leaning towards this, but I'm still hesitant because of my lack of familiarity with InDesign. Basically I just know the tools in InDesign that carry over to Illustrator. Of course, part of the reason for using InDesign at all is to learn it better.

>As a side note, my reason for not composing papers in InDesign is that I can’t select and drag passages to rearrange my sentences.
It's the little things like that that are keeping me from switching entirely.

Does anyone know if Microsoft has any plans to include tools to take advantage of OpenType features in the next version of Word? I was reading about their new fonts for Windows Vista about a month ago and they're all OpenType and if I remember correctly, they all have good features such as true small caps, old style figures, etc. This made me hope that their going to allow us to take advantage of those in Word, PowerPoint, etc. On the same note, does anyone know how Word currently handles small caps with OpenType fonts that have them? Does it actually use the real small caps, or does it shrink the uppercase letters?

Kristina,
What version of Word are you using? I'm using 2002.

Peter G.'s picture

You know, I've never really learned how to use the styles in Word. Maybe that's my problem.

Kristina Drake's picture

Peter,

I am using Word 2002 also.
I've never used styles in Word, either. Somehow my projects never seemed long enough to merit them, but the work I'm doing in InDesign certainly does and they come in very handy. With one click I can format the whole paragraph. It's also useful for repeated styles like headers and subheaders. If you're doing a short paper, the time setting up the styles is maybe not worth it, but for a book it's a few well invested minutes.

Good luck,
Kristina

levonk's picture

Peter & Kristina, setting up styles in Word can be very useful, even if all you do is short papers. For my graduate work I did 2-page papers regularly. I setup the styles and saved them as default (in Normal.dot). From then on I did not worry about setting up paragraph formats. It took me some time to get all the styles I need, but I still use them, years after graduating.

Peter, it seems you are not using InDesign CS2, or you did not check all the options. In the preferences if you select spelling, you can activate dynamic spelling a la Word, you can also activate autocorrect. And in Preferences>Type there is a Drag and Drop text section.

good luck.

Kristina Drake's picture

Alas, we are both using CS.
K.

attic's picture

Our work involves putting many languages in brochures. We work in InDesign CS. We have now recieved a Hebrew text which views well, I presume, on the PC. When put on the Mac it also views well in TextEdit but when copied into InDesign it inverts the letters and it will also not display correctly in a special Hebrew font which I have. Please give advice or advise me where I can go for help.

levonk's picture

Martin, Hebrew is written right to left. MS Word on PC can work with left-to-right texts. On the Mac you can use TextEdit, Mellel, and a few other apps, but these are word processors. The page layout programs that can deal with it are QuarkXpress with ArabicXT, but it has its own font set and needs to convert the system fonts, and it costs a fortune. the second program is InDesign CS ME. To check it out go here. You will need this to do any serious work in LTR languages.

If your Hebrew text is only a few lines there are other programs that can insert a few lines of text into InDesign CS. I think Develapi has one such app.

oldnick's picture

I would recommend writing WORDS ONLY (no formatting) in Word, saving as ASCII text, then importing into InDesign for formatting. Yes, you can format in Word, then save as RTF, but RTF is a ridiculously overblown format which adds tags promiscuously: you're better off without all the excess garbage.

And forget about Word's Grammar Check -- it's laughable.

levonk's picture

Martin, Nick's comment does not appply to you, it is for the original poster, Peter. It would have been better if you had started a new thread, since your problem is different from this one.

dtw's picture

And to all and sundry: if you're going to be using Word for anything more than "writing words only" I'd absolutely agree that getting fully au fait with Word's paragraph styles is the most useful thing you can do (and templates the second most useful!)

Let's all keep our fingers crossed that future versions of Word will support all the OpenType features, but given MS's history, I wouldn't bank on it...

(Somebody ought to write a suite of Word Macros with specific "quality-typography" features.)

________________
Ever since I chose to block pop-ups, my toaster's stopped working.

Peter G.'s picture

Dave,

I've actually made a few macros for Word that take advantage of OpenType features. I wrote one that changes all numberals to oldstyle figures and two for ligatures: one for the common letters that most fonts have (e.g. fi), and one for really good fonts that have "extra" ligatures (e.g. ft, fl). I also want to make one that replaces Word's small-caps with real, OpenType Small Caps. But I haven't figured out how to access the macro files. I want to post them on my website, but don't know how. Any advice?

twardoch's picture

Nick,

> I would recommend writing WORDS ONLY
> (no formatting) in Word,

Sorry, not an option. Every document I work on has a *structure* I don't want to deal with structureless documents. I use the excellent Word 2003 to define the structure of my documents through styles. The actual formatting of the styles does matter as well: I usually set up Word so the proportions of the text column and the type parameters are equivalent to what I will use in the final typesetting. This way, I can estimate how much my text will occupy in the printed matter as I type (things like counting words are just a crude and primitive approximations.)

I always use Word's native .doc format to move my files into InDesign, and of course I *only* work with styles (no manual formatting). What I haven't tested out extensively yet is InDesign's support for footnotes (I don't mean "footnotes that appear at the end of the text" because that's not *footnotes*, that's endnotes). Apparently InDesign CS2 has some support for real footnotes.

> And forget about Word’s Grammar Check — it’s laughable.

On the contrary. I think Word's proofing tools are very useful, especially for a non-native English speaker such as myself. I use them in all the languages I write: Polish, German, English, Russian. Of course, as with any automatic tool, I would rarely trust it blindly.

Whenever Word's grammar check underlines my sentence (or the spelling check highlights a word), I take it as a good opportunity to review it. Sometimes, the sentence is just fine so I ignore the warning, and sometimes it can actually spot things like a verb that I omitted by mistake.

From the usability point of view, InDesign doesn't even come close to Word when it comes to editing text. Half of the useful shortcuts are not there in InDesign, and everything is slow. But most importantly, the 4-5 dictionaries that I have installed on my Windows machines all have Word macros that integrate them in Word, so I can do things like English-Polish translations right from Word without any copy-pasting.

Finally, for the languages other than English, Word's proofing tools also beat InDesign's by miles. You could call the German or Polish spellchecker in InDesign at best "experimental" while the ones in Word are quite solid. I don't blame InDesign for that -- for last-minute checkups the spellchecker is perhaps useful but the only thing that I really need to work well in InDesign is the hyphenation algorithm.

Adam

oldnick's picture

> And forget about Word’s Grammar Check — it’s laughable.

On the contrary. I think Word’s proofing tools are very useful, especially for a non-native English speaker such as myself.

Adam, you may find Word’s proofing tools useful as a non-native speaker but, for native speakers who have degrees in English language and literature and are, ideally, more intimately acquainted with the rules, they are pathetic. Word's Grammar Check flags items which are perfectly grammatically correct, overlooks items that are patently grammatically incorrect, and often makes totally erroneous suggestions (its and it's being perhaps the most egregious one, than and then being a close second).

Yes, Word is a much more capable word processing program than InDesign, as well it should be: I don't think that I suggested otherwise. Use its (proper usage) tools to write the words (or get a semi-accurate idea of how much space those words will occupy, although there does exist an arcane discipline, known to some of us old-time typesetters, called copyfitting, which would serve equally as well); but chuck Word's formatting (basically .rtf) when you export those words. Apply your styles in the page composition program, which is one of the areas in which that particular kind of program excels. In other words, do what each program does best in the program that does it best.

twardoch's picture

> Apply your styles in the page composition program, which
> is one of the areas in which that particular kind of
> program excels.

No, I *design* my styles in the page layout application (InDesign) but I apply them when I devise the document sturcture during the work on the text (in Word). Of course RTF is only an imperfect replacement for a proper distinction between structure and formatting. To do it properly, one uses XML (to devise the structure) and CSS, XSL, or any other formatting language, to devise the formatting.

Currently, the XML support in Word 2003 is only very basic but I hope it will improve in Word 12, so I can author my XML files in Word and move them to InDesign. Until then, I'll stick with RTF.

For me, the whole point of spellchecking or grammar checking in word processing applications is not making suggestions but pointing my attention to *potential* errors.

There is this feature in FontLab called FontAudit. Some users take it literally and instead of making an reasonable assessment, they try to fix every single potential problem that FontAudit flags. I could never understand that "the computer tells me to" attitude. When it comes to assessing legitimate situations vs. errors, the human brain is still eons ahead of computers. Automatic spellchecking does not lift the necessity of proofreading the text. And yet, it can be useful for identifying possible deficiencies by simply highlighting portions of text that need double-checking. With grammar checking, it's the same thing.

> for native speakers who have degrees in English language
> and literature

Please forgive me (and some 700 million other people) for not having the "luxury" of being member of that "elite".

Adam

oldnick's picture

> for native speakers who have degrees in English language
> and literature

Please forgive me (and some 700 million other people) for not having the “luxury” of being member of that “elite”.

I didn't mean to suggest that people who know the rules were in anyway superior to anyone else, and that sarcastic comment is really beneath you, Adam. What I said, and will repeat once more, is that Word's Grammar Check is often inaccurate, and sometimes downright wrong and is, therefore, only marginally useful. Likewise, FontLab's Font Audit feature is sometimes wrong: its notion of a "flat curve" needs some serious fine-tuning, and the flag "unnecessary extremum" ought to be "incorrect extremum," since it usually occurs at points which stray a degree or two into obtuse angle territory.

Spell checkers are indeed useful: typos happen, and it is convenient to have them pointed out. But they have their problems,too: for whatever reason, WordPerfect does not have Pentium in its dictionary, and often suggests penis as a possible substitute...

jakob's picture

oldnick: WordPerfect does not have Pentium in its dictionary...

yes, spellcheckers can be good for a chuckle too (and we all know: all work and no play makes jack a dull boy).

twardoch: and of course I *only* work with styles (no manual formatting)

Is there a word-equivalent to Indesign's character styles that I've not discovered? I always find that word's styles apply to entire paragraphs, so some manual formatting is always necessary.

Otherwise matching style names between Word and InDesign sounds like a good workflow method that achieves as much of the best of both worlds as possible.

There are plenty of reasons why Word is used over InDesign, not least that many (most?) contributing authors simply don't have InDesign or InCopy. The suggested workflow would smoothen the graduation from source copy to layout considerably. Of course, that presupposes that authors will work with Word's styles, but that's another question...

twardoch's picture

> Likewise, FontLab’s Font Audit feature is sometimes wrong

Nick,

if it were right all the time, you'd have no job. Software can't make accurate judgements but it can assist you in making your own accurate judgements FASTER. This is why I use spellcheckers, grammar checkers, hyphenation, machine translation, "Make Bold" or FontAudit. None of these methods replaces thinking but all of the methods -- if used consciously -- can get me faster where I want to arrive.

Adam

gabrielhl's picture

>Is there a word-equivalent to Indesign’s character styles that I’ve not
>discovered? I always find that word’s styles apply to entire
>paragraphs, so some manual formatting is always necessary.

I don't know about MS Word, but I use OpenOffice.org Writer and there are both Paragraph and Character styles -- as well as Page, Frame, and List Styles. I'm not sure if the last three will export to InDesign.

I usually export my files do .doc or .rtf (OpenOffice.org's default is .odt), and Place them in InDesign.

Edit: I just tested Place with a .rtf file and both Paragraph and Character Styles were imported.

oldnick's picture

> Likewise, FontLab’s Font Audit feature is sometimes wrong

Nick,

if it were right all the time, you’d have no job. Software can’t make accurate judgements but it can assist you in making your own accurate judgements FASTER. This is why I use spellcheckers, grammar checkers, hyphenation, machine translation, “Make Bold” or FontAudit. None of these methods replaces thinking but all of the methods — if used consciously — can get me faster where I want to arrive.

Adam,
I agree with your assessment, but I persist in my position that BAD advice is worse than NO advice. Word's Grammar Check sometimes gives BAD advice (it's its--the neuter possessive pronoun--not it's--the contraction for it is); FontAudit sometimes gives BAD advice (it's an incorrect extrumum, not an unnecessary one); WordPerfect's Spell Checker sometimes gives REALLY BAD advice (it's a Pentium, not a penis). And Adam: if either you or I were right all the time, we could probably gets jobs as Creators and Rulers of the universe or, at the very least, in the Bush White House. Since, I don't believe, either of us aspires to either of those positions, let's just settle on giving GOOD advice when we can, and agree to disagree when our definitions of said good advice differ.

oldnick's picture

On the other hand, the WordPerfect SPellCheck gaffe suggests a whole new take on the old line attributed to Mae West...

"Is that an Intel Inside™ or are you just glad to see me?"

JeffM's picture

>Is there a word-equivalent to Indesign’s character styles that I’ve not discovered?

Yes, when you create a new style you can choose to make it a paragraph (default) or a character style in the drop-down list in the upper-right corner of the dialog box.

jakob's picture

Thank you Jeff, I'd not seen that before. Thank you too Gabriel.

Jennifer Hearing's picture

I have a question about Word file placement in InDesign.
I'm typesetting an English doc with a few lines of different languages. Russian is one I'm currently working on.
Tried placing directly, and copying to Text Edit then to InDesign and saving as RTF and get pink boxes.
So I tried inputting myself. Opened International Input menu and turned on Russian (Cryllic) Also tried languages with CE input. Then I chose the language under the flag menu and opened my Keyboard Viewer. I chose TNR PS in Keyboard and started typing. The Russian characters appear in Keyboard, but come out as pink boxes or highlights in InDesign when I type.
The only font I can get to work is Times, but the client does not want True Type.

Any solutions?

emenninga's picture

Lots of questions in this thread... I'll try to address some of them. As Levon said, starting a new thread for a new topic can help keep things from getting lost.

1) The response to the original question would be: InDesign CS didn't have a footnote feature, so the Word footnotes are imported as a block. The latest versions do support footnotes and they import correctly.
2) Martin: Hebrew can be formatted very professionally using the ME version of InDesign, which was adapted by WinSoft.
3) InDesign doesn't ship with a thesaurus but InCopy does.
4) The pink boxes sounds like you are using Cyrillic text with a font that doesn't have Cyrillic support. Many more informal applications support a "font fallback" mechanism to use some font to draw missing characters. InDesign generally will use only the font specified to prevent unintentional use of other fonts.

Miss Tiffany's picture

Eric it would be cool if there were an option to convert footnotes into endnotes when importing into InDesign. Or even better, and option to not import the main body so you can only import the footnotes, index, TOC, etc.

Miguel Sousa's picture

> it would be cool if there were an option to convert footnotes into endnotes

Some time ago* I wrote an InDesign script that converts footnotes to endnotes, which can be run right after importing a Word doc containing footnotes. I've just submitted it to the InDesign Exchange community and will post here a direct link to it as soon as it gets approved.

*around ATypI 2006 when I was cornered by a friend book designer in Lisbon that wanted me to lobby InDesign for the same kind of functionality you're asking for

sim's picture

Miguel,

I've downloaded the script you created and I received a text edit file. Sorry for my ignorance, but I don't know what to do with this kind of file. I tried to place it in the Indesign Plug-Ins file, I also tried to place it in the Presets > Scripts file and I didn't see any change in Indesign. To make a test, I imported a Word file with footnotes and as it is write in the Adobe download page I didn't see the any new style in the Paragraph or Object Styles in the Indesign palette. Could you help me.

Thanks in advance.

André

Miguel Sousa's picture

André,

The file you download is an InDesign script, and should have the name 'Footnotes2Endnotes.jsx'. If you're using Safari, you'll probably get a file named 'Footnotes2Endnotes.jsx.txt'. If that's your case, just remove the '.txt' extension from the name. [To be sure that the file type really gets changed, do File > Get Info (Command+I) and edit the Name & Extension field]

Once you're done with the above, you'll need to put the .JSX file inside a folder that InDesign will access. If you're using CS2, the location of that folder is Adobe InDesign CS2/Presets/Scripts. If you're using CS3, the location of that folder is Adobe InDesign CS3/Scripts/Scripts Panel.

After you've "installed" the script, just go to InDesign and open the Scripts palette by doing Window > Automation > Scripts. You should now be able to see the 'Footnotes2Endnotes.jsx' script. To run it, just double-click on it.

Now it should be pretty straight forward to use the script. Let me know if you have any problems.

sim's picture

Thanks Miguel,

I've made what you suggested and all works fine.

André

Urquell's picture

Miguel, do you happen to know if the script can preserve character styles applied to the footnotes text after importing Word file (see screen below)?

Antoni

Miguel Sousa's picture

The script does not preserve any formatting. Furthermore it assumes that the references are numeric and start at #1.
I've started rewriting the script to make it more robust, but can only work on it as time permits. I'll report back once the new version is ready.

Urquell's picture

Miguel, thanks for your answer, and the script as well. It's actually vary handy as it is.

Antoni

Miguel Sousa's picture

A new and enhanced version of the script is now live at Footnotes2Endnotes - InDesign Exchange.

Special thanks to Antoni Adamowicz and Margaret Longstreth.

Release notes:
-- Added dialog for selecting which character styles to apply. (The styles should be created before running the script)
-- The script no longer assumes the footnote numbering style is numeric and starts at #1.
-- The footnotes' text formatting is now preserved.

Known issues:
-- The document's footnote options "Restart Numbering" and "Prefix/Sufix" are ignored.

HVB's picture

.

Syndicate content Syndicate content