I am writing my autobiography and have created an index. When the index is generated, some entries are moved to the next page but the letter indicating entries is on a previous page. Is it acceptable to put a page break so that the letter appears on the next page or is that bad practice. If so, how do I overcome that?
First, I wouldn't worry about such minor flaws while a work is still in development. Where material breaks on pages will change, and change, and change. That's a last (or at least much later) step, during editing and layout.
Second, never use line returns/soft returns/etc. to push text around; it's bad practice and will cause problems with organized layout and composition.
Third, what you want is to tag the section letter style with "keep with next" under the style's Keep Options panel. That will force it to (obviously) stay with the next paragraph even if it has to jump past space at the bottom of a page.
Fourth, and from wide experience at doing all of this... you might find plain old Word a much better writing and editing tool than InDesign. ID's not bad; I've written whole books in it. But for writing-as-writing, and editing, and being able to work in outline form and other assets, and for primary indexing and the like... Word is pretty much all around the superior tool, and can be imported to ID in one clean step.
Is there a way to export an InDesign document to Word? I initially started this process in Word, then switched to Indesign as I needed a colour managed workflow as I had high quality photographs in the document which Word can't do. However, I do not want to continue paying for InDesign once this project is finished. So, if I want to make any changes in future, I have three choices. Word, short term sub for InDesign or Affinity Publisher. Word would be easiest for me, I have also learnt a bit more on how to use Word for DTP in this process.
You can do everything in Word, especially if you maintain the rigorous use of both paragraph and character styles and don't use either spot formatting or Word's build in bold/italic. (Sometimes it exports, sometimes it doesn't; making them separate named styles allows easy pro management.)
I wouldn't worry about the tool's ability to manage high-quality color during the writing process. There are many ways to update or link in high-res images in place of smaller, much more manageable comps or placeholders.
I would focus much more on the structure and content of the book, without fussing too much over the actual page layout and look. Use a consistent, well-ordered list of styles, but make them easy to work with at the writing/editing stage, not necessarily all fancy-dancy as they might appear in the final book.
Easiest way to get from ID back to Word is cut and paste, I think; select all the ID text and paste it into a new, clean Word doc, then fix up all the styles and delete as many superfluous ones as you can.
Word files will be much smaller and less fragile if you link in those smaller images and not full-size print ones.
When you're ready to take it to publication, either a short license term with ID or, generally, Affinity can probably do it for you. Not sure of the latter's strength in doing high-quality image export to PDF, though.
So if I link to images in Word instead of inserting them, will they retain the high quality and correct colour space when exported to pdf for print?
I am actually at the print stage, just doing a final review and setting the index layout.
To add, all my images in the InDesign document are links to hi res colour corrected images.
If you're that far along, don't change your methods. I ass/u/med you were further back in the writing process.
I don't know how Word handles color output, at all. It's wholly optimized for office-grade printing and I don't think it has any advanced color profiles or printer control. I wouldn't suggest doing the print PDF from it; I was recommending it as a writing/editing tool before transfer or import to something more capable for final output.