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Prevent character style override

Community Beginner ,
May 19, 2023 May 19, 2023

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I have imported text from Word with certain words being styled bold or italic. When I select a style this character styling is most of the times overriden - I can't see a pattern. I know about the + sign and the hold down alt ensure overriding character styles and enforce style, but is an opposite function to ensure "don't override styling"? Some say Cntrl+select style should work, but this doesn't work in current Indesign 18.2. (I'll skip the whole rant about how poorly Word and Indesign work together :-D) 


Einar, Norway

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Community Expert , May 19, 2023 May 19, 2023

An excellent tool.

 

Word docs, though, often have a whole laundry list of faults, starting with spot styles and going on to endless duplicate white space. I find it much more productive to do all possible cleanup in Word, with its faster editing and on the fly macros. The less junk you pull into ID, the better... 🙂

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Community Expert ,
May 19, 2023 May 19, 2023

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Create Character Style in Word and apply it there.

Those styles are imported and InDesign you need only to remove overrides.

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Community Beginner ,
May 19, 2023 May 19, 2023

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Hi Willi. The problem is most user, like my father, don't use styles in Word, they only use the buttons MS so conventiently display. (He is a professor writing scientific books which I layout.) Is there perhaps a way to ensure this works with all the complex import-settings for text-files - "Import styles automatically" or "Customize styles"? I tried a couple of variations, but neither solved the stripping of character styles. 

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Community Expert ,
May 20, 2023 May 20, 2023

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You can make a word in Word italig and in the style panel select all and apply a character style.

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Community Expert ,
May 19, 2023 May 19, 2023

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Hi @Einarr1966:

 

To overcome this (very normal) workflow issue, I run Find/Change queries (saved because I do it often) to search for italics and replace with an Italics character style. Same for bold, small caps, etc. You will need to set up the character styles in the document, and then run the find/changes upon import.

 

~Barb

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Community Expert ,
May 19, 2023 May 19, 2023

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This. If the Word user is not sophisticated enough to create actual named styles for bold, italic and other "inherent" style overrides (that is, if they're in the 99% of Word users) your first step should be to replace all this spot formatting with named styles. 

 

Most Word docs need significant 'pre-processing' before InDesign can get useful traction with them. Get used to it. 😛


╟─ Word & InDesign to Kindle & EPUB: a Guide to Pro Results (Amazon) ─╢

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Community Expert ,
May 19, 2023 May 19, 2023

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Honestly, James, I gave up coaching all but the most regular of clients long ago on how to prepare files for me. inDesign's find/change is so robust, I can pinpoint whatever weird stuff is going on in a file and clean it up in minutes. A script like Jongware's would make it even quicker.

 

~Barb

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Community Expert ,
May 20, 2023 May 20, 2023

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Oh, no, I wouldn't dream of trying to get any but the sharpest client to improve their methods. Herding cats would be a simple process compared to that. It isn't even that they're... not capable. It's that you can't, under any circumstances, beat them into a dim understanding why a few simple alternatives improve everyone's work, including their own.

 

I do the cleanup myself on the Word file before bringing it into ID. A matter of methods and preference and experience, I suppose, but as noted, I find Word somewhat faster and more streamlined in, say, removing all double spaces, return-spaces, double returns etc. and then in remapping the basic style applications than I do the same operations in ID... and often bypass other import flaws by doing so.

 

But get a Word user to stop tabbing stuff over? [unable to think of appropriate counter example... 🙂 ]


╟─ Word & InDesign to Kindle & EPUB: a Guide to Pro Results (Amazon) ─╢

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Community Beginner ,
May 19, 2023 May 19, 2023

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Thanks Barb, this is the solution I am trying now. It's a little depressing how such a simple task could become so complex. Adobe and Microsoft should take into account a real world where most user don't use the weird premade styles in Word and certainly don't make their own or use them. There should be a "kind mode" in Indesign and a shortcut doing the reverse of alt+style, dont-override and translate character-styling displayed in Indesign on the first import. Instead Adobe seems to have planned for a perfect world..  

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Community Expert ,
May 19, 2023 May 19, 2023

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Our late contributor Jongware wrote a script years ago to handle the assignment of styles to locally formatted Word docs after import...

https://creativepro.com/perfectpreptext-a-smart-way-to-style-local-formatting/

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Community Expert ,
May 19, 2023 May 19, 2023

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An excellent tool.

 

Word docs, though, often have a whole laundry list of faults, starting with spot styles and going on to endless duplicate white space. I find it much more productive to do all possible cleanup in Word, with its faster editing and on the fly macros. The less junk you pull into ID, the better... 🙂


╟─ Word & InDesign to Kindle & EPUB: a Guide to Pro Results (Amazon) ─╢

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Community Beginner ,
May 19, 2023 May 19, 2023

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Thanks Peter, will try.

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