Retain italics & bold using paragraph styles when bringing in Word text to Indesign

Explorer ,
Jun 04, 2018 Jun 04, 2018

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need some help here... had same problem in the past and the only easy way was to change the font in Word before I bring it over to InDesign. The problem with doing this is that I am restricted. Some fonts in Word will change the italic and bold if I change overall..... ughhh.

there must be an easy way...

help thanks

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Adobe Employee ,
Jun 05, 2018 Jun 05, 2018

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Hi,

Place your word file and while placing click on "Show import options"
In this dialog box, map the word styles to suitable styles in InDesign.

-Aman

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Explorer ,
Jun 05, 2018 Jun 05, 2018

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nope.. still won't let me make use a new para style without losing the italic (or bold). I have tried many things... any other ideas?

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Guide ,
Jun 05, 2018 Jun 05, 2018

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My suggested solution: Style up your Word document!

In Word, create a Bold-Italic character style (if any), a Bold character style and an Italic one.

Use Find/Change Word feature to apply Bold-Italic style to all Bold-Italic text, same process with Bold and Italic text.

Mapping styles in INDD will finish the work nicely...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 05, 2018 Jun 05, 2018

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If you’re frequently placing Word files in InDesign it might be worth studying how to do it properly and efficiently. Lynda.com have a really good online video tutorial on this (you can get a 30-day free trial):

Word and InDesign: Integration

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Explorer ,
Jun 06, 2018 Jun 06, 2018

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How irritating is it that Adobe DOES NOT PROVIDE THIS INFORMATION as part of it's manual.

Quite ridiculous how  the premier page layout software (Adobe InDesign) and industry standard word processing application (MicroSoft Word) pretend each other do not exist. Frustrating that it took me hours to figure this out.

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Explorer ,
Jun 06, 2018 Jun 06, 2018

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totally agree!!!!!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 07, 2018 Jun 07, 2018

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If you know how to work with Word and how to work with InDesign, what you should do, if you work with both, it is not a problem at all.

USE STYLES IN BOTH APPLICATIONS!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 07, 2018 Jun 07, 2018

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Yes it would be lovely, but the reality is that most writers don't use styles (or use them inconsistently or badly), so when we receive a MS we have to deal with that.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 07, 2018 Jun 07, 2018

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I agree with you, Derek. I give my regular authors all sorts of instructions on file preparation, but when something is this easy to fix, I just leave it off the list.

~Barb

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 08, 2018 Jun 08, 2018

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Hi Derek,

maybe worth a look ( and testing doesn't hurt 😞

Marc Autret's script RichPaste:

Indiscripts :: RichPaste | Copy and Paste with Minimal Formatting [UPDATE]

Regards,
Uwe

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 08, 2018 Jun 08, 2018

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Thanks.

This might be of interest to some: https://bookalope.net/

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Explorer ,
Jun 11, 2018 Jun 11, 2018

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I have done some testing and it all seems to work on a test file but on the doc supplied it just won't work. The fonts aren't even changing to my para style (already done the italic and bold for char style).  If I override it loses all the italic and bold.

I think the word doc has been formatted badly and no matter what I do it won't do what I want...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 11, 2018 Jun 11, 2018

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Typically you'll find that this happens because there's a character style applied to the text. Open the Character Styles panel in InDesign, select all of the text and click none. Now you don't want to do this until you've applied the appropriate character style to the text that you want to retain (i.e. bold and italics). This usually stems from a poorly formatted Word document which InDesign tries to retrain during import. I'd run the find/change on the bold and italic text applying the "correct" character style to the text, then delete any character styles you don't recognize and replace with none when asked what you want to replace the character style with. You should then see your paragraph styles working correctly.

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Community Beginner ,
Jun 20, 2022 Jun 20, 2022

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LATEST

Character style (bold, italic, etc) should be applied first in Indesign text. Create styles for each case and apply them. And then you can safely apply paragraph style without overriding character styles.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 08, 2018 Jun 08, 2018

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I know I know...we all have to clean up the content our clients give us.

But there's a shortcoming in doing that; it just doesn't work anymore with all the requirements for the various cross-media publishing technologies. Not only does it make more work for us graphic designers, but manual formatting also doesn't work with any other form of publishing, either...not for today's publishing needs.

  • Messes up a CMS (content management system) if they're using one at their office.
  • Messes up HTML and has to be removed and reformatted with CSS styles.
  • Messes up EPUBs.
  • Fowls up accessibility technologies used by those who read their documents.

Why continue to let authors do this?

They're not dumb; they're capable of learning how to correctly use the basics of MS Word.

How much longer is the publishing industry going to clean up after them?

Bevi Chagnon | PubCom | Designer & Technologist for Accessible Documents
| Books & Classes | Accessible InDesign | Accessible PDFs | Accessible MS Office |

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 05, 2018 Jun 05, 2018

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elliotlipsh

Here you go - https://indesignsecrets.com/import-word-files-into-indesign-remove-local-formatting-but-keep-italics...

Remember, never say you can't do something in InDesign, it's always just a question of finding the right workaround to get the job done. © David Blatner

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Explorer ,
Jun 05, 2018 Jun 05, 2018

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me and Word.... can use Adobe software 8/10... Office 3/10

no idea how to do that and client supplied the Word doc. This must happen all the time.  I have tried scripts, tried the find and change options and to no avail.  A small fix is to make sure the word doc is the same font as I want to use but there are restrictions with this as some fonts in word change the italics to regular.

help

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 05, 2018 Jun 05, 2018

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When you Place your Word document in InDesign ensure you have no Paragraph or Character Styles selected.

Have you tried using the Word import option feature, as mentioned by ammarora (earlier)?

Have you had a look at the Lynda.com video tutorial I mentioned?

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Explorer ,
Jun 05, 2018 Jun 05, 2018

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the word import feature I know about and hasn't worked... will look at the Lynda.com now and hope it helps.

I do lots of books and have had this problem before... very pesky and driving me crazy.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 05, 2018 Jun 05, 2018

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If you produce a lot of books placing Word files into InDesign it will be worth your while investing some time in learning how to do so properly (and save your sanity!).

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Explorer ,
Jun 05, 2018 Jun 05, 2018

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@derek cross.  Yep I will watch the Lynda.com, sign up a month etc to work this out as it has come up before and it is a real problem at times.

@bevichagnon  I will try to follow your info.  I am not great in Word though... but I may need to work it out so I don't have this problem again.  I have googled the issue but had little luck other than the find/replace which doesn't seem to fix and some scripts so yes if there is a better way I would happily invest the time to work it out.... ps not sure where you are based but if you want some help with those epubs once I work this out send them my way.  I do lots and lots of books...  lately some university publications have come my way hence this issue.

thank you all.  Will be back if I can't work it out but I am pretty good picking up things softwarewise

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Explorer ,
Jun 05, 2018 Jun 05, 2018

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on another note... pardon my stupidity but I use para styles all the time in InDesign but Character styles I get confused why I need? I have on occasions used for when I have to do a grep thing, ie a bold word inside a sentence or similar in a paragraph style but in general can you explain the difference and why and how I need both...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 05, 2018 Jun 05, 2018

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Paragraph Styles apply a style to the whole paragraph, Character Styles apply a style to a word or words within a paragraph. Direct formatting in Word is called Local formatting in InDesign

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 05, 2018 Jun 05, 2018

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Here's a summary of the bits and pieces folks have stated above.

(We do tons of books, academic texts, automated workflows, EPUBs, PDFs, and accessibility, so these steps work!)

  1. Fix your author's Word document. Wherever they used the B and I buttons in the top ribbon bar (which is manually formatting bold and italics), replace it with character styles.
    1. Word already has built in character styles for bold (called Strong) and italics (called Emphasis). You can see them in Word's Styles panel by changing the panel's options to Show All Styles (not the recommended ones...no one choose that!).
    2. Strong and Emphasis are the universally recognized styles for bold and italics. If you need bold-italics, make a new Character style for it and call it whatever you want.
  2. Using Word's Find/Replace, search for the manual bolds and italics and replace them with their matching character styles, Strong and Emphasis.
    1. Expand the dialogue box's options by clicking the More button. Use the Format menu at the bottom to look for font/bold and replace with style/strong. Pretty straightforward; you'll figure this part out.
  3. Save the document.
  4. Place it into InDesign and use the Import Options to Map Styles.
    1. You should already have character styles in your InDesign template for Strong and Emphasis...they are universal for all forms of digital publishing. So they should be there on the right side to match up to the Word versions on the left side.
  5. Voila! All the strong and emphasis character styles will be there formatting those words for you in your InDesign layout.

One note:

When in Word, be careful to NOT use strong or emphasis character styles on headings. The theory is that the heading style itself will add the bold or italics as needed, so a character still will just get in the way and produce unpredictable formatting.

Therefore, when you're finding/replacing in Word, sometimes it's better to click the Find Next button and cycle through them one by one, choosing to apply the character style or not as you go along. Doing a global "Replace All" might paint you in a corner!

Hope this helps.

With the amount of documents you produce, it's worthwhile to invest some training/learning in these advanced techniques for both Word and InDesign.

Another phenomenal place to learn about Word and its "special quirks" is at https://shaunakelly.com/  Shauna Kelly, now deceased, was one of the most incredible Microsoft MVPs and trainers in the industry. Before she passed away, she released her training materials into the public domain and they are maintained today by her dedicated colleagues and friends.

Bevi Chagnon | PubCom | Designer & Technologist for Accessible Documents
| Books & Classes | Accessible InDesign | Accessible PDFs | Accessible MS Office |

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