Will InDesign CC update placed Word docs?

Participant ,
Jul 08, 2013 Jul 08, 2013

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Products:

MS Word 2013

InDesign CC

InCopy CC

Hi everyone.

I have a collection of chapters in MS Word format (2013 .docx version) that contain citations, endnotes, and includes an extensive bibliography.

I know that if I place an InCopy (IC) doc into InDesign (ID), any updates I make in either version of the file are automatically synchronized. For this reason, I really prefer to use InCopy... but ID and IC are a bit weak when it comes to endnotes and bibliographies.

I recently placed a Word doc into ID, updated the text within ID, saved the doc, closed the doc, and then opened the Word doc. The Word doc remained unchanged and did not reflect the changes I made to the placed version of the text within ID.

Is it possible for me to place a Word doc into ID and have it automatically update with any changes I make to its text while in ID, like what happens with IC files?

Thanks

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LEGEND , Jul 09, 2013 Jul 09, 2013
Stephen Buck wrote:Is it possible for me to place a Word doc into ID and have it automatically update with any changes I make to its text while in ID, like what happens with IC files?If by this you mean can edits made in ID be transferred back to word, then no.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Jul 09, 2013 Jul 09, 2013

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It depends on your settings in the program preferences:

Preferences > File Handling > Create Links when placing text and spreadsheet files.

If this option active changes of Word Documents will be updated (and edits in InDesign will be lost completely).

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Enthusiast ,
Jul 09, 2013 Jul 09, 2013

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The problem is that all formatting will be lost when updating the text. There is a third party plug-in that preservers formatting and works like a charm: Em software Wordsflow. It is not cheap however, 200 dollars and also not yet compatible with CC (latest supported version is CS6).

info: http://www.emsoftwarestore.com/wordsflow.html

Do you need to have a workflow like this on a regular basis I advice you to take a look at InCopy, now part of the CC.

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LEGEND ,
Jul 09, 2013 Jul 09, 2013

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Stephen Buck wrote:

Is it possible for me to place a Word doc into ID and have it automatically update with any changes I make to its text while in ID, like what happens with IC files?

If by this you mean can edits made in ID be transferred back to word, then no.

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Participant ,
Jul 09, 2013 Jul 09, 2013

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Will & Peter, thank you. That addresses my concerns and answers my question(s).

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LEGEND ,
Jul 09, 2013 Jul 09, 2013

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It occurs to me that while you cannot do an automatic update from ID back into the Word file, you can, at any point, export the story from ID to RTF, if that would be "good enough."

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Participant ,
Jul 09, 2013 Jul 09, 2013

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Hi Peter.

That's a good idea.

My objective is to keep the endnote and bibliography process as painless as possible. At present, I'm happy with the way that Word manages citations in combination with the Zotero Firefox plugin. I have a few hundred citations to manage, and those two products frees me of manually managing the citation number sequence as I believe if I only used InCopy, then I would have to confirm that the citation numbers within each chapter are in the proper sequence.

It sounds to me that if ID > Preferences > File Handling > Create Links When Placing Text and Spreadsheet Files is checked, then I can continue to add content -- including new citations -- to the Word docx with minimal repercussions in InDesign.

I understand that there will be some formatting issues, so I'm thinking that the best way for me to manage those issues before they begin to happen would be to place my Word docx into InCopy, and then place the InCopy file into InDesign. InCopy does allow me to find subtle formatting errors easier than I can find them in InDesign, so perhaps that will be an approach worth testing.

Everyone, thanks for the replies. This has been very helpful.

Buck

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Contributor ,
May 24, 2018 May 24, 2018

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You may have figured this out by now, but you can make the transition from Word to ID painless by styling the Word document with the same paragraph and style names as ID—they don't even have to look the same. In the ID import options, be sure to use ID's styles on conflict.

This way, you can make edits in Word and your ID file will be properly styled and not destroy any modifications you may have made.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
May 24, 2018 May 24, 2018

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MADink_Designs27​ in the future, please refrain posting to such old threads. This was settled in 2013.

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New Here ,
Nov 23, 2020 Nov 23, 2020

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Why? His comment is very relatable and offers new info regarding the thread? Although the issue was settled a few years back, there might have been an update that offers a better solution to the initial question. 

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New Here ,
Oct 15, 2013 Oct 15, 2013

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Hello, Stephen,

it will be possible in InDesign CC with this plugin called WordsFlow, when they release it specially for CC.

Now it supports only CS5–CS6 versions of InDesign.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 24, 2018 May 24, 2018

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Em Software, publisher of WordsFlow, does in fact have a ID CC 2018 compatible version of their fabulous plug-in. Unless, maybe the copy I have they made only for me?! WordsFlow_»_Em_Software.png

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Most Valuable Participant ,
May 24, 2018 May 24, 2018

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Scott beat me to it. Any Word to InDesign workflow that involves updates after the fact needs WordsFlow

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