InDesign Tutorial 09 of 20

How to import MS Word

A free InDesign tutorial from the worlds best Adobe trainers!

Importing Text

There are 2 ways to import text. 1st way is simply copy and paste the text from MS Word, website or an email.

The 2nd way can give you more control over how the text is imported (if you need it). The control lets you turn on or off any formatting from MS Word e.g. Font, colour, size. If you need this control follow the steps below.

  1. File > Place
    File Place
  2. Find the MS Word document you’d like to bring in.
  3. Make sure you have ‘show import options’ ticked.
    show import options
  4. From the options menu you can decide to remove the formatting or preserve it.
    Ms Word options
  1. Choose Ok.

Info Panel (Word Count)

The info panel can be handy to check how many words you have in a story. It is also useful when you’re designing with ‘place holder text’ so you can let the copywriter know how many words are needed.

  1. Choose your Type Tool and highlight all the text in your story.
  2. Choose Window > Info
  3. The panel shows you your word count as well as the amount of characters, lines & paragraphs.
    word count

Video transcription

InDesign CC tutorial 09: How to I import word documents into InDesign?

My name is Pip Payne. I am a trainer here at Bring Your Own Laptop.

I'm starting with a 4 page document, with master or primary text frames here. Primary text frames , we will go over. How to set up this four page document was covered in a previous tutorial.

There are a few ways of importing text. You can copy and paste from other documents. But we are going to go ‘file’, ‘place’. I’ve got some text here. I will import just one document. I have ‘show import options’, ‘replace selected items’. Which means that if you have something selected on the page in Indesign it will replace it. Show import items is useful if you want to map styles etc. Let’s have a look. It comes up with this box here. Notice that it says ‘include’ and these are things that would come in from another programme such as word. We have also ‘remove styles and formatting from text and tables’. That’s if you want really clean text to come in that you will set styles up with. ‘Paragraph styles’ and ‘custom style import’ is where you would map styles from a word document through to your Indesign styles.

So notice that my cursor is loaded up and if I click on it it will automatically bring in the text because I have a primary text frame set up. Notice that these primary text frames are already linked which is a function of the primary text frame. If you don’t click that button when you set up the page, then you don’t get these primary text frames.

Something cool about primary text frames: Let’s have a look at the master page. If I move my primary text frame text here. It is actually moving it in the page itself. As it would do to any right hand page. If I do it to the left hand one it would change that as well.

Let’s just move it back and look at the text. There are several more options. If we want to import more text, all primary text frames are all linked. If I have 3 more stories, If I wanted them all to be linked, I would click in to it, so I would have a blinking cursor below the end of story 1. I would go to ‘file’, ‘place’, ‘bring in story 2’ and it will automatically link it to story 1. Do the same with story 3 and 4.

That’s how we bring in text from different documents and want them to be linked. If you don’t want them to be linked then don’t select primary text frames. Just bring in text individually to the page. If I hold down shift it now changes the cursor to allow it to bring it in to all 3. It’s now a threaded 3 column story on a single page in a single text box.

Last thing is word count. If you need to know how many characters your story has select it with the text cursor. Then go ‘control’, ‘a’ (or all) and then ‘window’, ‘info’. Here you have word count, line count, character count and paragraph count.

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