Chapter 13. Importing Text Files


  • Determining which formatting tasks to do in InDesign

  • Preparing files for import from word processors and spreadsheets

  • Pasting and dragging and dropping text from other programs

  • Importing text-only, Word, RTF, and Excel files

  • Exporting text

  • Working with tagged text

Although you can use InDesign as your primary word processor, doing so is a little like buying a Hummer for suburban errands — attention-getting but highly inefficient. (Especially these days!)

In publishing, at least the first draft of text is generally written in a word processor such as Microsoft Word. The key is to make sure you don't do work in your word processor that has no meaning to InDesign, resulting in wasted time or, worse, doing work in your word processor that requires extra effort in InDesign to undo or clean up.

Whether created in Word or not, text is imported into an InDesign publication to apply the layout and fine typographic formatting. Besides importing files into InDesign, you can drag text into your layout and, through the use of the Macintosh and Windows Clipboards (copy and paste), you can import file formats, to a limited degree, that are not directly supported by InDesign.

Determining Where to Format Documents

InDesign's import capabilities may tempt you to do a lot of your text formatting outside the program; however, it's not always wise to do so.

Because a word processor's formatting capabilities don't match all InDesign typographic features, it's often ...

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