Tips & Tricks:

Importing Text

APRIL, 2017
graphic design

Welcome to my first installment of a series I’m calling “Indesign Tips and Tricks.”

I’ve had years (and years and years) of experience importing and formatting text. When I started my career as a junior designer, I was using Quark, which also dates me, and I would take other designer’s base design and layout all the text for printed projects, like brochures, programs, manuals, etc. And in that time, I’ve learned a thing or two hundred about quickly importing text and getting it ready to fully format.

Here are several steps I take
before I start formatting text in InDesign:

InDesign Tips

1. If your content file from your client is created in Word and saved as a .doc, save the file as a .txt.
This will remove any formatting that your client created in Word so that when you import the file into InDesign it won’t save their formatting as style sheets.

InDesign Tips

2. Import the text from the file then select all the text and add a space before (or after) each paragraph.
You can set it to anything for now. It can always be adjusted later.

indesign tips

3. Do a Find and Replace to remove all of the double hard returns.
Now that you have the space before set up, remove all the double spaces after each paragraph. You don’t need them anymore.

4. Do a Find and Replace to remove all of the double spaces.
Back when typewriters were the tool people used as a word processor, typists would put double spaces after each period to help visually separate sentences. With modern computers, this is no longer necessary because fonts account for the extra space needed after periods.

indesign tips

5. Do a Find and Replace to remove all of the double tabs.
When clients write text in programs like Microsoft Word, they tend to add in a bunch of extra tabs to visually move the text over or create columns.

indesign tips

6. Do a Find and Replace to remove all of the double hyphens (–), space-hyphen-spaces ( – ), and space-double hypens-space ( — ) and replace them with em-dashes (Shift, Option, -).
Clients often use double hyphens (or variant) instead of em-dashes when writing their copy because they don’t know the key command to create an em-dash. So it’s a good idea to replace them.

Now you’re ready to start fully formatting your text and making it beautiful!

Check back for more Indesign Tips and Tricks. In the next installment, I’ll discuss baseline alignment and how to get your pesky columns to line up.

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out. I’d love to help!

indesign tips and tricks • pomp creative • graphic design studio • washington, dc • annapolis, maryland