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This article is from August 14, 2019, and is no longer current.

Working in Microsoft Word

This article appeared in Issue 124 of InDesign Magazine.

Mastering the ultimate InDesign text editor

As a book designer and typesetter for the last 25 years, I spend the majority of my day moving text from Microsoft Word to Adobe InDesign. And I know that InDesign Magazine has published many articles devoted to the best practices for working with text once you get it into InDesign (see, for example, Issue #26, Issue #35, Issue #62, and Issue #84). For this article, I’m going to focus on the details of working with the text before it gets to InDesign—setting up and using Word so you can be more efficient and productive in your workflow.

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Jamie McKee is a book designer and typesetter for university presses throughout the US. More information about him can be found at
  • David Creamer says:

    Great article. A couple of tips…
    Control-space (same for Mac or Windows) will remove all non-paragraph style formatting. (Unfortunately, it also removes properly applied character styles.)
    Word can create “dual-purpose” styles that act as character styles on a selection of text, and paragraph styles if either the entire paragraph is selected or if no text is selected (but cursor is in text).
    If working with lots of graphics, Word can link to the images rather than embedding them in the document. This avoids a lot of possible corruption. Word has no real image management, so organize the images before importing them. (Generally, never cut-and-paste images.)

  • Ulrich Dirr says:

    Thanks for the article. Unfortunately, the Styles Panel works completely differently in Windows. The upper part is missing (“current style” etc.), and most annoying no “Show Style Guides” and no “Show direct formatting guides” — I’ve compared this on my Windows and Mac machines. These two options are really great, especially the last — which means I have to edit Word docs on my Mac …

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