We publish a journal as part of our department, and I'm currently working as managing editor. Over the summer, we upgraded from CS4 to CS6. In the past, with CS4, we would sometimes have problems when placing Word documents into our templates, where some specific character formatting would get dropped—italics would disappear in specific passages and the like. However, since the upgrade, it seems that every document we get has to be completely rebuilt from scratch in InDesign.
We have several paragraph styles that we've built into our templates. Our articles come in from teachers and artists from all over the world, some of whom write for us on semi-regular basis, while others write one thing and that's it; so, it's really not at all feasible for us to get them to use any specific style setup (or InCopy). Most of them don't actually use any styles, simply keeping everything in "Normal" and applying italics and bold as needed. When we drop the documents into InDesign, the styles get completely garbled. I've had documents where InDesign changes everything to all-caps, with half the document italicized, and midway through a paragraph it suddenly changes everything to bold. I'll go in and look at the original document, and there's no variations in style or formatting; it truly seems to be random where InDesign makes these changes. Even when it's consistent, it's still a headache, as we'll be unable to get rid of the style overrides we don't want without also losing the ones we do want.
I've just spent the last hour researching online, and fiddling with "Import Options". With the document I was using as my test doc, it was originally importing as our "Author Bio" style. The best I've managed to do is use style mapping to get it most of the way to what we want. I still wind up losing bold (but keeping italics) when I Apply the proper character style, Clearing Character Styles. I had to clear character styles in order to undo the all-caps and bold it applied to everything when I imported it.
However, even this, all I know is that it worked on this document. Given the range of style craziness I've been seeing with importing since we upgraded, though, I'm not confident that this approach will work on everything, and even this is far from perfect.
Any help would really be appreciated. I'm frustrated, stressed, and really confused; since I need to be sending the final layout to the printer the first week of December, this is really frustrating, time-wise. We have a pretty wide range of InDesign/technology comfort levels working on our staff (we're all grad students, doing this as part of our departmental support), so a simple solution would be great. Failing that, a complicated but Reliable/Consistent solution would be great; frankly, I don't trust my staff to be able to try different things if the official workflow doesn't work. I'm at a total loss as to why this is happening, or even what is happening for that matter. I just know it's crazy, and I'm almost regretting upgrading. Thanks.