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It depends on your settings in the program preferences:
Preferences > File Handling > Create Links when placing text and spreadsheet files.
If this option active changes of Word Documents will be updated (and edits in InDesign will be lost completely).
Stephen Buck wrote:
Is it possible for me to place a Word doc into ID and have it automatically update with any changes I make to its text while in ID, like what happens with IC files?
If by this you mean can edits made in ID be transferred back to word, then no.
Will & Peter, thank you. That addresses my concerns and answers my question(s).
The problem is that all formatting will be lost when updating the text. There is a third party plug-in that preservers formatting and works like a charm: Em software Wordsflow. It is not cheap however, 200 dollars and also not yet compatible with CC (latest supported version is CS6).
Do you need to have a workflow like this on a regular basis I advice you to take a look at InCopy, now part of the CC.
It occurs to me that while you cannot do an automatic update from ID back into the Word file, you can, at any point, export the story from ID to RTF, if that would be "good enough."
That's a good idea.
My objective is to keep the endnote and bibliography process as painless as possible. At present, I'm happy with the way that Word manages citations in combination with the Zotero Firefox plugin. I have a few hundred citations to manage, and those two products frees me of manually managing the citation number sequence as I believe if I only used InCopy, then I would have to confirm that the citation numbers within each chapter are in the proper sequence.
It sounds to me that if ID > Preferences > File Handling > Create Links When Placing Text and Spreadsheet Files is checked, then I can continue to add content -- including new citations -- to the Word docx with minimal repercussions in InDesign.
I understand that there will be some formatting issues, so I'm thinking that the best way for me to manage those issues before they begin to happen would be to place my Word docx into InCopy, and then place the InCopy file into InDesign. InCopy does allow me to find subtle formatting errors easier than I can find them in InDesign, so perhaps that will be an approach worth testing.
Everyone, thanks for the replies. This has been very helpful.