I'm looking for an option in Indesign to import Word documents and PDF files. I know that's possible but this is a bit more specific. We are working with basic documents with paragraph styles we need to keep but if I tried to import a Word doc it obviously won't match the paragraph styles. Point is: everything italic or bold in the Word doc must be in the Indesign doc, matching the basic paragraph styles per font (we have many basics with different fonts). I've tried many option but none of them is working. Can you help me?
You can do it but it depends on your consistently and accurately creating paragraph and character styles in Word. Then you create InDesign paragraph and character styles which apply the same attributes. When you place the Word file, you choose File > Place and show Import Options. In the Formatting section, choose Preserve Styles and Formatting.... Check Customize Style Import and click Style Mapping. In the Style Mapping dialog, pair the Word styles to the InDesign styles. This pairing can be saved as a preset at the top of the Import Options dialog.
This cannot be done for PDF files which are treated as graphics.
The best resource I know of on this topic is Anne-Marie Concepcion's Lynda.com video, "Using Word and InDesign Together".
You can do it without style mapping, too. ID will import the Word styles.