What other programs?
Some can be opened with the help of third party applications.
No. But you can...
File > Place a PSD from Photoshop, an .AI file from Illustrator, or any PDF file. Also, PNG, JPG, TIF, etc.
These files are scaled and positioned on the InDesign page. Not converted.
If you wish to edit the placed files, you go seek the Links panel, and having selected the graphic, you click Edit Original button.
InDesign is meant to anchor the center of all three programs. Photoshop is for pixel pictures. Illustrator is for vector-drawn shape images, like logos. They all Place into and onto the pages of InDesign.
thank you. unfortunately right now i'm not very familiar with any of these programs. I'm very good at creating and manipulating templates (taking the things I like from them and using them in a different way). I'd like to do this in InDesign. should I just take the elements that I want from these other docs, save them as jpgs and then import them into indesign. and HOW do I do this?? Thank you!
Probably not, at least not as editable content, but it depends on the program, and also on the format they are saved in and if you want to spend more money on a commercial conversion plugin (there are plugins that will convert Quark Xpress, MS Publisher and PDF to ID, for example).
Word files can be imported as editable content (.doc, .docx, .rtf or .txt), but you won't preserve the page layout if you used things like frames in Word, and Quark files version 3 & 4 and Pagemaker 6 & 7 files (and possibly 5) can be opened in ID (Pagemaker requires version CS6 or older) out of the box, but conversions may range from near perfect to utterly useless, especially for Pagemaker files.
Your graphical elements are placed not imported. File menu -> Place. You put stuff like JPEGs and PSDs and etc into InDesign documents using File -> Place.
InDesign can import filetypes like XML, InDesign Tagged Text, and the like.
Word files are a special case - you use File -> Place, but you only really get formatted text, you're not importing the complete Word file. All kinds of other stuff gets lost.
should I just take the elements that I want from these other docs, save them as jpgs and then import them into indesign. and HOW do I do this?? Thank you!
You'll get different answers for different source formats and different working styles. I would avoid JPEG, myself - it's possible to work with them but you can lose details if you handle them incorrectly, so I just say "No JPEGs, use PSD instead" to my clients without really explaining myself.
Tell us about the other docs and I guarantee that you'll get lots of advice on how best to move your content from one application to another.