It has always been best practice to be sure tracked changes are either accepted or rejected before placing Word files.
Right, like not opening files across a network In the real world, however...
InDesign supports track changes from Word, which is why that option is in the Import Options dialog.
Well, Word import is pretty buggy anyway, and I don't know what you expect ID to do with a tracked change that is neither accepted nor rejected. I wouldn't know if the author intends to keep it or not, so I wouldn't expect ID to make that decision.
Or do you think maybe ID should import the text with the changes, but show them as tracked changes subject to approval/rejection? I don't think that functionality exists in ID, only InCopy (and as I'm not an InCopy user, I'm not sure about that).
@Peter What do you mean "buggy"? I've never had an issue with Word imports. Can you be more specific? (Granted, I typically use plain Word files with no weird formats or content and no inline images, but this is a very mature feature that has never failed me.)
@Pariah, I believe in previous versions of InDesign Track Changes was NOT supported during import. Only in InCopy. Didn't the recent versions add this support? Can you see the track changes options for the file you imported? Can you select any of those options?
I'll do some testing and see what I find. Normally, I finalize my docs before importing. But this has been a proposed workflow to bring in Word files that are still being edited and finalize within INDY. Personally, I don't see the usefulness. Most editing should be done before layout.
I've never had any trouble importing Word files myself, either (but they tend to be pretty plain vanilla), but there are plenty of reports of trouble here. Jongwareseems to have a pretty good feel for what goes wrong, and he says things started getting worse around CS5.
Common solutions to import problems are to try saving as RTF or whichever word format the document currently is NOT in, or pacing in CS 4 or earlier, then exporting the text from there to tagged text.
I didn't check any other versions, but Track Changes is an option for CS6. I have no idea what it really is supposed to be doing.
Jim and Peter:
Leaving Change Tracking on in the Word document, even in the final version sent to layout, is often done as a matter of accountability.
Here's the Microsoft Word Import Options dialog from InDesign CS5 (4 versions ago). Note the Track Changes control below "Preserve Page Break".
Here is also what I wrote about it in my book, Mastering InDesign CS5 for Print Design and Production.
In previous versions of InDesign this option did absolutely nothing. Now, as you’ll read in Chapter 14, “Collaboration,” InDesign does internal change tracking. If you’re importing a Word or RTF document that was set in Word to track changes and includes some edits, comments, and changes, selecting this option will preserve those accountable changes in InDesign’s native format. Text deleted in Word will carry into InCopy as deleted (struck through), and inserted text will be highlighted.”
Excerpt From: Pariah S. Burke. “Mastering InDesign CS5 for Print Design and Production.” iBooks.
Yes, InCopy has always done the Change Tracking, but since CS5 InDesign has PRESERVED tracked changes from Word in case that placed story makes its way into InCopy.
The behavior I'm experiencing, however, is that InDesign is throwing away final text if there have been certain kinds of changes around it (or randomly throwing it away, I haven't yet identified a specific pattern yet). That thrown away text never appears in InDesign--not on the page nor in Story Editor nor in InCopy (CC 2014.2). It's just lost during the import process.
Nobody is debating what should and shouldn’t happen. It should certainly work all the time but it doesn’t. We’re just relaying what we’ve seen reported here which pretty much confirms what you posted originally.
Is this not evidence of bugginess in Word Import?
And even if track changes is left on in the file you receive to protect accountability on the provider's end, there is nothing at all that would prevent you from accepting or rejecting changes and turning it off (in a copy) before you place. Just saying....
@Bob Jim asked what version. I answered.
I never said that the import is buggy. That was Peter. I said that I found a single issue, troubleshot it, and found a solution. I shared it to the community so that, if others encountered the same problem, they would know the fix. That IS what I do as an Adobe Community Professional and a very active member of the community long before and far and beyond the ACP program.
Peter was debating--and in his follow-up to your response, reiterating--that he is of the opinion that one SHOULDN'T import change tracked Word files. Jim refuted that as do I. Peter obviously doesn't have as wide a grasp of the publishing workflows that rely on InDesign nor of the manufacturer-intended functionality of InDesign as he could.
Christ! All I wanted to do was post and help the community I serve, not start a big debate about should and shouldn't! The function is built into InDesign. It has worked in the past. It stopped working for me on my test environments and that could mean others might encounter the problem as well, so I pro-actively posted a statement, not a question, to help such InDesign users, should they experience the same problem.
I don't see where Jim was supporting importing Word files with tracked changes, but maybe I misread him. And I never said you weren't free to do so (or that it wasn't a feature that was intended to work), merely that doing so, AS YOU POINTED OUT, is not 100% reliable.
And my previous response about proof of bugginess was to you and Jim, not Bob, who was posting at the same time I was typing.
I try to stay away from importing Word files with Track changes turned on. Most of my editing is completed prior to import. I accept all changes just to avoid any issues.
So, I don't have any experience one way or the other.
But, I hate to run into bugs like this. It drives me crazy when things don't work the way they're suppose to.
Actually you can see, accept, or reject Word's tracked changes in InDesign. It's been that way since InDesign added its own tracked changes feature.
You can see how it works in the this video from my lynda.com course, Using Word and InDesign Together:
(you'll need a lynda.com sub to see it, it's not one of the free samples)
Or, here's all you need to do:
1. Change your Tracked Changes prefs in ID from showing Background colors from [User Color] to an "absolute" color you choose from the menus, like Lime green
2. View a story with Word's tracked changes in the Story Editor. You'll see all the tracked changes have that background color, including the Word user's.
When you click inside a tracked change and look in the Window > Editorial > Track Changes panel, there won't be a user name, but the time stamp and action will be there. And you can accept/reject there.
Comments don't get translated into Notes, unfortunately.
I agree that best practice is to open the file in Word, go to Review mode, accept all changes, save as with a new name, and place that.
Thanks for the heads-up about the bug, Pariah. I couldn't reproduce it here, but now I'll know what to check should it happen!