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I'd always go down the route of No.3. Once you have your style sheet, you can map the word styles to it when you import the documents. I'd never save a word file as HTML and import that. As to why not, try looking at the HTML code generated by Word!
Thanks for the advice! This forum is great - almost in the category of lifesaver, in my opinion!
What version of RH are we talking about here?
RH8 allows you to link to Word documents so that you do not need to import.
If you do choose to import either the DOC file or that document saved in HTML format, see the Importing Word Docs article on my site. There are ways of cleaning things up.
I suggest you create a CSS that has the same style names as you have in Word. After import and after cleaning up any embedded style sheets you might find, then apply that CSS rather than use the ones that RH creates.
You'd do well to do some prep work on the doc files before importing them (as Colum says, "never save a word file as HTML"). The reason? Two features that RH doesn't have but Word does.
* Edit > Replace > More > Format > Style - Check the RH default styles and try to align your doc files with those as much as possible. Then Find one style and Replace it with another, as needed.
* Format Painter (the paintbrush button to the right of the Paste button) - Select a paragraph with the style you want, click the button, and then click the paragraph you want to change. (If you double click the button, you can then change multiple paragraphs until you disable the function by clicking the button again.)
You might want to create a test project, in which you can import successive .doc versions, and then create the actual project and import the cleanest Word files you've finally reformatted.