Yes, that's the default, though it can be turned off. My tip is to import the text, and then use Find/Change to find the italics and change it to a character style defined as italic. This will ensure that you will not loose the inline formatting as you format your paragraphs.
Note that you can download a free 7-day trial of InDesign. Import a file and play around with it, if you like. And come back if you have any questions.
I think I see what you're saying: If I don't do a search and replace, replacing italic text with identical italic text one word or phrase at a time throughout a 100,000 word novel, then when I apply paragraph formatting to my chapters, the italic will be lost.
Is that correct, or am I misunderstanding you? Because if I'm understanding it correctly, it's STILL a nasty shortcoming in what is otherwise an incredibly powerful program.
I downloaded a free trial several years ago, so I'm no longer eligible for a free trial, AFAIK. I have to purchase the rental agreement. Unless I misunderstood something, which is always possible. I'm logged in currently on an Adobe account that is old enough that I don't even remember when I created it.
Since you downloaded a free trial several years ago, I think you would be eligible for a new free trial. You are eligible for a trial version every time Adobe releases a new version of the software.
As per Barbara, it's a new version, you can download another trial.
As to the Find/change, you are not searching for specific text, but instead any text using italics and replace with the style. You set up the query, save it and update the whole document with one click. It took more time for me to type this paragraph then it would take to update an entire document.
InDesign is a very powerful program.
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… Just to be clear, the italic text in the novels is NOT formatted with a stylesheet; the individual words were selected and then italic type was applied to them.
Hi MIDI Guru,
you could also have a look below where Marc Autret is talking about copy/paste from other applications—namely Word—and is providing a script to solve some problems with formatting:
A key point here is the use of styles. Many people say it's a bad idea to ever select text in InDesign and change its format in any way, including italic. They say, with some reason, that you should use styles for every change. The suggestion was to take ordinary italicised text and convert to a styled text instead. You can ( and arguably should) use styles in Word too and they seem to import.
What I've never quite figured out is the best way to handle import from Word which will be done repeatedly, so neither the intention of the Word author nor the InDesign designer are lost on revisions.
Just thinking out loud... I was mulling over the suggestion to change italics to a char style in Word as an alternative, but didn't because I couldn't explain how to do it. My Word knowledge leaves so much to be desired these days. I just take a file any way I receive it, and handle all the clean-up and formatting in InDesign where I feel more comfortable.
Meanwhile, MIDI Guru back in InDesign:
Edit > Find/Change
Note that there is nothing in the Find what/Change to area—you just look for italics and change to the character style. If you need to do this more than once, you can set it up, and save it as a query.
Test Screen Name said, "What I've never quite figured out is the best way to handle import from Word...."
What I've never figured out is why anybody would even bother using Word to start with. Not kidding. I've used OpenOffice for years, and recently switched to LibreOffice. During my research on book formatting I downloaded the 30-day free trial of Word (and the rest of Office). Word is a mess. I've seen the same design tangle in other programs (such as Sibelius, which was once a fine music notation program). They get rid of menus and instead force you to grok your way through a bunch of toolbar icons. Word no longer has either an Edit menu or a Help menu. It's a disaster.
My guess is, a bunch of programmers need to justify their salaries by continuing to "improve" a program that didn't need improvement. Also, they're trying to entice a generation of iPad tapsters who, the programmers fear, won't understand how to use menus. Or maybe the programmers are smarter than that. Maybe it's the project managers. Yeah, that would make more sense. Project managers straight out of Dilbert. "We gotta make it look NEW!"
Phooey on all that.
With respect to other topics mentioned in this thread -- and thanks for the help, everyone! -- I've installed the free trial version of InDesign, and I'm going to purchase it. However: I have yet to learn what a Query is. Nor am I clear about why I would need to replace italic characters with an italic character style. I tested it by importing from an .rtf using Place (italics preserved) and then exporting to PDF 1.4 (again, italics preserved). What problem would I be solving by using a Query to replace italic characters with an italic character style???
Thanks for the link to Indiscripts, Uwe! I can see how useful a few of those scripts might be. (Not that I plan to ever become an InDesign power user, but you never know....)
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Why Word? Well, book creation is not always a one person activity. It is often a collaboration between an author, who likes words, and a designer, who likes layout. Starting out by telling the author that their choice of word processor sucks, and they should start again with something decent, may not be the best way to start that working relationship.
Why styles? Nothing to do with what it looks like.
The classic error made by many InDesign beginners is to not use styles. It's so easy to click that italic button, change a font, or whatever. It's a potentially serious error, or at least a monster time waster. A style lets the designer (or the editor, or a quarrelsome author) make changes to the typography like ("could all the headers be a bit bigger", "could we underline the code samples", "I'd like the bullet points indented a bit more" or "I found this font and I'd like it used for everything except the headers"). With styles this is a 10 minute job. Without, it can be days. Also, anything you make might need to be repurposed (ebook, smaller book, luxury edition, phone edition...) needing global changes to typography. Don't assume that the best way to emphasise will be the italic variant of whatever font happens to be in use.
Styles also feed to tagging. You may not care but tagging is mandatory in many companies and goverment agencies. Tagging manually can take weeks and weeks. And people do have to spend those weeks, sometimes because a designer just didn't use styles.
I would never tell an author that their choice of word processor sucks! That's a slightly different question -- it's about human relations and business relations, not about the fact that their software sucks.
Your points about using styles are very, very valid. Thanks for sharing your perspective on that. I'm not sure my word processor will even use styles ... it may suck too. :-)
Oh, one more thing. You mention in your first post "importing from Word processor". Don't forget you are importing from a word processing DOCUMENT. So you need to look specifically at the word processing document formats supported. If you happen not to use one that is supported, you're going to have to somehow convert your word processing document or use a special export from your word processing app. Notoriously, this loses information. So, this may be responsible for your losing styling in a page layout app - because it just wasn't there by the time you imported!