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Bullets are an issue with linked files. If you have a bullet list defined as a Word style:
And you link it in InDesign with the corresponding Bullets style, it does this:
You have to select the bullet list and apply the style and clear overrides to fix it.
That's a lot of work if you have a lot of lists. I would prefer this workflow—create the Bullets Style in Word, but don't add bullets.
Then when you update, InDesign gets to add the bullets through its own style and you don't have the issue shown above.
As for your second question:
Is there a best method to go through and simplify styles so they are consistent and then link to InDesign?
I don't have a better answer than to comb through both files, making sure that the style lists match exactly. Same spelling, same case, same spacing. I tend to be methodical in this practice. I would start of page one and match the Title tag in both applications, then the Byline tags, then the Body tags, then the Heading1 tags, the Heading2 tags, etc. When I get to the end of the document, I'm done.
Hope that helps!
COuldnt we setup a glep code for that? If we now which character it bringing in, we could filter that and replace it right?
Bullets are done in InDesign with predefined paragraph style, no need for GREP here.
Well i thought cause i see unsoprted characters (squares) we could make a GREP which replaces these for correct ones