5 Replies Latest reply on Oct 3, 2011 3:25 AM by Peter Spier

    InDesign document for proofreading in Word?

    Irma Wesselbaum



      Our office is producting a monthly newsletter of about 52 pages. So far, we have been doing it in Microsoft Word and this is working quite well. When the newsletter is finished, I email it to a proofreader who makes the necessary changes and returns it to me. All the changes are clearly visible and can be accepted or rejected with the help of the Reviewing Toolbar.


      However, we are soon switching over to InDesign, and my question is: How can I convert the InDesign document into a format that can be reviewed in Word? Our proofreader (doing his work at home) does not have InDesign.


      I would be gratefull for any suggestions and comments.


      Irmgard Wesselbaum

      (Melbourne, Australia)

        • 1. Re: InDesign document for proofreading in Word?
          Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

          This is a workflow issue.


          Typos and other word-proceesing changes should be fixed PRIOR to placement of the story in InDesign so you aren't correcting dozens of those mistakes after layout is complete. Word files with changes that are waiting for acceptance or rejection are a very large source of trouble.


          That's the theory, but here in the real world there are still usually a few errors that get by, so some changes are pretty inevitable. Since line endings are generally different in Word and ID, one of the most common changes I see is editing to add or lose a line for copy fit or to fix a "runt."  Many of us use PDF for proofing -- sending a PDF to the proofer that has been enabled for commenting in Adobe Reader. This works pretty well, though I find it helps if you can train the proofreader to use the highlighter tool in conjuction with whatever other tool they might be using to make changes.


          ID also comes with a free year of the CS Live online service that is full of bells and whistles for commenting and other markup of your project. I don't use it, primarily because I don't want to get hooked on a service that I'll have to pay for to continue using only a few times a year, but you may feel differently.


          Bottom line, I think is that you should contine to do the writing in Word, but don't attempt fancy Word formatting to make it "look like" your newsletter -- just type. ID is the program for layout. Send the Word file as usual for editing, Accept/reject changes, then place the file into ID. When layout is complete send a new PDF proof with commenting enabled with the understanding that YOU will need to make any new changes, and the types of changes should really be limited to layout issues (if possible) rather than wholesale re-writes. The same goes for images, by the way. If they need some sort of correction, that really should be done before they get to you for inclusion, but again, that isn't always what happens. Fortunately, ID's integration with Photoshop and Illustrator make it a snap to choose "edit original" to pop over to those apps, edit a linked asset, and go back to ID where the link will update automatically.


          Do your writers use styles in Word? Do they even know what that means? Your life in ID will be much simpler, and the layout faster, if you get properly styled (meaning text is tagged with styles, not necessarily that those styles have the correct final formats) documents from your authors. That's seldom the case out here in the real world, but we can all wish. There are several free scripts floating around that will take a typical Word file that is 100% formatted using Normal and bold and italic buttons and will preserve the local changes, creating proper styles. You'll want to try these...

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: InDesign document for proofreading in Word?
            BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

            I’ll throw my usual $0.02 out there for InCopy. This is what it was created for and it is by far the best way to handle this.





            • 3. Re: InDesign document for proofreading in Word?
              Irma Wesselbaum Level 1

              Thank you very much for your comprehensive and helpful comments.


              I will probably follow your suggestion to continue preparing the newsletter

              in Word and import the text into InDesign after the corrections have been



              We are using a few heading styles and a body style in Word, as well as a

              Table of Contents generated from TOC entries, and also cross-references.

              Judging from the training material I have read, InDesign has these features

              too - I just need to get the experience.




              Thanks again,


              Irma Wesselbaum

              • 4. Re: InDesign document for proofreading in Word?
                Irma Wesselbaum Level 1

                Dear Bob,




                Thank you very much for your response. Although it is short, it gave me

                something to think about. Up until now, I was not aware of  InCopy but have

                started investigating.







                • 5. Re: InDesign document for proofreading in Word?
                  Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                  Introducing InCopy is an excellent idea.


                  As far as TOC and cross-reference imports, ID will bring them in from Word, but as far as I know they become just plain text (I'm not certain about cross-references). You'll almost certainly want to rebuild them in ID to be dynamic (and point to the correct places).