I am importing Word 2003 files into InDesign CS5.5 by placing/linking them and mapping the Word styles to the ready made ID styles. The Word document is simple and designed with this in mind! I have 2 paragraph styles and 2 character styles for bold/italic.

I do not care about the word styling. I just want the Word styles to map to my styles in ID and for the text to display based on the ID styles.

It almost woks. Placed text displays with the mapped ID style properties, except the font face is overridden by the font face I have in the Word file. So every times I update the Word I have to select all and clear overrides for that story...

  • Maybe the style is already overridden in word. If Times is not part of the style from Word it will be seen as an override? I'm not sure.
    – Wolff
    Commented Feb 1, 2017 at 20:11
  • My Word pargraph style is 'based on: no style' (hover, basing it on the 'normal style does the same thing). In Word the text displays in Times. Once the Word doc placed and the Word style mapped to the ID style all is well except the font face which stays Times as an override... I want the style defined in word,and mapped to an ID style at import, to be just like a trigger... to not carry over any of it's properties from Word.
    – lavirius
    Commented Feb 1, 2017 at 21:55

1 Answer 1


I know this won't help, but... after extensive use with importing Word files to InDesign on a regular basis for work, it is my Professional Opinion, that it's just damn easier to copy, paste and apply your own style sheets. Unless you designed the Word file with exporting it to Indesign in mind, it never comes out great.

  • 1
    I know. But in this case I have to use an external file AND the Word is designed very carefully with that in mind. It has a basic and heading paragrah styles and a bold and italic character styles. I map these to my ID styles when placing. It almost works BUT the god damned Times New Roman (or any other font face my word document has) stay as a override and has to be cleared after each Word update...
    – lavirius
    Commented Feb 1, 2017 at 22:02
  • I have used so many hours struggling with Word - only because customers use it. I only place Word files if they are filled with italic and bold markings and never as a link. Is somebody else working on the Word file while you design?
    – Wolff
    Commented Feb 1, 2017 at 22:21
  • Pretty sure this is why InCopy is around. So editors can edit, and designers can design... InCopy is still around, right? Commented Feb 2, 2017 at 17:02
  • GoofyMonkey, neither your response, nor your comment is on topic. Yes InCopy is still around and used. My question was 'how to insure MS Word styles in imported Word files does not override the native InDesign styles they are mapped to'
    – lavirius
    Commented Feb 3, 2017 at 11:39
  • Sorry, let me be more on topic then... There isn't a perfect way to ensure the styles from a word document transition to InDesign in a way that is 100%. The only way to ensure copy coming from a Word file into InDesign is formatted exactly the way you want it to be, is to strip the styles from the copy in the Word file and reformat it using the styles you have set up in InDesign. Maybe there's a plugin that can help, or someone else, but in my 15+ years using InDesign, and before that PageMaker, professionally, I haven't found one. You can get close, but not perfect. Commented Feb 3, 2017 at 15:27

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