Pasting Formatted Text Into InDesign
I've just been hired to turn my online newspaper into print so I'm learning InDesign, but when I cut and paste anything into InDesign from NVU or Outlook Express, I lose all formatting and end up having to reformat everything. Any way around this?
By default, InDesign strips out all the formatting from incoming text when you copy and paste it from any another application. By contrast, if you copy and paste from one InDesign document into another, it maintains the formatting... unless you use Edit > Paste without Formatting. That's a great feature when you need to strip away unwanted styles.
Fortunately, there's also a way to maintain formatting when you paste it from some other applications. Open the Preferences dialog box (Command/Ctrl-K) and look for the When Pasting Text... option. In CS3, it's in the Clipboard Handling pane of the Preferences dialog box. In CS2 it's in the Type pane of the dialog box. Change this from Text to All Information.
However, note that I said "some" applications. It doesn't work with all applications. For example, it doesn't seem to capture text formatting from Firefox on the Mac, but it works fine when copying from Safari.
And, of course, it's only going to copy local "hard" formatting from other applications; you'd be best off replacing that formatting with paragraph and character styles once the text is inside InDesign.