On Placing Text - General Feedback and Experience Request

Hi everyone.
Recently I completed a Kindle book made through InDesign, containing some 130 images and over 40,000 words. When I typed the book, I did so using MS Word largely because I wanted automatic management of citations, which I did using a Zotero plugin. The writing process was as good as any writing process could ever be, but once I began placing the text (as a Word document) into InDesign, I quickly experienced the "love-hate" relationship described by David Blatner in one of his courses.
I suffered a tremendous amount of trouble when placing the Word docs into InDesign. After I completed the book and placed it into InDesign, and then formatted it properly for ePub, the Table of Contents would not generate. Each time I attempted to generate the TOC, InDesign crashed. Eventually I grew tired of that experience so I pasted all of the Word text into Notepad++, saved a new file as a plain text file, and then copied and pasted the plain text into InDesign and then manually reformatted the entire book, replacing each individual image.
The result of my labor was an InDesign book with clean code that exported to ePub without any trouble at all. So I'm very happy that I was able to complete the project.
Now, I need to do it again, so I wanted to ask for your general feedback on your experience of placing text into InDesign.
Is there a special way you have developed to keep everything as clean as possible to reduce the chances of unexpected problems from occuring?
I can write a book using Apache Open Office as easily as I can Word. If I use Apache Open Office and save the book to RTF and place it, would I get a cleaner InDesign file than if I saved and placed the RTF using Word?
I'm just seeking general feedback that may help ease my future workload.
Thanks

We often get word files to be "converted" to Indesign (now CC for us but in Windows). We have a macro running which converts lots of styles to char styles (italic, bold ...) before importing.
We have a template made in CC and afterwards exported it as rtf. We saved that rft as a word-template. This template works fine, but many of the "special feature" of Word cause problems, mainly because either ID doesn't recognize the code, or ID makes something else for it. Clearing this isn't simple, if it's a short story, we convert all the text to a basic para style (no grep styles, no nested styles), getting rid of all the "overrides", and start by manually reformatting.
My advice: if you start from scratch, use ID from the start, maybe some "things" will be more difficult, but as you put it, if you have to start all over again, it didn't help a lot typing the text in "word" first.

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        ConvertWordBrute.jsx
        Problem: importing from regularly styled Word templated documents to CS4 can be a mess. Even if import presets are exactly set,
        if the Word doc has character styles, text can come in with layered character styles. Applying correct character styles and then
        removing  overrides won't fix because character styles and direct formatting are layered on every bit of text and formatting is not
        at all standard. To fix, all character styles AND overrides must be removed to wipe out the strangeness. This script shows one approach
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        The approach: tag formatting outside of ID's usual facilities, wipe all formatting clear, then apply the proper styles & character styles.
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            --Will need to trap for missing fonts? (e.g. Windings Bold, which is faked in Word; doesn't actually exist!)
            Left @: Works reasonably well. Probably should be run on before layout has sections.
            --Document includes a paragraph style named "Body Text"
    * @@@BUILDINFO@@@ ConvertWordBrute.jsx !Version! Thu Oct 11 2011 10:52:08 GMT-0700
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    #target "InDesign"
    main();
    function main(){
        try {
            var docRef = getActiveDocument();
        } catch (e) {
            alert (e);
        var confirmWarning = "Note: bold, italic and bold-italic will be turned into character styles, then this script clears all overrides--" +
            "any character spacing applied outside of regular paragraph and character styles will be erased--OK?";
        var myConfirm = confirm(confirmWarning, true, "Text change alert!");
        if (myConfirm == false){
            return;
        var jumpTextCharStyle = "Body jump text";
        var jumpLineChars = 30;
        //saveTextReflowState & turn it off to avoid adding pages...
        var smartTextReflowState = docRef.textPreferences.smartTextReflow
        docRef.textPreferences.smartTextReflow = false;
        //Apply HTML-like tags to text with formatting you want to keep
        //what you search here depends on how your import preferences were set... did you map incoming word styles? to what? Normal -> Body Text?
        tagFormattedCharacters(docRef, "Body Text", "Bold" , "b");
        tagFormattedCharacters(docRef, "Body Text", "Italic" , "i");
        tagFormattedCharacters(docRef, "Body Text", "Bold Italic" , "bl");
        tagFormattedCharacters(docRef, "Normal", "Bold" , "b");
        tagFormattedCharacters(docRef, "Normal", "Italic" , "i");
        tagFormattedCharacters(docRef, "Normal", "Bold Italic" , "bl");
        tagFormattedCharacters(docRef, "Body Text indent", "Bold" , "b");
        tagFormattedCharacters(docRef, "Body Text indent", "Italic" , "i");
        tagFormattedCharacters(docRef, "Body Text indent", "Bold Italic" , "bl");
        cleanupTags(docRef);
        //Convert Word styles to ID styles, then wipe Word styles
        convertWordStyles(docRef);
        //Re-apply all paragraph styles with no overrides or character styles
        formatTaggedCharacters(docRef, "b", "Bold")
        formatTaggedCharacters(docRef, "i", "Italic")
        formatTaggedCharacters(docRef, "bl", "Byline")
        // Replace jump lines character style, since above makes all bold-italic into Byline style
        formatJumpLines(docRef, jumpLineChars, jumpTextCharStyle);
        //re-instate text reflow
        docRef.textPreferences.smartTextReflow = smartTextReflowState;
    function getActiveDocument(){
    //returns reference to active document; otherwise undefined
        //if a variable is not assigned a value, its value is undefined
        if (app.documents.length == 0) {
            throw ("No documents open");
        //returns value for variable docRef back to call statement
        var docRef = app.documents.item(0);
        return docRef;
    function tagFormattedCharacters(docRef, paragraphStyle, fontStyle, fontTag) {
        // Searches for characters in paragrapfStyle, fontStyle in docRef, enclosing any characters found
        // in HTML-style angle-bracket tags containing fontTag
        var myStyles, s, stylesRE;
        //First chk if passed paragraphStyle exists
        for (var s = docRef.paragraphStyles.length-1; s >= 2; s--) {
            //get a list of pipe-separated styles, but not the default styles in brackets, since they'll screw up a RegExp pattern
         myStyles = docRef.paragraphStyles[s].name + "|" + myStyles;
        stylesRE = new RegExp(myStyles);
        if (!paragraphStyle.match(stylesRE)){
            return;
        //Clear the find/change preferences.
        clearFindChangePrefs()
        //Set the find options.
        app.findChangeTextOptions.caseSensitive = false;
        app.findChangeTextOptions.includeFootnotes = false;
        app.findChangeTextOptions.includeHiddenLayers = false;
        app.findChangeTextOptions.includeLockedLayersForFind = false;
        app.findChangeTextOptions.includeLockedStoriesForFind = false;
        app.findChangeTextOptions.includeMasterPages = false;
        app.findChangeTextOptions.wholeWord = false;
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        app.findTextPreferences.fontStyle = fontStyle;
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        openTag = "<"+fontTag+">";
        closeTag ="</"+fontTag+">";
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        for(i=myFoundItems.length-1; i>-1; i--){
            myFoundItems[i].insertionPoints.lastItem().contents = closeTag;
            myFoundItems[i].insertionPoints.firstItem().contents = openTag;
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        // To correct for faulty formatting resulting in badly placed tags, e.g.: tags on both sides of paragraph returns.
        // To internalize search routines into this script, it uses a series of searches equivalent to FindChangeByList,
        // captured with RecordFindChange_CS3-CS5.jsx .
        // Note GREP search strings MUST be enclosed in quotes with all internal backslashes & quotes escaped,
        // e.g.: \\ becomes \\\\, findWhat:"( becomes findWhat:\"(
        var myChangesArray = new Array();
        // a few changes to clean up placement of formatting tags which may be funky from Word direct formatting
        myChangesArray[0] = "grep    {findWhat:\"(<[^>]*>)(\\\\s)(</[^>]*>)\"}    {changeTo:\"$2\", changeConditionsMode:1919250519}    {includeLockedStoriesForFind:false, includeLockedLayersForFind:false, includeHiddenLayers:false, includeMasterPages:false, includeFootnotes:false}"; //Nix bolded white space of any kind
        myChangesArray[1] = "grep    {findWhat:\"(<[^>]*>)(\\\\ )(\\\\[)\"}    {changeTo:\"$2$1$3\", changeConditionsMode:1919250519}    {includeLockedStoriesForFind:false, includeLockedLayersForFind:false, includeHiddenLayers:false, includeMasterPages:false, includeFootnotes:false}"; //move spaces (only!) in front of bylines before tag
        myChangesArray[2] = "grep    {findWhat:\"(\\\\r)(</[^>]*>)\"}    {changeTo:\"$2$1\", changeConditionsMode:1919250519}    {includeLockedStoriesForFind:false, includeLockedLayersForFind:false, includeHiddenLayers:false, includeMasterPages:false, includeFootnotes:false}"; //move close tags before graf returns
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        findChangeByArray(myObject, myChangesArray)
    function convertWordStyles(docRef){
        // Converts Word styles to ID styles, then wipes Word styles
        // To internalize search routines to this script, this uses a series of searches equivalent to FindChangeByList,
        // captured with RecordFindChange_CS3-CS5.jsx .
        // Note search strings MUST be enclosed in quotes with all internal backslashes & quotes escaped, esp. important for GREP
        // e.g.: \\ becomes \\\\, findWhat:"( becomes findWhat:\"(
        var i, p, stylesRE;
        var myChangesArray = new Array();
        //note: findChangeByArray does not trap for
        myChangesArray[0] = "text    {findWhat:\"^p^t\"}    {changeTo:\"^p\", changeConditionsMode:1919250519}    {includeLockedStoriesForFind:false, includeLockedLayersForFind:false, includeHiddenLayers:false, includeMasterPages:false, includeFootnotes:false, wholeWord:false, caseSensitive:false}"; // remove tabs at the start of paragraphs
        myChangesArray[1] = "text    {findWhat:\"n\", appliedParagraphStyle:\"Heading 1\", appliedFont:\"Wingdings\", fontStyle:\"Bold\"}    {changeTo:\"^8\", appliedCharacterStyle:\"[No character style]\", appliedParagraphStyle:\"Headline 1\", changeConditionsMode:1919250519}    {includeLockedStoriesForFind:false, includeLockedLayersForFind:false, includeHiddenLayers:false, includeMasterPages:false, includeFootnotes:false, wholeWord:false, caseSensitive:false}"; //replace square bullet in Heading 1 Word style to standard bullet Headline 1 + Bold
        myChangesArray[2] = "text    {appliedParagraphStyle:\"Normal\"}    {appliedParagraphStyle:\"Body Text\", changeConditionsMode:1919250519}    {includeLockedStoriesForFind:false, includeLockedLayersForFind:false, includeHiddenLayers:false, includeMasterPages:false, includeFootnotes:false, wholeWord:false, caseSensitive:false}"; // replace Normal paragraph Word style with Body Text
        myChangesArray[3] = "text    {appliedParagraphStyle:\"CallOut\"}    {appliedParagraphStyle:\"Callout\", changeConditionsMode:1919250519}    {includeLockedStoriesForFind:false, includeLockedLayersForFind:false, includeHiddenLayers:false, includeMasterPages:false, includeFootnotes:false, wholeWord:false, caseSensitive:true}"; // replace CallOut Word style with Callout
        myChangesArray[4] = "text    {appliedParagraphStyle:\"Normal Indent\"}    {appliedParagraphStyle:\"Body Text indent\", changeConditionsMode:1919250519}    {includeLockedStoriesForFind:false, includeLockedLayersForFind:false, includeHiddenLayers:false, includeMasterPages:false, includeFootnotes:false, wholeWord:false, caseSensitive:true}"; //replace Normal Indent Word style to Body Text indent
        myChangesArray[5] = "text    {appliedParagraphStyle:\"Body Text\", fontStyle:\"Italic\"}    {appliedCharacterStyle:\"Italic\"}    {includeLockedStoriesForFind:false, includeLockedLayersForFind:false, includeHiddenLayers:false, includeMasterPages:false, includeFootnotes:false, wholeWord:false, caseSensitive:false, kanaSensitive:true, widthSensitive:true, ignoreKashidas:true, ignoreDiacritics:false}"; //replace direct formatted body text italic with character style
        myChangesArray[6] = "text    {appliedParagraphStyle:\"Body Text\", fontStyle:\"Bold\"}    {appliedCharacterStyle:\"Bold\"}    {includeLockedStoriesForFind:false, includeLockedLayersForFind:false, includeHiddenLayers:false, includeMasterPages:false, includeFootnotes:false, wholeWord:false, caseSensitive:false, kanaSensitive:true, widthSensitive:true, ignoreKashidas:true, ignoreDiacritics:false}"; //replace direct formatted body text bold with character style
        myChangesArray[7] = "text    {appliedParagraphStyle:\"Body Text\", fontStyle:\"Bold Italic\"}    {appliedCharacterStyle:\"Byline\"}    {includeLockedStoriesForFind:false, includeLockedLayersForFind:false, includeHiddenLayers:false, includeMasterPages:false, includeFootnotes:false, wholeWord:false, caseSensitive:false, kanaSensitive:true, widthSensitive:true, ignoreKashidas:true, ignoreDiacritics:false}"; //replace direct formatted body text bold italic with Byline character style
        myChangesArray[8] = "text    {findWhat:\" -- \"}    {changeTo:\"^_\"}    {includeLockedStoriesForFind:false, includeLockedLayersForFind:false, includeHiddenLayers:false, includeMasterPages:false, includeFootnotes:false, wholeWord:false, caseSensitive:false, kanaSensitive:true, widthSensitive:true, ignoreKashidas:true, ignoreDiacritics:false}"; //replace space dash dash space with em dash, no spaces
        myChangesArray[9] = "text    {findWhat:\"--\"}    {changeTo:\"^_\"}    {includeLockedStoriesForFind:false, includeLockedLayersForFind:false, includeHiddenLayers:false, includeMasterPages:false, includeFootnotes:false, wholeWord:false, caseSensitive:false, kanaSensitive:true, widthSensitive:true, ignoreKashidas:true, ignoreDiacritics:false}"; //replace space dash dash space with em dash, no spaces
        myChangesArray[10] ="text    {findWhat:\"  \"}    {changeTo:\" \"}    {includeLockedStoriesForFind:false, includeLockedLayersForFind:false, includeHiddenLayers:false, includeMasterPages:false, includeFootnotes:false, wholeWord:false, caseSensitive:false, kanaSensitive:true, widthSensitive:true, ignoreKashidas:true, ignoreDiacritics:false}"; //replace double spaces with single space
        myChangesArray[11] ="text    {findWhat:\"^p^p\"}    {changeTo:\"^p\"}    {includeLockedStoriesForFind:false, includeLockedLayersForFind:false, includeHiddenLayers:false, includeMasterPages:false, includeFootnotes:false, wholeWord:false, caseSensitive:false, kanaSensitive:true, widthSensitive:true, ignoreKashidas:true, ignoreDiacritics:false}"; //Nix double paragraph markers
        // section to put in headline jump reference bullets
        myChangesArray[12] ="grep    {findWhat:\"\\\\>  ?(from \\\\[\\\\d\\\\d?\\\\])\\\\s?\\\\s?$\"}    {changeTo:\" ~8 $1\"}    {includeLockedStoriesForFind:false, includeLockedLayersForFind:false, includeHiddenLayers:false, includeMasterPages:false, includeFootnotes:true, kanaSensitive:true, widthSensitive:true}"//add bullet before end of word, replace space (optional space) 'from [' digit optional digit ']' optional space optional space end of paragraph with space bullet space + the rest
        // Changes any imported paragraph styles to Body Text, imported character styles to None, nukes imported
        findChangeByArray(docRef, myChangesArray)
        removeImportedStyles(docRef);
        // clear overrides, both character & paragraph
        // first set what paragraphs to check
        stylesRE = new RegExp(/Body |Heading /)
        for (i = 0; i < docRef.stories.length; i++) {
            //only mess with stories with a bunch of paragraphs & only paragraphs of Body* or Heading* styles
            if (docRef.stories[i].paragraphs.length > 1) {
                for ( p=0; p < docRef.stories[i].paragraphs.length; p++){
                    if (docRef.stories[i].paragraphs[p].appliedParagraphStyle.name.match(stylesRE)) {
                        docRef.stories[i].paragraphs[p].clearOverrides(OverrideType.ALL);
    function clearFindChangePrefs(){
        //find/change text preferences
        app.findTextPreferences = null;
        app.changeTextPreferences = null;
        //find/change grep preferences
        app.findGrepPreferences = null;
        app.changeGrepPreferences = null;
        //find/change glyph preferences
        app.findGlyphPreferences = null;
        app.changeGlyphPreferences = null;
    function findChangeByArray(myObject, myChangesArray){
        //a shorter version of the supplied FindChangeByList.jsx to allow internalizing search strings
        // Note search strings passed MUST be enclosed in quotes with all internal backslashes & quotes escaped,
        // esp. important for GREP, e.g.: \\ becomes \\\\, findWhat:"( becomes findWhat:\"(
        var myFindChangeArray, myFindType, myFindPreferences, myChangePreferences, myFindChangeOptions, i;
        var myStyles, s, stylesRE, searchOK;
        // Prepare to trap for non-existant styles
        // get a list of pipe-separated styles, but not the default styles in brackets, since they'll screw up a RegExp pattern
        for (var s = myObject.paragraphStyles.length-1; s >= 2; s--) {
             myStyles = myObject.paragraphStyles[s].name + "|" + myStyles;
         stylesRE = new RegExp(myStyles);
        for (i = 0; i < myChangesArray.length; i++) {
            myFindChangeArray = myChangesArray[i].split("\t");
            //The first field in the line is the findType string.
            myFindType = myFindChangeArray[0];
            //The second field in the line is the FindPreferences string.
            myFindPreferences = myFindChangeArray[1];
            // Trap to ensure the style exists
            //The second field in the line is the ChangePreferences string.
            myChangePreferences = myFindChangeArray[2];
            //The fourth field is the range--used only by text find/change.
            myFindChangeOptions = myFindChangeArray[3];
            // Trap for non-existant paragraph styles; ID will choke on searching for a style not in doc
            // Look for paragraph style in find string
            if (myFindPreferences.match(/appliedParagraphStyle/)){
                // & that the search is for a style existing in the document
                if (!myFindPreferences.match(stylesRE)){
                    continue;
            switch(myFindType){
                case "text":
                    myFindText(myObject, myFindPreferences, myChangePreferences, myFindChangeOptions);
                    break;
                case "grep":
                    myFindGrep(myObject, myFindPreferences, myChangePreferences, myFindChangeOptions);
                    break;
                case "glyph":
                    myFindGlyph(myObject, myFindPreferences, myChangePreferences, myFindChangeOptions);
                    break;
    function myFindText(myObject, myFindPreferences, myChangePreferences, myFindChangeOptions){
        //Reset the find/change preferences before each search.
        app.changeTextPreferences = null;
        app.findTextPreferences = null;
        var myString = "app.findTextPreferences.properties = "+ myFindPreferences + ";";
        myString += "app.changeTextPreferences.properties = " + myChangePreferences + ";";
        myString += "app.findChangeTextOptions.properties = " + myFindChangeOptions + ";";
        app.doScript(myString, ScriptLanguage.javascript);
        myFoundItems = myObject.changeText();
        //Reset the find/change preferences after each search.
        app.changeTextPreferences = null;
        app.findTextPreferences = null;
    function myFindGrep(myObject, myFindPreferences, myChangePreferences, myFindChangeOptions){
        //Reset the find/change grep preferences before each search.
        app.changeGrepPreferences = null;
        app.findGrepPreferences = null;
        var myString = "app.findGrepPreferences.properties = "+ myFindPreferences + ";";
        myString += "app.changeGrepPreferences.properties = " + myChangePreferences + ";";
        myString += "app.findChangeGrepOptions.properties = " + myFindChangeOptions + ";";
        app.doScript(myString, ScriptLanguage.javascript);
        var myFoundItems = myObject.changeGrep();
        //Reset the find/change grep preferences after each search.
        app.changeGrepPreferences = null;
        app.findGrepPreferences = null;
    function myFindGlyph(myObject, myFindPreferences, myChangePreferences, myFindChangeOptions){
        //Reset the find/change glyph preferences before each search.
        app.changeGlyphPreferences = null;
        app.findGlyphPreferences = null;
        var myString = "app.findGlyphPreferences.properties = "+ myFindPreferences + ";";
        myString += "app.changeGlyphPreferences.properties = " + myChangePreferences + ";";
        myString += "app.findChangeGlyphOptions.properties = " + myFindChangeOptions + ";";
        app.doScript(myString, ScriptLanguage.javascript);
        var myFoundItems = myObject.changeGlyph();
        //Reset the find/change glyph preferences after each search.
        app.changeGlyphPreferences = null;
        app.findGlyphPreferences = null;
    function removeImportedStyles(docRef){
        // Changes any imported paragraph styles to Body Text, imported character styles to None, nukes imported
       var paraStyle = docRef.paragraphStyles.item("Body Text");
       var noneCharStyle = docRef.characterStyles.item("[None]");
       for(var myCounter = docRef.paragraphStyles.length-1; myCounter >= 2; myCounter--){
         if (docRef.paragraphStyles[myCounter].imported == true ) {
            docRef.paragraphStyles[myCounter].remove(paraStyle); //Replaces w/paraStyle
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         if (docRef.characterStyles[myCounter].imported == true) {
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    function formatTaggedCharacters(docRef, fontTag, characterStyle){
        // Searches docRef for text between <fontTag> </fontTag> tags & applies characterStyle
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