I prefer working with writers who use the simplest, plainest formatting possible. Even when writing my own publications, I tend to begin with a simple text document. The simpler, the better.
I would rather work with a Notepad file than a file that someone has heavily formatted without adhering to the requirements of the publisher they plan to use. All that formatting can really get in the way. Especially, if the text was formatted for different dimensions.
Every self-publishing entity provides formatted templates. They are far more than mere margins and tabs. The templates are pre-formatted to number pages directly. They are set up to create a table of contents and generate page numbers correctly. Moving content after the template is in use can really wreck your formatting, especially page numbers.
I find it much easier to keep writing separate from layout. Then copy the content in pieces and place it in the formatted template. If the original writing has heavily formatted content, it can conflict with the template.
And, templates are king.
If the template doesn’t work, the design process may have to start all over again. I have been known to strip a document back to an ascii file in order to get rid of unnecessary formatting. It’s especially troublesome with a writer who applied new formats instead of merely editing what was in place.
InDesign is not a writing program. InDesign is a layout program. It is an exquisite program. But, you don’t use it like a typewriter.
The proper way to use InDesign is to use a text program to type your words.
Then use the File/Place command to load text into InDesign.
The Text tool is for decorating text. It is not intended to be a writing tool.
Need help formatting? We can make it happen.