Removing unwanted text formatting in InDesign

A text document created in a word processing application such as Microsoft Word will often incorrectly use poor formating techniques to achieve the desired layout. Techniques such as using multiple returns, tabs and spaces to control layout result in an unruly document that is difficult to achieve consistency. Before we can properly style a document we must remove this poor formating. Approaching this directly can be time consuming (especially in large text documents). Instead we can perform a series of commands in the Find/Replacepalette to fix the majority of these problems.

There are numerous methods to achieve this. Here is one:

1. Replace all hard returns with soft returns:
find what: ^p change to: ^n

2. Replace all double soft returns with single hard returns
find what: ^n^n change to: ^p

This takes care of any renegade returns.

Now lets search for duplicates:

Tabs
find what: ^t^t change to: ^t

Hard Returns
find what: ^p^p change to: ^p

Spaces
Just hit the space bar twice in the find what field and once in the change to field.