One of the best ways to avoid trouble with Microsoft Word documents provided by your clients is to ask them to save it in RTF format. (Or, you can open it and resave it in RTF format.) This strips out all Word-specific code and allows InDesign and QuarkXPress to import the text properly.
If the document contains equations or complex tables, save those parts as graphics in PDF format.
Jay Nelson is the editorial director of PlanetQuark.com, and the editor and publisher of Design Tools Monthly. He’s also the author of the QuarkXPress 8 and QuarkXPress 7 training titles at Lynda.com, as well as the training videos Quark includes in the box with QuarkXPress 7 . In addition, Jay writes regularly for Macworld and Photoshop User magazines and speaks at industry events.