InDesign is generally a very stable layout package. However, importing some file types can give it digital indigestion. Designers like to keep their import diet fairly simple:
Text: Rich text format is ideal, but Word is acceptable, provided changes have been accepted. Text documents should not contain embedded images
Tables: Excel is OK, provided the user has set the file up properly
Layout: InDesign will not import Microsoft Publisher at all, but can open most flavours of Quark.
Raster Images: tiffs are ideal, jpegs saved at high quality are acceptable. PNG, GIF and BMP are not ideal.
Vector images: Illustrator, PDF and EPS files work well with InDesign. Care should be taken that the colours used in these files match up with those intended for use within the InDesign document. InDesign will not open CorelDRAW, but can import EPS files exported from CorelDRAW.
Presentation: Microsoft Powerpoint does not work with InDesign.