This, a million times this. To be able to redefine a style using another, existing style would be a big help. But for APub to redefine the styles coming from Word/RTF/whatever because those styles are already defined in APub would be magnificent.
My workflow goes like this: I receive manuscripts in a random word processor format and clean them up in Microsoft Word. And by "clean up" I mean assigning purpose-built character and paragraph styles throughout. So far so good.
So when using InDesign (I'm stuck on CS5, woe is me, and I fervently desire a modern DTP application with a perpetual license that is not hideously expensive), I import the Word document and the styles map to the identically-named styles in the template document I've created ahead of time in InDesign. The Word document doesn't even have to remotely resemble the InDesign file (fonts, sizes, what APub calls "Decorations," etc.) as long as the styles work. (In fact it doesn't; I use different fonts in Word at larger sizes 'cause I can.)
I really hope that APub can have this same functionality. APub is handling some things much better than InDesign CS5 did -- boxes and colored backgrounds for multiple paragraphs of arbitrary length makes a world of difference to me, thank you for that -- so I'm hoping the styles functionality can be upgraded, uprated, and made just as cool as the things I'm finding in the rest of the application. I'd simply rather assign the styles in Word and be done with it because I know when I'm finished in Word the document is already nice and clean. I want to use APub for the task of setting aside sidebars and adding images -- DTP stuff -- instead of wrangling text.
Thanks for Listening,