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We have discussed the concept of something called paragraph styles inside of Illustrator, which maps somewhat to the way that CSS works. In fact, in this document, we have actually created some of these paragraph styles. We have named them appropriate names that we have used to style the way the text looks in this document. However, there are times where sometimes just a word, or a few words, or even a single character within an overall paragraph is changed. Now in CSS, we sometimes refer to that as a class, and we can use the span tags to show that inside of a code.
Well Illustrator also has something similar called character styles. Basically what a character style allows you to do is overwrite one part of a paragraph, basically allowing you to have certain characters within an overall paragraph that look different than the rest of the paragraph. For example, I am going to zoom in a little bit here on the body copy here, and say I want to have some way to identify some text as being more important. May be I want to make a word bold or stand out a little bit more. For example, right over here, we have Explore California, which is the company name here, and maybe I want to go ahead and make that more prominent, or I want to add some emphasis to it.
So I am going to use a character style to do that. Now remember, there are two ways to define a style inside of Illustrator: I can either create some kind of text, the way that I want it to look on the artboard, and then turn that into a style, or I can just go straight in to the Character panel, define a style, and I might do that if I know what the setting are going to be in advance, and then I can apply the style to my text afterwards. Let's actually try the second way, because we did it the first way when we defined paragraph styles. I am going to come to my Character Styles panel. Notice now I have my default normal character style, but I want to now create a new character style.
May be I want to highlight some text within the paragraph style. So I am going to come over here and define a new character style, and then I am immediately going to double-click on it so I can define some of its settings. Now first of all, I am going to change its name. I am going to call it p, and then I will call it highlight. Next let's click on Basic Character Formats, and really I want to change this to be Arial. Right now, the body copy is using Georgia. So I am going to change this to Arial, and we will make it bold, and really, in fact, that's pretty much what I want to change, but I also want to change some of the color so I will go to where it says Character Color, and instead of black, I am going to go ahead and now choose maybe a red color.
Let's say this color right here, click OK, and now I have defined this character style called p highlight. Now If I want to apply this character style, I would take my Type tool and here, unlike in the paragraph style, where all I had to do which is click my mouse anywhere in the paragraph, the character style obviously applies to specific characters within that overall paragraph, so I need to select all the characters that I want to take on that change. So I am going to highlight the word "Explore California" and then click on p highlight, and notice now that changes to the specifications that I just set.
You can use character styles help you do that, and most importantly it means that any of these types of settings that you apply across an entire web site will always be consistent.
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