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Using nested styles

From: Creating Long Documents with InDesign

Video: Using nested styles

Nested styles are an option you can build into paragraph styles that allow you to apply dynamic character styling to a continuous range of text. You just tell InDesign which character styles to apply and which characters mark the end of the range. They are perfect for creating things like run-in heads were you need the start of a paragraph formatted differently from the rest. And you can create a nested style at any time by creating or editing a paragraph style. In this case, I would like the start of this paragraph to be formatted differently from the rest. There should be this blue run-in head, and I have done that here by manually applying the RI_Blue Character Style.

Using nested styles

Nested styles are an option you can build into paragraph styles that allow you to apply dynamic character styling to a continuous range of text. You just tell InDesign which character styles to apply and which characters mark the end of the range. They are perfect for creating things like run-in heads were you need the start of a paragraph formatted differently from the rest. And you can create a nested style at any time by creating or editing a paragraph style. In this case, I would like the start of this paragraph to be formatted differently from the rest. There should be this blue run-in head, and I have done that here by manually applying the RI_Blue Character Style.

But over the course of an entire project, I could save a ton of time and effort by doing this with the nested style. In this case, it's a perfect example for a nested style, because there's a consistent pattern here. Every time I have the run-in head, it's followed by an en space. So let's setup a nested style to do this. First of all, unapply the Character Style. So now it's all the same typeface. I go to my Paragraph Styles panel and I will Option or Alt + Click on the New Style button to create a New Paragraph Style. And this one I will call RuninFirst, so RIF-RuninFirst.

And down in Drop Caps and Nested Styles, I will click on New Nested Style. I will select my Blue Character Style, RI_Blue, through 1 En Space, and click OK. Now I can apply this, and the character styling takes place automatically. Now that's cool, but what if I have a pattern that's a little more complicated, like if there are more than one character that marks the end where I need the character style applied. Over here, these paragraphs have different punctuation after where I would want the nested style, so this one has a question mark.

This one has an exclamation point. Here are some ellipses, and another exclamation point. Fortunately I can do all of these with one style that I created call RuninPunctuation. So how does that work? Let's right-click on it and take a look. We'll choose Edit and look at the nested style. And here I am applying RI_Blue again, through 1, and then in this field I put in all the options that I wanted InDesign to look for. So when it finds any of these, it stops applying the nested style.

So there is a question mark, an exclamation point and an ellipses. I also have nested line styles. Nested line styles allow you to apply dynamic character styling on a line-by-line basis. So it's sort of like location-based styling. We'll apply that to this paragraph here with run-in line, and we'll take a look at that. I'll right-click on it and choose Edit RuninLine, Drop Caps and Nested Styles, and down here in Nested Line Styles, I am applying RI_Blue for 1 line.

But if I wanted to apply it for 2 lines, I could do that. Click off and I would see the style update. Now an important thing regarding nesting styles and long document workflows is how the formatting will or will not appear in a table of contents. The TOC feature will pick up any manually applied character styling, but automatic styling, for things like nested styles, GREP Styles, those kinds of things will not come across in the TOC. This can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your needs. If you don't want that local styling to come across, use these automatic styles.

If you do need in the TOC, then you will need to either replicate the nested style function in your TOC paragraph styles, or you need to unnest the styles. Another time when you might want to unnest styles, is when you're going to export text from InDesign to RTF. When you export to RTF, the formatting applied by a nested style will simply disappear. Let's take a look at that. So here I will put my cursor in this frame with the nested style, and I'll choose File > Export > Rich Text Format, and I'll say Nested for the Name.

I'll switch over to Word and open it, and you can see I have no formatting here where my nested style was. So how do you avoid this? Well, you have to apply the character styles manually, wherever the nested style applied them. One way to do that is to use Find/ Change, but that method depends on your ability to find a query that describes the text formatted by the nested style, and sometimes that might be really hard. An easier method is to use a free script offered by In-Tools.

Let's switch back to InDesign and use that. So in my Scripts panel, I will go to ApplyNestedStyles and double-click on it. The script went through and found all my nested styles and replaced them with manually applied character styles. So if I select any of this formatting and look at my Character Styles panel, I can see now that it's been applied. So if I take this text frame again and export it again to RTF, we'll call this Unnested, and go back to Word and open that, I can see that that formatting held.

One word of caution though, if you had manually applied character styles on top of the nested style formatting, that script will remove the manually applied formatting. It will be gone from the InDesign document and it will be gone in any exports you create. With that said, if you need to convert nested styling to real character styles, that script is great. And even if you occasionally have to unnest styles, they are a wonderful tool for speeding up the formatting of text when you have a predictable pattern of formatting in a paragraph. Next, we'll see another kind of automated formatting with Next Style.

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This video is part of

Image for Creating Long Documents with InDesign
Creating Long Documents with InDesign

59 video lessons · 16453 viewers

Mike Rankin
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 10m 48s
    1. Welcome
      54s
    2. Using the exercise files and scripts
      1m 51s
    3. Long-document workflow overview
      4m 20s
    4. Analyzing the planned output
      3m 43s
  2. 34m 7s
    1. Using master pages
      9m 34s
    2. Using layers
      7m 23s
    3. Using text variables
      6m 42s
    4. Using section markers
      5m 44s
    5. Synchronizing text
      4m 44s
  3. 26m 16s
    1. Using InDesign templates
      7m 10s
    2. Setting up preferences
      3m 27s
    3. Using Word templates
      5m 50s
    4. InCopy workflows
      5m 17s
    5. Creating a production manual
      4m 32s
  4. 40m 2s
    1. Using Based On styles
      6m 14s
    2. Using nested styles
      5m 56s
    3. Using Next Style
      3m 39s
    4. Using GREP styles
      6m 17s
    5. Using object styles
      2m 48s
    6. Using table and cell styles
      5m 8s
    7. Using swatches
      5m 33s
    8. Using Quick Apply
      4m 27s
  5. 37m 57s
    1. Placing text
      4m 57s
    2. Placing images
      3m 41s
    3. Creating metadata captions
      4m 3s
    4. Using Mini Bridge
      4m 38s
    5. Using libraries and snippets
      6m 4s
    6. Using GREP Find/Change
      5m 5s
    7. Find/Change tips
      5m 21s
    8. Using Layout Adjustment
      4m 8s
  6. 15m 53s
    1. Using Notes
      4m 7s
    2. Tracking changes
      4m 36s
    3. Using CS Review
      7m 10s
  7. 34m 43s
    1. Creating tables of contents
      7m 9s
    2. Alternative uses for the TOC feature
      4m 9s
    3. Creating cross-references
      6m 8s
    4. Creating footnotes
      6m 31s
    5. Importing footnotes
      6m 47s
    6. Creating endnotes
      3m 59s
  8. 33m 50s
    1. Scoping out the index
      2m 19s
    2. Creating index topics and references
      9m 29s
    3. Creating index cross-references
      3m 1s
    4. Creating index references with Find/Change
      3m 31s
    5. Generating an index
      3m 35s
    6. Preserving formatting in an index
      5m 13s
    7. Using third-party indexing tools
      6m 42s
  9. 26m 44s
    1. Using InDesign book files
      4m 37s
    2. Numbering book documents
      5m 46s
    3. Synchronizing book documents
      7m 5s
    4. Preflighting book documents
      3m 49s
    5. Outputting book documents
      5m 27s
  10. 12m 54s
    1. Using conditional text
      5m 1s
    2. Using Smart Text Reflow
      4m 3s
    3. Using object styles for customization
      3m 50s
  11. 25m 17s
    1. Preflighting documents
      6m 56s
    2. Exporting to print PDF
      5m 26s
    3. Exporting to interactive PDF
      5m 36s
    4. Archiving a project
      7m 19s
  12. 48s
    1. Goodbye
      48s

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