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David Blatner brings his knowledge of and passion for InDesign to the latest release of this state-of-the-art publishing program, showing how to harness its power and functionality. InDesign CS4 Beyond the Basics covers the process of publishing with an eye on the program's latest nuances: optimizing page layouts, automating InDesign with Data Merge and XML, exploring interactive documents (including making movies), and exporting publications to a variety of formats. Exercise files accompany the course.
I have covered paragraph styles in some depths, especially in the Essential Training title, but I want to talk about three more style features that are somewhat obscure but which I find really useful, Redefine Style, Break Link to Style and Reset to Base. I am going to zoom in to 200% here with Command+2 or Ctrl+2 on Windows and I see that I just don't like the formatting of these subheads very much. So I think I will select one of those and change it. Maybe I will make it a little bit bigger, how about 14 pt, maybe instead of Bold I will make it Bold Italic All right, that looks pretty good. I like that, so now I want all my other subheads to look the same way. Well, I have used paragraph styles, I will open the Paragraph Styles panel here and I can see that that's the subhead style that's applied to this one and applied to all these other ones. But how do I make these changes that I have made right here on my document page, how do I push those back into the definition in the Paragraph Styles panel? The good news is you don't have to go and edit that subhead style manually.
All you have to do is go to the Paragraph Styles panel menu and choose Redefine Style. Redefine Style takes the formatting from wherever the text cursor currently is and uses that formatting for the definition of the paragraph style. So that was pretty easy. Let me show you another example of how I use Redefine Style. I have a got a situation here which I run into all the time when people send me documents, it's really frustrating. Let's open the Character Styles panel and I want to show you that wherever I click inside these bulleted paragraphs, I can see the Bullet Text character style.
That's right,. Someone applied a character style to all of those paragraphs, the whole paragraphs, which is a big no, no. You do not want to apply character styles to an entire paragraph. A character style should only be applied to one word or a sentence or something at a time. You should use paragraph styles to apply it to the whole paragraph. But look what happens if I select this whole paragraph and I click on None, whoa! Something really weird happened there. It all turned magenta. Why? Because the paragraph style that was underneath that character style, that Bullet List style, is apparently magenta in Times 12 pt, which is not really what I want.
I wanted to look like this paragraph style, but I don't want all that character formatting on top of it. So let me undo that with a Command+Z or Ctrl+Z on Windows and I will show you a trick. I am going to go back to Character Styles panel and I am going to throw away my Bullet Text character style. I do not need that at all. I am just going to throw it away. So InDesign asks me, what do you want to replace it with? And I will say just replace it with None. I don't want character styles over the whole paragraph, just give me None and Preserve the Formatting. When you turn that Preserve Formatting checkbox on, you are saying make it look just the way it is right now. Don't change anything; just leave it as local formatting on top of the paragraph style. So I will click OK and now all of these are set to None, look at that. The character style is set to None, but the paragraph style shows local formatting everywhere. Well, that's pretty much what I want. All I need to do now is go to the Paragraph Style panel menu and choose Redefine Style. The plus sign goes away wherever I click and I have changed the definition of the paragraph style itself. I love that Redefine Style feature, very helpful.
Let me show you a different style feature. I am going to pan up here to look at this text here. Why don't I select all of that text? And I am just going to do some kind of wacky type treatment. I clicked on that little double-headed arrow at the bottom of the Tool panel and that swaps the fill and stroke. So now I have some text that has a stroke, but no fill. It's cool. I like it. So what happens if I send this document to somebody else and they go and change the Title paragraph style on me? Well, that would be reflected in this type treatment as well. If they change the font, the font would change here and I might not want that. I might want this heading to look just like this no matter what they do to the paragraph styles. So here is what I would do. Select that paragraph, go to the Paragraph Styles panel and then go to the menu and say, Break Link to Style. Break Link to Style means make it look just like this and have nothing to do with any paragraph styles. In fact we can see that right in the upper left corner of the Paragraph Styles panel, it says No Styles. There is no style applied to this paragraph.
In general I like having paragraphs attached to paragraph styles because it makes it much more efficient and consistent and so on, but sometimes with a situation like this it's more useful to break the link and be safe and know that it's not going to change. Okay, let's look at one more text style feature called Reset to Base. I will scroll down here and look at these numbered lists. I will double-click on that to open up the Paragraph Styles Options dialog box and we can see that the Numbering List paragraph style is based on something called Body.
So I have a Body style and the Numbering List is based on that and in fact I can see down here that it's Body + -- they all say Next same style, you can ignore that. This says, + left indent is 0.25 inch. First indent is - 0.25 inch and so on and so on. So there is some formatting on top of the Body style and that's all fine. Now, I could go in here and change this to other stuff, maybe make it cyan. I could come in here and change my indents to something totally wacky, let's say maybe .5 inches or something. I could do a lot of weird stuff in here, but when I come back to General I see all of those changes and I might say, this is not what I want.
What I really want is to go right back to Body. Just take away all of these out of formatting here, take it all away and that is what the Reset to Base button does. When you click Reset to Base, it just wipes out all of that and takes you right back to the formatting setup in the Based On pop-up menu. So that's an important one to know. It can really get you out of a jam, when you want to wipe out all of that extra stuff that you have done to a paragraph style. Managing your styles is crucial if you want to be efficient in InDesign. In the next movie, I am going to talk about another way of managing your styles, loading styles from one document into another.
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