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Like other page layout applications, InDesign allows users to control the appearance of every element on a page. It helps format elements with style sheets, which collect formatting attributes for easy replication. But that's where the similarities end. InDesign CS3 One-on-One: Style Sheets demonstrates why InDesign's style sheets are far more powerful than anything found in any other page layout program. Pioneering electronic publisher and author Deke McClelland goes to the heart of InDesign's style sheets, and discusses how they define and guide just about every other program feature. He covers how to format words, paragraphs, whole frames, objects, tables, and even entire stories with a single click. Exercise files accompany the course.
Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts for InDesign Style Sheets from the Exercise Files tab.
In the previous exercise, I opened this document, which is called Foolproof solution.indd found inside the 05_nested numbered folder. And I went ahead and assigned some Auto Numbering to the Step style sheet. And because the Step Bullet style sheet is subservient, it's a child to the Step style sheet, it went ahead and receive the auto numbering as well. So we are starting at number 1 and we are ending at number 9, even though a lot of these are not full-fledged steps; they are sort of meta steps that are inside the larger step item.
So we need to fix this child Step Bullet style and that's something we are going to do in this exercise. I want you to go ahead and make sure that nothing is selected by pressing Ctrl+Shift+A, Command+Shift+A on the Mac. I'm going to keep saying that because it is the best practice. It is really a good habit to get into. And then bring up your Paragraph Styles palette. I want you to go ahead and double click on Step Bullet in order to bring up its Paragraph Style Options dialog box. Really I think the first thing we need to do is take care of the blue italics that are haunting these paragraphs so that's a function of having improperly applied Nested Styles here.
So go ahead and click on Nested Styles and by the way, I'll go back to General and you can see what I'm talking about. The Style Step Bullet is based on Step, which is included in Step styles. The reason it's parenthetical, we see Step styles here, is because Step styles is the name of the group that contains Step and Step Bullet. So I'm going to move that dialog box back over to the right. Let's go ahead and click on Drop Caps and Nested Styles. Click on Step Leader that item right there in the Nested Styles list and click on the Delete button in order to get rid of it. Incidentally, you can have tons of Nested Styles inside of a paragraph.
If you want to. More than one, you can have two, three, four whatever, all you need to do to add more from this, click on New Nested Style right there and you can drag them up and down the list and so on. Anyway, what we want to do in our case is delete it. That got rid of the bad stuff inside of those bullet items. That's good. We still have bad numbers. That's no good, so I'm going to switch over to Bullet and Numbering and I want the List Type not to be Numbers but rather to be Bullets. Now at this point, you have a lot of options. Notice immediately those numbers change to bullets incidentally.
You have a few options as to what kind of bullet you want to assign. You could go with the standard bullet character, you can go with an asterisk or a losange or a diamond or whatever the heck that is or that sort of foreign quote character thing right there or you can go with this ornamental leaf character if you like. Or gosh, you can go nuts and click on the Add button and that will give you the option of specifying your own custom character. This font, Adobe Caslon Pro, includes if you scroll all the way down to the bottom of the list, includes a lot of whacky characters to choose from like this kind of five pointed snowflake right there whatever it is, some sort of ornament.
Incidentally if you don't like the ornaments that are offered by this font, my goodness, you have access to every single font in your system. So go nuts, and then once you find one that suits your whims, go ahead and click on OK after selecting it and then it will appear inside your listing, click on it again and that becomes your special little bullet character. Now for my money, that's too darn precious. If I click OK, we can see- we zoom in. I mean that's a lovely little doodad there but I think it's highly distracting and it doesn't get us where we want to go and inside of this document.
It doesn't really do us any good; it just shows off InDesign's wonderful bullet feature. So let's go ahead and double click on Step Bullet again and I hate to be a party pooper but what I'm going to have you do is go to Bullets and Numbering and let's just go with the standard bullet, why don't we? Notice it's saying Text After; we want it to be a tab character that follows the bullets automatically. We don't want any custom Character Style and we are not going to position the text right now, we are going to adjust the positioning later but I need to show you how it works first. Let's just go ahead and accept our bullet by clicking OK and we are done, we have fixed the text in more ways than you might have thought.
Not only that we take care of the problems with the bullet paragraph, so you notice this is addressed here, this guy is better that is say at the top of the screen. These two paragraphs are all better as well, but we also fix the problems with the numbering. So now the automatic numbering skips to the next occurrence of the Step style sheets. So we go from step 1 right here to step 2 right here, then to step 3 and then down here to step 4. So it continues after the next A head. That is a good thing in that it's only numbering the Step styles now. That's good because that's all we want in number but it's a bad thing in terms of exactly how the numbers are sequencing, we will fix that sequencing in the very next exercise.
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