Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member
We have looked at paragraph styles. Let's now look specifically at character styles. Most commonly you would use a character style to apply emphasis to a range of text within a paragraph. And the most common way of doing that would be italicizing, and that's what I have done for the book titles that I have dropped into this document. However, when we look at this text we see that it is actually not in a character style. It's just been applied locally through the Font Style menu right there.
Now what's the big deal? I mean, does it matter? Well, it kind of does. It just gives you more control if you have it set up and applied through Character Styles. That way, should you decide that you don't want to give emphasis using italic or should you decide that you want your italics all to be a fraction bigger or in a color or whatever else you want to change, you can do it all through changing the character style definition, which we can't do at the moment. We would have to go and select each instance individually.
But how do we use the fact that we have some local formatting already in this document? So what I'm going to do is I'm going to create a character style, and I'm going to do that without having anything selected. So I'll come and choose my Selection tool and click away from anything that may be selected and then come to my Character Styles panel and choose New Character Style, and I'll call it italic. Now when I go to my Basic Formats we see that all of this is empty and most of the time that's how we want it to be.
When we apply a character style it is applied within the context of the paragraph style and all of those formats that are not specified will be inherited from the paragraph style. All that we want to change about the italic character style is the fact that it is italic. That's it. So at the moment the typeface we're using for the body text is Chaparral Pro, but let's say that we wanted to change that. Let's say we wanted to go with Minion Pro.
Well, if you changed it, then it would update in the character style as well because that isn't specified. All right, so I have created that style, now to apply it, I just select the range of text I want to apply it too, and there is nothing more to it than that. I could, of course, also give it a keyboard shortcut, and I can do that with paragraph styles also. When you apply a keyboard shortcut you cannot use your F keys, your Function keys, you have to use the number pad on your keyboard in conjunction with one of your modifier keys.
So let's say I wanted to make that Command+Number Pad 1, or Ctrl+Number Pad 1, and it has to be a number pad 1, not regular keyboard 1, and then I could easily just select that word there, Command+ Number Pad 1, and it takes on that character styling. But what about those book titles that we already saw that are not currently in the Character Style? To bring those into the fold, as it were, I'm going to come to the Edit menu and to Find/Change. Well, first thing I'm going to do is I'm going to clear out any formatting options that InDesign is remembering from the last time I used this.
So I'll click on the trash can for both. The Find what and the Change to field I'm going to leave blank. I'm going to switch to Text because this is a text Find/Change. Both Find what and Change to blank. Find Format will be Basic Character Formats > Font Style > Italic, change to the italic character style. So it's going to find any italicizing and replace it with the italic character style. Now because the italic style only specifies one attribute, regardless of what size that local italicizing is, and regardless of what context it's been applied in what paragraph style it's been applied in, this is going to work.
So I can now do that across the whole document. I'll change all seven replacements. So nothing has changed visually, and we didn't want it to, but what has changed is that should we now decide that, we don't want to use conventional italicizing to give emphasis, but instead we want to give emphasis by using boldface. So I could switch the font style to bold, click OK, and you'll see all of those instances that were formally italic are now bold.
Just to summarize character styles also very important, more localized than your paragraph styles, and when you define a character style most of the time you want to define it relative to the paragraph style. So you leave most of the options blank just change one or the two, possibly three things that are going to change. Notice also that you have only the character formats that you can incorporate into a character style.
Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.Become a member
117 Video lessons · 42405 Viewers
119 Video lessons · 53864 Viewers
65 Video lessons · 14201 Viewers
113 Video lessons · 82771 Viewers
Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.
Search within course videos and transcripts, and jump right to the results.
Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.
Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.
Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.
Your file was successfully uploaded.