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Creating, applying, and editing styles


InDesign Typography

with Nigel French

Video: Creating, applying, and editing styles

Okay, we have looked at applying styles, but how do we create those styles in the first place and how do we edit them, should we need to? Let's take a look at this very simple document where we have three levels of heading on the left here, and we have some body text. Now if you look at my Paragraph Styles we see h1, h2, h3, body three times, okay. So we are going to recreate this very simple arrangement of styles. And there are different approaches, but I find this to be the most intuitive, and I think the most efficient.
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  1. 4m 4s
    1. Welcome
    2. Using the exercise files
    3. Customizing the workspace for type
      2m 18s
  2. 9m 25s
    1. What is Typekit? (CC 2014.1)
      1m 56s
    2. Choosing and syncing fonts (CC 2014.1)
      3m 6s
    3. Syncing problems (CC 2014.1)
      1m 43s
    4. Typekit resources (CC 2014.1)
      1m 5s
    5. Using the Font menu (CC 2014.1)
      1m 35s
  3. 55m 41s
    1. Working with text frames
      8m 26s
    2. Using a primary text frame (CS6 and later)
      3m 59s
    3. Understanding text flow methods
      6m 25s
    4. Understanding text threads
      3m 40s
    5. Understanding Smart Text Reflow
      2m 27s
    6. Mocking up pages with placeholder text
      5m 47s
    7. Placing multiple text files
      3m 50s
    8. Using Auto-Size text frames (CS6 and later)
      4m 1s
    9. Copying and pasting vs. placing
      2m 25s
    10. Cleaning up text with Find/Change
      5m 46s
    11. Using the Story Editor
      3m 41s
    12. Spanning columns
      5m 14s
  4. 48m 34s
    1. Choosing your type
      6m 46s
    2. Understanding text essentials
      6m 37s
    3. Scaling type
      2m 27s
    4. Using italic and oblique type
      4m 33s
    5. Working with condensed and extended type
      4m 26s
    6. Setting type in all caps
      3m 46s
    7. Setting type in small caps
      4m 21s
    8. Underlining type
      4m 11s
    9. Using superscript and subscript
      4m 35s
    10. Applying baseline shift
      4m 8s
    11. Combining typefaces (CC 2014.1)
      2m 44s
  5. 16m 6s
    1. Understanding type anatomy
      3m 25s
    2. Exploring serif and sans serif
      2m 48s
    3. Comparing points, picas, and ems
      8m 34s
    4. What's in a name?
      1m 19s
  6. 16m 27s
    1. Setting leading
      4m 56s
    2. Avoiding auto-leading
      4m 12s
    3. Leading shortcuts and preferences
      4m 7s
    4. Using autoleading with inline graphics
      3m 12s
  7. 21m 25s
    1. Defining kerning and tracking
      2m 5s
    2. Understanding kerning methods
      5m 10s
    3. When and how to kern
      5m 53s
    4. When and how to track
      8m 17s
  8. 48m 42s
    1. Working with quotes, primes, and apostrophes
      8m 16s
    2. Using dashes
      5m 24s
    3. Using ellipses
      2m 56s
    4. Working with accents and special characters
      4m 1s
    5. Using space characters
      4m 15s
    6. Working with ligatures
      4m 29s
    7. Setting fractions
      3m 56s
    8. Using lining and proportional numerals
      2m 49s
    9. Using alternates, swashes, and ornaments
      5m 2s
    10. Working with optical sizes
      4m 40s
    11. Stylistic sets (CC 2014.1)
      2m 54s
  9. 57m 20s
    1. Understanding alignment
      3m 47s
    2. Working with left-aligned type
      3m 24s
    3. Working with justified type
      7m 5s
    4. Using Optical Margin Alignment
      3m 39s
    5. Determining column width
      4m 53s
    6. Working with center alignment
      5m 36s
    7. Working with right alignment
      1m 22s
    8. Aligning to or away from the spine
      1m 50s
    9. Understanding the Paragraph Composer and Single-line Composer
      3m 44s
    10. Combining alignments
      9m 20s
    11. Using hanging punctuation
      2m 13s
    12. Working with vertical alignment
      10m 27s
  10. 14m 9s
    1. Using first-line indents
      2m 26s
    2. Using indent alternatives
      2m 3s
    3. Working with left and right indents
      4m 0s
    4. Using last-line indents and outdents
      1m 26s
    5. Using paragraph spacing
      4m 14s
  11. 23m 19s
    1. Setting hyphenation
      6m 14s
    2. Working with line breaks and discretionary hyphens
      4m 48s
    3. Balancing ragged lines
      1m 36s
    4. Using the No Break feature and non-breaking characters
      2m 52s
    5. Using frame, column, and page breaks
      3m 42s
    6. Defining Keep Options
      4m 7s
  12. 37m 53s
    1. Understanding tabs
      8m 58s
    2. Considerations for table text
      3m 55s
    3. Table tips and tricks
      11m 55s
    4. Creating a bulleted list
      6m 50s
    5. Creating a numbered list
      3m 46s
    6. Creating a multi-level numbered list
      2m 29s
  13. 23m 12s
    1. Understanding drop caps
      11m 3s
    2. Navigating tricky drop caps
      5m 14s
    3. Using a nested character style with a drop cap
      3m 59s
    4. Other uses of drop caps
      2m 56s
  14. 1h 11m
    1. Understanding paragraph and character styles
      7m 13s
    2. Creating, applying, and editing styles
      7m 3s
    3. Removing overrides
      4m 58s
    4. Creating and applying character styles
      5m 4s
    5. Creating and applying nested styles
      12m 30s
    6. Using GREP styles (regular expressions)
      4m 8s
    7. Creating and applying sequential styles
      6m 19s
    8. Using paragraph rules creatively
      11m 48s
    9. Mapping Word styles
      6m 12s
    10. Working with anchored objects and object styles
      6m 24s
  15. 25m 30s
    1. Applying a text wrap
      6m 7s
    2. Making items ignore a text wrap
      1m 46s
    3. Using text wraps for flexible layouts
      3m 2s
    4. Working with difficult text wraps
      8m 39s
    5. Inverting text wraps
      2m 7s
    6. Setting text wrap preferences
      3m 49s
  16. 29m 33s
    1. Choosing a page size and setting margins
      6m 33s
    2. Setting up columns
      2m 53s
    3. Dividing a page into rows
      3m 27s
    4. Setting up a baseline grid
      5m 40s
    5. Handling baseline grid problems
      3m 37s
    6. Baseline grid tricks
      7m 23s
  17. 44m 26s
    1. Working with type outlines (CC 2014.1)
      6m 50s
    2. Creating an interlocking effect (CC 2014.1)
      3m 31s
    3. Fusing letterforms (CC 2014.1)
      7m 15s
    4. Type and gradients (CC 2014.1)
      4m 57s
    5. Type and transparency (CC 2014.1)
      1m 50s
    6. Type on a path: Circles (CC 2014.1)
      4m 48s
    7. Type on a path: Calligram (CC 2014.1)
      6m 16s
    8. Vertical type (CC 2014.1)
      2m 58s
    9. Type and image: Gradient (CC 2014.1)
      1m 38s
    10. Type and image: "See-through" type (CC 2014.1)
      1m 8s
    11. Type and image: "Disappearing" type (CC 2014.1)
      3m 15s
  18. 12m 19s
    1. Looking at screen documents
      4m 2s
    2. Setting size, leading, and line length onscreen
      3m 13s
    3. Exploring typefaces designed for the screen
      3m 36s
    4. Accessibility: Contrast and color
      1m 28s
  19. 28s
    1. Goodbye

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Watch the Online Video Course InDesign Typography
9h 20m Intermediate Aug 03, 2012 Updated Nov 12, 2014

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Explore the numerous type options, type-related features, and type-specific preferences of Adobe InDesign. Using practical, real-world examples, instructor and designer Nigel French dissects the anatomy of a typeface and defines the vocabulary of typography. The course moves from the micro to the macro level, addressing issues such as choosing page size, determining the size of margins, adjusting number columns, and achieving a clean look with baseline grids. This course takes you from laying out a page to delving into the hows and whys of typography.

Topics include:
  • Understanding text threads and text flow methods in InDesign
  • Using Copy and Paste vs. Place
  • Choosing and combining typefaces
  • Understanding leading and how it relates to type size and column width
  • Comparing points, picas, and ems
  • Learning the proper use of white space and break characters
  • Understanding the finer points of kerning and tracking
  • Working with punctuation, special characters, ornaments, and ligatures
  • Aligning text
  • Applying global formatting with paragraph, character, and object styles
  • Refining spacing with indents
  • Creating drop caps
  • Avoiding common problems associated with justified type and text wraps
  • Setting up margins and columns
Nigel French

Creating, applying, and editing styles

Okay, we have looked at applying styles, but how do we create those styles in the first place and how do we edit them, should we need to? Let's take a look at this very simple document where we have three levels of heading on the left here, and we have some body text. Now if you look at my Paragraph Styles we see h1, h2, h3, body three times, okay. So we are going to recreate this very simple arrangement of styles. And there are different approaches, but I find this to be the most intuitive, and I think the most efficient.

You highlight the text, you make it look the way you want it to look, and you do that using the Control panel. So I am going to press Command+6 to jump to my Font menu, and I'm going to type in--let's use a different font this time--I'll use Chaparral Pro, and I'd like it to be bold, and I'd like it to be, let's say, I want it to be 24 points. And what else do we want to do to it, we want to make it blue. All right, that's how I want my h1s to look. So having done that I'm now going to come to my Paragraph Styles and from the panel menu I will choose New Paragraph Style, and I am going to call this one h1 so that it doesn't conflict with the styles I already have.

I have this one checked Apply Style to Selection, most of the time you want this one checked, it's going to apply the style back to the text that you had selected. So now when I'm back in the layout we see that right there on the Paragraph Styles panel h1 is highlighted. And now I am going to select the next paragraph, and I would do the same for my body text, but let me show you a different approach here, in fact, this one doesn't need me to have the paragraph selected. I have in my mind the way I want my body text to look so I am just going to disregard what's on my layout at the moment and go directly to New Paragraph Style, I'll call it body text, and then I will just add the formats.

What else do I want? Well, we will leave it at that for now. And because I was in that first paragraph, and I had this one checked that style is going to be applied back to that piece of text, which actually is what I want. But if it is not what I want I could just uncheck that, click OK. The style has been created, but it has not been applied. If, as I do, I want to apply it just click on its name right there. Now in the case of the styles that we see here we have a hierarchy established, very obvious one, h1 is bigger than head2, which in turn is bigger than head3.

So that's what I want to in this column on the right, I wanted to do the same sort of thing. And my h2s are going to be just like my head1s, except they are going to be smaller. And my head3s are just like my h2s, except smaller. One approach would be, I could start out by applying the h1 one style to this to the head2s, then select the whole paragraph or the whole line, single paragraph so, in this case, three clicks and then change it, I am just going to change its point size--just go down to 16 point. I like that, that's how I want this to look.

I also want some space before it though, so I am going to come to my Paragraph Formats and come over to my space before, and I will have 1 pica and two points of space before. Now at the moment this text is h1+ that plus indicating an override. So what I want to do is then choose New Paragraph Style, and I'll call this one h2, I will have Apply Style to Selection checked, click OK. Now for what I have remaining I am just going to swipe through those, those will get the Body Text Style, and then I will come to what's now going to be h3.

And let's say here I am in my h2 style, and I know that I want my h3 to be just like h2, but smaller. I am going to hold-down the Alt key and click on Create New Style, that's going to be bring me to my New Paragraph Style box, I will call this h3, and you can see that by using this approach h3 is automatically based on h2 which itself is based on h1. And it's going to inherit all of the formats, I am just going to change this one thing about it, I am going to change the point size, and then I can click in there and apply it.

So there are some slightly different approaches to creating your paragraph styles, but what if you want to edit them? Because of the way I have created them with using the Based On feature I am going to go to the parent style, I am going to right-click on that, and I am going to come to its Character Color. And I have got my Preview turned on, change that to red, I change one and everything based upon it also changes. If on the other hand I decided I wanted to change the size of h1 that would not impact on headings 2 and 3 because it is the point size that we made independent for those two styles.

Another approach to editing your styles is this, let's say I want my heads to be green. I am going to select Heading 1, and I will come to my Swatches, and I will apply local formatting just go directly to applying green to that one. So now we see on the Paragraph Styles panel this is h1+, the plus indicating the override, if I hover over that it tells me what the override is. And of course it's the application of the green color, but I actually want my heads to be green, not just Heading 1, not just this one instance of Heading 1, but all of them.

So I'll right-click on there, and I'll choose Redefine Style, and that will impact not only h1 and all instances of it, but all instances of other styles that are based on h1. Okay, just one more thing that I want to throw in here in terms of formatting styles. Let's say that with what we have right now we decide that we like this layout, but we want this style of body text to be replaced with this style. So I could, I could do it in a number of different ways, but the way I'm going to do it here is using the Eyedropper tool, which will allow you to copy formats from one paragraph to the next.

So, I click in this paragraph, I choose my Eyedropper, and then I click on the paragraph that I want to copy the formats from. My Eyedropper remains loaded with those formats, and so as long as it remains loaded, i.e., pointing down in to the right I can come and click on that paragraph, and that paragraph. And this is a really efficient way of formatting noncontiguous paragraphs, in this case all of the body text paragraphs are broken up by the heads that precede them, but I can use my Eyedropper to format all instances of the body style very quickly and efficiently.

So I hope that's given you some food for thought in terms of how you go about creating, editing, and applying your own styles.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about InDesign Typography .

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The exercise files provided aren't working in my version of InDesign (CS4, CS5, or CS5.5). What should I use?
This course was recorded using InDesign CS6. For InDesign users working with CS4, CS5, or CS5.5, IDML files are provided.
Q: Where can I learn more about graphic design?
A: Discover more about this topic by visiting graphic design on
Q: This course was updated on 11/12/2014. What changed?
A: We added 18 new movies, primarily in the "Using Typekit" and "Type Treatments and Effects" chapters. These movies describe new and enhanced typography features in the latest release of InDesign CC, and are indicated by the "(CC 2014.1)" tag in their names.
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