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Creating and applying paragraph styles

From: InDesign CS6 Essential Training

Video: Creating and applying paragraph styles

Styles are a way to specify a whole bunch of formatting with a single name. InDesign lets you create styles for character formatting, paragraph formatting, object formatting, even table formatting, and there are three main reasons why you want to use styles. First, they let you apply a lot of formatting with a single click, so they really boost productivity. For example, I'll zoom in here on the bottom part of this page, and I can see that some of this text has been formatted, but most of it has not. I need to apply formatting quickly to that text. To do that, I want my Paragraph Styles panel.

Creating and applying paragraph styles

Styles are a way to specify a whole bunch of formatting with a single name. InDesign lets you create styles for character formatting, paragraph formatting, object formatting, even table formatting, and there are three main reasons why you want to use styles. First, they let you apply a lot of formatting with a single click, so they really boost productivity. For example, I'll zoom in here on the bottom part of this page, and I can see that some of this text has been formatted, but most of it has not. I need to apply formatting quickly to that text. To do that, I want my Paragraph Styles panel.

I can find that over here in the dock. If you don't see the Paragraph Styles panel over here, then make sure you're in the Advanced workspace. I'll double-click in the name of the first unformatted paragraph, and I can see that the current paragraph style is Basic Paragraph. We want to avoid Basic Paragraph as much as we can. It's much better to apply our own paragraph styles. In this case, I have one, and it's called Department Fashion. With one click on that Dept Fashion, it applies a whole bunch of formatting to that paragraph.

Notice that I didn't have to select the entire paragraph to apply that. I just had the cursor flashing inside the paragraph. Now let's do a few more. I'll click in the next paragraph, and I'm going to apply Course name. The next one down is date, this one is going to be body, and then these last two paragraphs -- I'll just select a little bit of each of them -- is going to be a paragraph style called Prereq_ns. There we go. You can see that I was able to format this whole bunch of text really quickly. If I'd had to do that manually, applying first the font, and the size, and the leading, and all of that, that would have taken much longer.

Now we'll start over again. Here's the course name, here's the date, here's the body, and then we have a little bit of the prerequisites at the bottom. As we'll see later in this chapter, there are other ways to apply these paragraph styles really quickly, such as the Eyedropper tool, and quick apply, but for now, I'm going to stick with it like this, and I'm going to show you how to edit these styles, because the second reason to use styles is that you can change a style definition at any time, and every place you use that style in your document is updated immediately.

For example, to edit this Course name style, I click in it, it shows up as highlighted in the Paragraph Styles panel, and then I can double-click on it to open the Paragraph Style Options dialog box. Let's just make a few changes here. For example, I'll make this Bold instead of Semibold, and why don't we give it a color; maybe this blue color? I'll click OK, and you can see that it changes throughout the document. Everywhere where that paragraph style was applied is now changed.

Now I'm going to edit the date paragraph style, but instead of selecting it, I'm going to right-click on it. By right-clicking, or Control+click with a one-button mouse, I can jump right to Edit "date" without accidentally applying that date, or changing anything in my document. Here I'm going to choose Basic Character Formats, and I'll just make this a little bit smaller. Once again, I used that right-click or Control+click on the date paragraph style, because I didn't want to apply it to the text which is currently selected on my document page.

So now that we've looked at how to apply styles, and then edit them, let's talk about how to create our own new style. I'm going to create a new paragraph style for my captions. So to do that, I'm going to create an example that I want to copy. I'll place my cursor in this text frame in the middle, and then I'll select all that text with a Command+A or Control+A. Now I'm going to change the style of this to bold, and I'm going to make it smaller. Let's make this 8.5, or 9.5. That looks pretty good for a caption. Now let's make a paragraph style based on it.

To make a paragraph style based on an example on your page, like we're going to do here, you can either select the whole paragraph, or just select a part of it, or just have your cursor flashing in it, like I do here. Now I'll go to the Paragraph Styles panel menu flyout menu, and choose New Paragraph Style. Because the cursor was inside that paragraph, it took all of that formatting, and it dropped it in here. So now all I need to do is give it a name. Of course, if I wanted to, I could go through these panes one at a time, changing the font, the size, styles, the scale, indents, all of that, but you could see that would take a long time.

I would much rather just make a selection, have it sucked up into this dialog box, make sure the Apply Style to Selection checkbox is turned on, and then click OK. It makes my paragraph style, and automatically applies it to the paragraph where the text cursor is. Now let's try it out. I'm going to pan over to this other caption over here on this page, place my cursor there, and click on caption. Perfect! This demonstrates the third reason I want to use styles, and that is consistency.

I want to ensure consistency throughout my document, so I don't have to think about, jeez; was that last caption 13 points, or 12 points, or 10 points? I don't know. It doesn't matter. You simply apply the style to all your captions, and you know they'll look all the same. Now one more thing I want to point out. Sometimes you'll notice a little Plus symbol in the Paragraph Styles panel. For example, I'll select all this text by quadruple-clicking on it, and I'm just going to change the size, just for kicks. You'll notice that anywhere I click inside this paragraph style, I get a little Plus sign in the Paragraph Styles panel, and if I hover my cursor over that, you'll see the Overrides tooltip.

This shows me that there's additional formatting on top of the paragraph style. These are called overrides, local overrides, and the tooltip shows me that the override was the size; it's now 11 point. If you ever have a document where you see that Plus sign, you can get rid of the local formatting by clicking on the Remove Overrides button down at the bottom of the Tool panel. As soon as I click on Remove Overrides, anything that was done to that, outside of, or above the paragraph style definition, is removed.

Once again, paragraph styles are one of the most important productivity features in InDesign. The more you use them, the more efficient you'll get.

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This video is part of

Image for InDesign CS6 Essential Training
InDesign CS6 Essential Training

113 video lessons · 81231 viewers

David Blatner
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 23s
    1. What is InDesign?
      1m 23s
  2. 2m 38s
    1. Welcome
      1m 0s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 38s
  3. 21m 19s
    1. Getting started
      3m 33s
    2. Adding or editing text
      3m 23s
    3. Adding or replacing graphics
      4m 31s
    4. Moving objects around
      4m 55s
    5. Printing and creating a PDF
      4m 57s
  4. 26m 6s
    1. Exploring the application window
      6m 25s
    2. Navigating and magnifying pages and objects
      6m 24s
    3. Setting rulers and measurements
      2m 35s
    4. Working with panels
      3m 58s
    5. Setting the view quality of artwork
      2m 31s
    6. Adjusting view and preview settings
      4m 13s
  5. 27m 52s
    1. Creating new documents
      7m 39s
    2. Saving and reverting documents
      4m 2s
    3. Saving for CS4 and CS5 with IDML
      2m 24s
    4. Setting the margin and column guides
      4m 29s
    5. Putting ruler guides on the page
      5m 7s
    6. Bleeding colors or images off the side of the page
      4m 11s
  6. 23m 37s
    1. Inserting, deleting, and moving pages
      4m 32s
    2. Changing page size
      4m 38s
    3. Creating and applying master pages
      5m 18s
    4. Overriding master page items
      2m 43s
    5. Adding page numbering
      2m 22s
    6. Changing page numbering with sections
      4m 4s
  7. 52m 47s
    1. Understanding text frames
      3m 38s
    2. Typing and editing text
      4m 48s
    3. Inserting special characters
      4m 1s
    4. Importing text
      3m 47s
    5. Threading text frames
      3m 12s
    6. Setting text frame columns
      4m 31s
    7. Setting text inset and vertical justification options
      3m 48s
    8. Allowing text frames to grow and shrink
      4m 5s
    9. Putting text on a path
      5m 50s
    10. Using the Story Editor
      5m 10s
    11. Checking spelling
      5m 12s
    12. Using Find/Change
      4m 45s
  8. 28m 19s
    1. Importing graphics
      8m 20s
    2. Using the Links panel
      7m 17s
    3. Editing graphics in their original app
      3m 10s
    4. Fitting graphics to the frame
      5m 1s
    5. Taking advantage of image transparency and clipping paths
      4m 31s
  9. 35m 49s
    1. Selecting objects
      5m 2s
    2. Applying basic strokes and fills
      5m 6s
    3. Colorizing images
      1m 59s
    4. Adjusting transparency
      4m 4s
    5. Adding drop shadows
      3m 33s
    6. Using other transparency effects
      5m 15s
    7. Copying and formatting with the Eyedropper tool
      5m 59s
    8. Finding and changing object formatting
      4m 51s
  10. 18m 34s
    1. Creating color swatches
      4m 33s
    2. Understanding the danger and power of unnamed colors
      5m 46s
    3. Creating gradient swatches
      3m 53s
    4. Applying gradients
      4m 22s
  11. 15m 27s
    1. Editing frame and path shapes
      5m 8s
    2. Adding rounded corners and other corner options
      4m 8s
    3. Making polygons and starbursts
      1m 59s
    4. Creating text outlines
      4m 12s
  12. 37m 56s
    1. Positioning objects with the Gap tool
      3m 54s
    2. Stacking objects
      2m 5s
    3. Creating and controlling layers
      5m 27s
    4. Managing objects in the Layers panel
      3m 33s
    5. Grouping and locking objects
      3m 10s
    6. Nesting objects
      3m 23s
    7. Aligning and distributing objects
      4m 20s
    8. Understanding text wrap
      5m 51s
    9. Using anchored objects
      6m 13s
  13. 26m 16s
    1. Duplicating objects
      5m 37s
    2. Collecting, conveying, and placing content
      8m 58s
    3. Rotating objects
      2m 22s
    4. Scaling objects
      4m 21s
    5. Skewing objects
      1m 8s
    6. Mirroring objects
      3m 50s
  14. 24m 19s
    1. Applying basic character styling
      7m 31s
    2. Applying advanced character formatting
      4m 28s
    3. Changing case
      3m 23s
    4. Using Find/Change for text formatting
      5m 3s
    5. Using Find Font
      3m 54s
  15. 32m 51s
    1. Applying formatting to a paragraph
      4m 4s
    2. Spanning a paragraph across multiple columns
      2m 10s
    3. Splitting a paragraph into multiple columns
      1m 52s
    4. Using drop caps
      3m 26s
    5. Setting tabs
      7m 36s
    6. Adding rules (lines) above or below a paragraph
      3m 23s
    7. Adding automatic bullets
      4m 10s
    8. Numbering paragraphs
      6m 10s
  16. 19m 47s
    1. Creating and applying paragraph styles
      6m 10s
    2. Using character styles
      4m 45s
    3. Editing and redefining styles
      2m 20s
    4. Using object styles
      2m 47s
    5. Applying styles with Quick Apply
      3m 45s
  17. 39m 59s
    1. Creating a table
      4m 29s
    2. Adjusting rows and columns
      4m 36s
    3. Adding and deleting rows and columns
      3m 0s
    4. Formatting a table
      4m 32s
    5. Formatting cells
      6m 2s
    6. Applying table styles
      5m 33s
    7. Placing graphics in cells
      3m 1s
    8. Importing Microsoft Word and Excel tables
      8m 46s
  18. 16m 45s
    1. Building a multi-document book
      7m 27s
    2. Creating "continued on..." jump lines
      3m 51s
    3. Constructing a table of contents (TOC)
      5m 27s
  19. 23m 8s
    1. Exporting EPUBs
      6m 12s
    2. Creating an interactive PDF
      12m 49s
    3. Building a Flash SWF
      4m 7s
  20. 28m 1s
    1. Checking a document with the Preflight panel
      5m 26s
    2. Packaging for output
      3m 34s
    3. Using the Print dialog box
      4m 52s
    4. Printing a small booklet
      2m 46s
    5. Exporting a PDF
      7m 56s
    6. Exporting text
      3m 27s
  21. 1m 25s
    1. Next steps
      1m 25s

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