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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 this exercise, we are going to build a Cell Style, an individual Cell Style based on the header at the top of this formatted table here for disc one, of of course this CD collection called Radio 1 Established 1967. That is the name of the real CD, two disc collection. It's inside of this document called 55-word review.indd that you'll find inside of the 06 Table Styles folder and we are just going ahead and turn On the top layer, so that we can see these tables right here, one formatted, one unformatted. Now, why would we start with a Cell Style? First of all what is a Cell Style? A Cell Style allows you to format just a single cell inside of the table.
So each one of these rectangular areas inside of the table is a cell. A Cell Style formats a single cell and then a Table Style affects the entire table. Now basically we've got a relationship like that between Character Styles and Paragraph Styles. So you can recall how you can nest, as we saw in the previous chapter, you can nest the Character Style into a Paragraph Style. Well, with Cell Styles and Table Styles, you have the same relationship. You can take a Cell Style and nest it into a Table Style. The difference is that Table Styles by themselves really don't do very much.
You are really just using them to hold a bunch of Cell Styles. So you want to start by creating your Cell Styles and then build your Table Styles based on those, as we are going to do of course. So let's start by creating a Cell Style that will accommodate the header right here. And I am going to select the header at the top of this table by grabbing my Type tool, it's very important you get the Type tool, press the T key if necessary. I am going to click inside of the table just to make it active here and then I am going to move my cursor over the T in Track and notice that it changes to this big thick right pointing arrow.
You've got to get right on that T. Notice if you move too far over, if you move your cursor over a little bit, you are going to lose the arrow cursor and you are just going to get a Type cursor, and if you move too far over to the right, you are also going to lose that big thick arrow cursor. Basically you've got five pixels, as I calculated it, you've got five pixels of wiggle room right here and that's it. So you've got to be kind of into the header in order to make it work like so and then click to select that entire header. If you just can't get it to work for whatever reason, you can click inside of any of the text at the top of the table.
Then you go up to the Table menu, you choose Select and you choose this guy right here, Header Rows and that will select the one header row inside of this document. Now, let's make a Cell Style based on it. I'll go to the Window menu, I'll choose Type & Tables and I'll choose Cell Styles. This is the only way to get to this command; it does not have a keyboard shortcut by default. So it's kind of a pain in the neck to get to it, but on the plus side, when you choose Cell Styles you are also going to bring up your Table Styles and your Table palettes, which is great because we need all these palettes. So I am going to grab Cell Styles. I am going to actually move my table.
Notice that I am dragging it by that empty area above the tabs. I'll drag it up here until I get that blue line. See that blue line right there? And I'll release and then I'll add it to the column of palettes right there, palette icons that is to say. Then I'll click on Cell Styles to bring it up. Now we are going to generate this Cell Style in much the same way we have generated other style sheets, which is to say by pressing the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac and clicking on that little page icon. So Alt+Click or Option+click on a page icon to bring up the new Cell Style dialog box and I'll call this style Table head like so.
Notice right here, you are going to see a ton of just gobs and gobs of cell formatting attributes that are all based on the collection of attributes we have applied to these header cells. But nothing about the text, nothing at all about how the text is formatted there. Notice that it's just all about lines and strokes and junk and the reason is because you format the text using a Paragraph Style. You have to setup a Paragraph Style in advance in order to properly format your cells. So I've got a bunch of Paragraph Styles that I've setup in advance and that's all I have inside of this document or just a handful of Paragraph Styles, no other kinds of style sheets.
If I click the down pointing arrow head, you can see there they are. And this is the one I want right there, Table title, that's the Paragraph Style I want. Notice now that we can base some formatting attributes in the form of this item right there, that says 'Paragraph Style: Table title.' That's really all there is to it. So be sure to setup a Paragraph Style in advance to accommodate your text because otherwise you are not going to be able to apply standard formatting attributes like typeface and type size and so on. Alright, that's good for this exercise; there is how you go about creating a Cell Style. I would like you, now at this point to go ahead and click OK. There are some other things that we want to change, but notice that there is not checkbox here to say that we want to apply the Cell Style to the text as we generate that Cell Style.
So this Preview checkbox inside the New Cell Style dialog box serves no purpose, it doesn't do anything because we really don't have a link between the Cell Style and the selected cell. There is no link right there, so we are not going to be able to preview the effects of what we've done. So the moral of the story is try to do as little as possible inside this dialog box. Really just name it, apply a Paragraph Style, then go ahead and click OK, then go back to Cell Styles and click on Table head in order to apply that style to your selected text. Now you have a link between the two and you can now preview other modifications that you'll make in future exercises.
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