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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.
Okay gang, let's go ahead and create a Character Style. I am working in that same Page 191.indd file that I opened a couple of exercises ago now. It's found inside the O4 Charstyles folder, there inside your exercise files folder. I want you to scroll to the top-left corner of the page right here where you are going to see the intro text, Paint the tips of the wings and the idea is, I want people to be able to look at a Step and gawk what's happening in that step very, very easily. Get a sense of what's happening very quickly, especially on the off-chance that they come back to the steps later on and they don't want to reread the entire step, they just want to say, "Oh yeah, this step does this and this step does this, save your artwork here, that's fine." So, I call those out in Bold Italic, you can see.
I have gone ahead and applied the Bold Italic version of this font and I have also colored the text. Now, the problem is, I haven't bothered to assign a Character Style at this point. So, let's go ahead and remedy that problem. Grab your Text tool and the simplest way to select this text is just to drag down, like so, and that will get you that entire sentence because InDesign doesn't provide a way to select an entire sentence. In the other words, you can double-click to select a word, triple-clicking there selects an entire line. So, it grabs the number as well and I don't want that.
So, you could just double click and drag if you wanted to, all the way over here onto the wing or you could more simply just drag down, like so. However you do it, I want you to select an entire sentence including the period and the space that follows. Then I want you to go to your Character Styles palette right there, which you can get as you may recall by pressing Shift+F11 or just going up to the Type menu and choosing the Character Styles command. Now, inside the Character Styles palette, what I want you to do, you can click of course on that little Page icon and that will make a new style just - sometimes it's at the end, sometimes it's just kind of in the middle alphabetically, it could be very easy to miss it.
Then you got to click on it to activate it and then you have to double-click on it to name it. So, that's a Chimpanzee's way to do it. That's not good. It's going to escape out of there, undo the addition of that style that is the application and the addition of that style. So I have to press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z a couple of times. Here's the regular humanoid way to do it. Go ahead and press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac and click that little Page icon. So, Alt+Click, Option+Click brings up the New Character Style dialog box. So, we are going to go ahead and call this guy Stewp leader like so.
Oops and I might as well spell Step the traditional way, without a W. Make sure that Apply Style to Selection is turned on. By default it will be turned off and in fact Preview will be turned off by default as well. I want you to turn both of those checkboxes on, so you can see what you are doing and of course apply the new style to the selection. By the way, just note very quickly, these special settings that are associated with this Character Style are Bold Italic, fair enough, a size of 11 points. So, it might be a slightly elevated size, not sure there and a color of Autumn Brown, nice.
Alright, we have done it, click OK and you will now have created your new Step leader style and you have associated it with this introductory text right there. I would urge you to go ahead and move it down to more logical locations. So, I am going to drag it down to underneath Step number. That's not alphabetical as you might now, but Step number comes first and then Step leader comes second. So, this is the more logical ordering right there and you have created a Character Style. Good job. In the next exercise we are going to see how to apply a shortcut, you kind of already know how to do that but I am going to give you some rationale as to what kind of shortcut you might want to apply, give you a glimpse into the way I do it for what that's worth and then we will see how to apply this style to some other text inside the document.
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