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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 assign a Drop Shadow to this tile in progress here and then we are going to save off all the attributes that we have created thus far. We are going to save them off as an Object Style. So I am working on this R3 tile and I am still inside the Tiles with text.indd file that I have opened in the previous exercise. So I've done a little work to this file obviously. Now, I am going to go up to the Object Menu and I am going to choose Effects and I am going to choose Drop Shadow and you also have a keyboard shortcut for that which is Ctrl+Alt+M, Command+Option+M on the Mac.
The letter M never appears in the word Drop Shadow that's just a way it is. So go ahead and choose that command and brings up the Drop Shadow panel of this big Effects dialog box. So there is all kinds of effects that you can apply and I am going to leave the Mode set to Multiply. I am going to raise the Opacity value to a 100% and let's turn on the Preview Checkbox. So I can see what in a world I am doing and it looks okay. It doesn't really look the way I want it to look. Let's go ahead and give it some color by clicking on Black. Let's give it some little more interesting color the Shadow brown right here will do me and by the way you can either select from Swatches or you can dial in a color, if you like.
If you had a very specific shade you wanted it to dial in, you could do that, but I am going to stick with the Swatches I've created in advance. I want Shadow brown right there, then click OK and you can see how that looks a little better, drops off more nicely. We don't have that sharp edge around the Black. Next I am going to change the X and Y Offset Values and the values I am going to use are 3 point, which is 0p3 and 2 point and then let's take the size value down. I am going to take the size down to 0p2, which not only reduces the size of the Drop Shadow, but also reduces the blurriness of that shadow and that's it.
Now, I am going to click OK in order to accept that effect. We have now styled this tile. Well, let's go and save this off as an Object Style. I want you to go up to the Window menu and choose the Object Styles Command or you could press Ctrl+F7, Command+F7 on the Mac and that brings up Object Styles. I could also click on this little icon right there and then I wants you to Alt+Click or Option+Click on that little Page Icon and I am going to call this guy Tile style, which I think going to make sense. Not only clever, but sensible as well and then click inside the shortcut area and press Shift+Alt+1 on the keypad that Shift+Option on the Mac 1 on the keypad or go your own way if you want to, but that's a keyboard shortcut I am going to assign.
Otherwise just leave these guys the way they are. You can turn these checkboxes on and off if you want to control exactly which attribute you are saving and which one you are not saving. For this particular effect, it's okay to have just everything turned on or basically set the way they are by default here. If you want to checkout what you have applied then you can twirl one of these guys open by clicking on one of the triangle. So I am twirling open Stroke and then I see there is a stroke inside of there, fine and then twirl it open as well. If you wanted to twirl those both open at the same time in one operation, check this out.
You would Alt+Click or Option+Click on that little triangle and that will twirl the whole thing open, so that you can reveal all of the attributes. It's just for the sake of confirmation. You do want to turn on apply style to selection. So you do have the option of applying the style as you create it, just as you do for Paragraph and Character Styles and as you don't, as you cannot do for Cell and Table Styles, and then go ahead and click on OK in order to create the style. So we have now styled the tile and then we around and saved the Formatting Attributes out as an Object Style.
In the next exercise, we will take care of the text. Notice that the text looks pretty bad- we will fix it.
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