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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 actually create a Nested Style. We are going to be nesting a Character Style inside of a Paragraph Style, and we are going to be doing that inside of this document right here; its called Pages 194-195.indd, found inside the 05 Nested Numbered Folder. You can see that I have made a few changes in the lower left region of the document. I am going to undo most of those changes by pressing Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on the Mac, a few times in a row, until I return to the point right after I added the 10, period, Tab right there, before I entered the number, because we will see how that's going to present a problem for us.
I am now going to zoom out from the page a little bit, so I can take in both the top paragraph and the paragraph immediately following the butterfly graphic, here on the left hand page. Now before you can go about nesting a Character Style into a Paragraph Style, you need to make sure that you have created the Character Style in advance, and we have our Character Styles all ready to go. We have got Step Leader, which is the style that you assign to the leading text inside of the Step Paragraph, and we have Step Number, which we will be assigning of course to the number.
Now let's go to the Paragraph Styles palette, and you can see that we have the Step Style right there, and that's a style sheet that's assigned to the steps themselves. So that's the style sheet that we need to edit. So I'd like you to press Ctrl+Shift+A or Command+Shift+A on a Mac to make sure you have deselected everything on a page; always a good practice to deselect your objects before you modify your style, so you don't end up applying the style as you edit it. Then go ahead and double click on the Step Style in order to bring up the Paragraph Style Options dialog box.
Now given how incredibly useful Nested Styles are, it's amazing how well InDesign has hidden the feature. It has gone ahead and combined Nested Styles with the Drop Caps function; as if they are somehow related to each other, which they most certainly are not, and as if because Drop Caps is listed first, as if Nested Styles are somehow a secondary function. And it turns out they are much more useful than Drop Caps. But the two features don't take up much room, so they are able to cohabitate inside of a panel. Even though they have nothing to do with each other, they are able to exist as a couple, as is true for so many couples.
So let's go ahead and click on Drop Caps and Nested Styles, or you could press Ctrl+0, Command+0 on the Mac to skip ahead here. You will see that the Drop Cap functions are located at the top of the dialog box, whereas the Nested Style options are located in the middle. To create a Nested Style, you go down here to this button and click on it, New Nested Style, go ahead and click on that button. Then you get a place holder for a Nested Style essentially, you are not doing anything. Notice that nothing has happened to the style here inside of the window, and I do have the Preview checkbox on, so you can tell that that's the case. And that's because we haven't assigned a style yet; it's set to None currently.
So click right there inside of that None space, and I want you to click on this down pointing arrowhead, its going to be a little up/down arrowhead on the Mac, and I wants you to choose this guy right there, Step Leader, in order to apply that style. As soon as you do, I will go ahead and click off of that item in order to invoke the change, and you can see that the word Click right there becomes bold, italic and colored, as does the 10 at the onset of the text down at the bottom. If you didn't enter a 10, then the word Fill will be bold, italic and blue in accordance with Step Leader.
Now, notice these options right here that say through 1 Words, I will show you how those options work in the very next exercise.
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