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In InDesign CS4 Power Shortcuts, Adobe product manager and designer Michael Ninness reveals hundreds of tips to boost productivity, including the top 20 power shortcuts every InDesign user must know. From placing multiple images to the hidden power of Quick Apply, each one of these videos covers an important topic, and includes just the right amount of information to make anyone a true InDesign power user. InDesign users are always looking for faster, more efficient ways to do everything, and this course offers just what they're looking for. Exercise files accompany the course.
All right. This next shortcut, it's going to blow you away. If you've never seen it before, it's just unbelievable what you can do with it. The problem is that it's very buried and it takes a little bit of set up to explain. What I want to be able to do is format this entire story, this collection of paragraphs with just one click. Now, the idea here is that when you're creating a document that's going to use repetitive formatting. perhaps it's a monthly newsletter, right, and the newsletter content itself changes, but the formatting is going to be the same from month-to-month until you do a major refresh or a major re-design.
So that's kind of what I am simulating here. I have got a table of contents, a little page here, and then this is the version for the next month, and I want this to instantly look like this. So to set this up, you have to have Styles already defined, which I already have here. So if I take a look in my Paragraph Styles panel. I am going to go ahead and just have that open here on the right. If it's not opened for you, go to the Window menu, and under Type & Tables, choose Paragraph Styles. Alternatively, you could have the paragraph selected with the Text tool. That's by double-clicking and then switch to the Paragraph mode of the Control panel.
You can see the name of the style here. So if I look at the very first paragraph in my sample over here, it's called Article Title. And the paragraph that comes next after Article Title is Description and then the paragraph that comes after Description is Writer, and then the paragraph that comes after Writer is Photographer. Now, when I defined these styles, I actually took advantage of this special attribute called Next Style. So let's take a look at what I am talking about here. If I double-click on any style in the Paragraph Styles panel here, that will open up that style inside the Paragraph Style Options dialog.
And right here at the very beginning of the definition where it says, Based On, there's another attribute here called Next Style, and what this means is if I am in the middle of typing, and I type a paragraph, when I hit Return, what paragraph style do I want to automatically be applied to the new paragraph that I just created by hitting the Return key? And so you can actually set up these rules in advance by having the styles that just loop after each other. So after the Article Title, I want the next style to be Description. And you may have guessed where I am going here. What do I want to have happened after the Description styles? So, let's right-click on that style so I don't accidentally apply that style to my active text selection.
I am going to right-click on the Description style and say Edit "Description". Well, the next style after Description is Writer. Okay. Great. And then after the Writer style, I'll right-click on Writer, and say Edit "Writer". I want the next paragraph style to be Photographer. Excellent! Go ahead and click OK. And then after Photographer, what do I want to have happen? I want it to start all over again. So the next style - let's Undo that - right-click on Photographer and say Edit "Photographer". Then next style after Photographer it goes back to the very first style, so it loops back and says Article Title.
So if I were to create a new paragraph or a new text box - let's just go ahead and do this - I'll drag out a text frame. I am going to click on my first style to be Article Title. And I'll type in the number. I'll say 27. I'll hit my Tab key and I'll say 'my new article'. So it's automatically picking up the Article Title's style. When I hit Return, it automatically picks up the Description style. Right. Now I need a tab there. So I'll go ahead and delete this a little bit and hit my Tab key, and type my new description. Great.
When I hit Return, it hits the Writer style. When I Return again, it goes back to Photographer, and when I hit Return again, it starts the next style being the Article Title. Now I don't have enough room in that paragraph, text frame there. So I'll make it a little bit bigger and then you guys can see what I'm talking about there. Okay? So I've got this looping set of rules happening automatically, or as I am creating new text, I just want these styles to be applied automatically as I press Return. Okay so that's a little bit of the setup.
But what if you already have the text typed? Right? I am not applying the styles as I type the text, because the paragraph text, that text came in from someone else. I placed it. What I want to be able to do is create this mechanism or this formatting apply automatically to this entire text frame or the threaded text frame. Right? If this was 100 pages of threaded frames that made up one story, I want to create and apply this loop, this style loop to this entire selection. The trick is that you select the text frame with the Selection tool, not the Type tool but the Selection tool.
So that's what I have got here. And then you go to your Paragraph Styles panel. As far as I know, you can only do this from the actual panel. There is nowhere else to do this inside InDesign. And this is what I mean by it's pretty buried. You right-click or Ctrl-click on the name of the first style in your style loop. So I am going to right-click and there it is. There's the secret command. Not just Apply "Article Title", the name of the style, but Apply "Article Title" and then the Next Style. Watch what happens when I choose this menu command. Pow! It instantly applies that style loop to every paragraph in that story. Isn't that cool? So let's Undo it, I'll show it again.
Again, I've selected the text frame with my Selection tool, not the Text tool. I have already created my styles, in which each style has the next style that comes after it defined in it's style definition. You right-click or Ctrl+Click on the first style you want to apply, and then you choose the Apply that style and then the Next Style menu command from the contextual menu. And when you choose that, you get all the magic. Pretty darn cool. You'll impress your friends. Just don't tell your boss, because you will save so much time with this ultimate power shortcut.
My problem is that I probably should have made this a top-20. If you're following along with this whole title, there is a top-20 chapter at the very beginning, but it does require a lot of set up. So that's why I didn't ultimately make the top-20. But if you're committed to styles, you just have to go that extra step and take advantage of this really powerful feature of InDesign.
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