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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.
Alright kids, here is where things get exciting. Believe it or not, we are going to take all of the formatting attributes that are assigned to this text frame right here, this properly styled text frame, and we are going to apply them en mass to this text frame, to this badly styled text frame right there. It's kind of a like an ad hoc styling at this point. Some stuff is styled properly, other stuff not. For example, the background of the frame isn't styled properly at all and then we have some issues with the improperly formatted text at the bottom here. We are going to accomplish this feet of transferring the styles from one text block to another, using an Object Style.
So here is how it works. I want you to go ahead and grab your black arrow tool, which you can get by pressing the V key, which is almost the last letter in the word Move, is one way to think of it. It's the last consonant. Anyway. And then go ahead click on this text frame in order to select the entire thing there. Now, I want you to go up to the Window menu and I want you to choose Object Styles right there or you can press Ctrl+F7 or Command+F7 on the Mac. I don't really expect you to remember these keyboard shortcuts incidentally I am just mentioning them in passing, in case they slide easily into your brain and I am going to go ahead and choose that command in order to bring up the Objects Styles palette right there.
Now, let's create a new Object Style by clicking on this little page icon. I just want you click on it and that adds a new style called Object Style1. Now it's not properly linked to the text frame; notice it's not selected here. So go ahead and click on it to establish a link between Object Style1 and the text frame. Now Object Style1, I have to say, is a very bad name for this style. So let's go ahead and rename it by double clicking on the style name. That's going to bring up this whopping huge Object Style Options dialog box because the Object Styles potentially save a ton of formatting attributes as you can see represented here inside of this area. There just a ton of stuff that's going on.
All I want you to do is change the name for now, however, we will come to all those other options later. Let's go ahead and call this Violet frame and I know that this is not really violet, it's more of a lilac color, but lilac is a light violet after all. So that's what I am going to call it and then click OK in order to accept that modification. Alright. You have just saved an object style. You rock. What a good job. I mean you just saw how much stuff you saved just in that one little operation. Now I want you to notice that there is a difference between this text frame here and this one on the right hand side, I am going to move things over a little bit and close my Object Styles palette for a moment.
Notice that the one on the left is taller; it goes all the way up to this orange guideline right there, whereas the one on the right only goes to this point, to this third down orange guideline. That's no good. What's going on? Well, let me grab this text frame, the left hand text frame, and move it out to the size, so that you can see over here on the pasteboard. It does not include the headline; it just includes a margin at the top, some headroom so that the headline will fit into place. I'll go ahead and press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on the Mac to undo that modification.
To see how that's accomplished, I am going to go up to the Object menu and I am going to choose Text Frame Options. You can also press Ctrl+B, Command+B on a Mac, I just mentioned it that's all. Going to choose that command and notice right here, if we were to take a look at the Inset Spacing. You can see that at the bottom I don't have any spacing, even though I am just allowing the spacing to occur, if it's going to. So I am not forcing any spacing. But I am forcing some spacing at the top 5 picas, 6 points, which is almost a full inch of space there at the top, if you know how picas work. And we also have 0p6, that's a half a pica, so 6 points of space in the left.
That's half an inch incidentally and another half an inch on the right. Alright. So I am just going to cancel that. I am just noting that. What that means is I need to grab this text frame on the right hand side and I need to drag it up like so. I am dragging the top handle, so that it aligns to the top orange guideline. Good. Now I am going to go over to the Object Styles palette right there which I can also get by just clicking on its icon over here in the palette list if I want to and I am going to change the style to Violet frame and just like that, bang.
I am able to style that entire list with the exception of those improperly styled items toward at the bottom of the list. We are going to take care of that problem very very simply as you'll see in the next exercise.
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