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I don't know about you but when I'm working on a design project and I'm formatting text, I change my mind a lot. The more I work on something, the more avenues I want to explore, the more little subtle attributes I want to noodle around with. Fortunately, styles allow me to do this quickly and easily and I can just as easily undo anything that I decide I don't like. In the last movie we set up a Body Copy style for the text in this big frame over here, but we didn't do anything for this pull quote. I'm going to quickly select this text and create a new paragraph style from the New Paragraph Style panel and I'll call this Pull Quote, just so I have a style applied to everything that I'm working with.
Now suppose I do this, I've got my cursor in this text and out of the corner of my eye, I realize that I absolutely have to change something in my Body Copy style, and I want to modify it. Now I could go up and double-click the Body Copy style here in the Paragraph Styles panel, but I want to caution you about doing that and here's why. I'll double-click and I get to the Paragraph Style Options dialog, but look what's happened in the background. That first click to get into this dialog has actually assigned Body Copy to my pull quote, and now I've just created a problem that I have to fix.
If I had nothing selected at all, double-clicking that style name would've actually set Body Copy to be the default that InDesign uses for every new text frame I create from this point forward. And that may also not be something I want once I'm done with Body Copy and I want to move on, do other things with styles. So don't double-click, I'm going to undo that accidental application of the style to this pull quote. And instead of double-clicking my Body Copy style, what I want to do is right-click or Ctrl+Click if you're on a Mac that doesn't have a two-button mouse, and choose Edit Body Copy and that gets me in the same place with no unintended consequences on the page.
I'm going to Cancel out of here because I actually prefer to make my changes to styles the same way I create my styles organically on the page with selected text playing around with options. For instance, in this paragraph, I might realize that maybe I want hyphenation turned back on to see if I get better line-breaks. And I think maybe that the type size is a little too big, I want to notch it down from 12 point to 11 point and maybe I'll adjust my leading by 1 point as well to just tighten things up a little bit.
That looks pretty good, I'm happy with that. So now I have overrides on my Body Copy style. That's what the Plus sign is showing me. When I hover over it, it shows me exactly what those overrides are. I don't want to now create a new paragraph style that looks like this. I want to take the changes that I just made on the page and use them to redefine what Body Copy looks like. And that option is available from the Paragraph Styles panel menu as Redefine Style. It's also available as a keyboard shortcut that is sure to limber up your left-hand by forcing you to hit Shift+ Command+Option+R or Shift+Ctrl+Alt+R on Windows.
That's actually the method I prefer. It involves thumb, forefinger, and pinky, but it's quick, it's direct from the keyboard, and I'll hit that now, Shift+ Command+Option+R and I've redefined the style and all of my other Body Copy paragraphs now look the same. I did it organically on the page and I didn't have to go into a dialog box. Making local changes on the page, then redefining that style to reflect those changes is a fast way to see how subtle changes play out on a document-wide basis.
So limber up your left-hand muscles, commit that Shift+Command+Option+R keyboard shortcut to memory. It's the fastest, easiest way to try out a new formatting idea that you can just as easily undo.
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