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InDesign has the ability to control what style appears after an existing style, when entering text in a layout. Furthermore, you can actually format existing text in your document, using a style that has a Next Style applied. Let's take a look at how this works. I'm going to zoom in on my document, by holding down Cmd+Space Bar on Mac, or Ctrl+Space Bar on Windows. And as we can see in this Center panel we have a pattern. All of our text begins with a subhead, then goes to a body style, and then goes to a body indent style. And as you can see this pattern repeats through all the text on this panel. Now what I'd like to do, is make entering text in my document easier, as well as formatting existing text in my document easier as well. So, once again we have this pattern that begins with our subhead. So, what I'm going to do is open up my Paragraph Styles panel. And to edit subhead, I'm going to right-click on it. Now this is probably a good time to point a few things out, if I have my Type tool inside of some text in my layout, a lot of people, when they want to edit a style, will double-click on the style.
Now, this works sometimes, but here's when it doesn't work. If my cursor is currently inside of, say body text and I double-click on subhead, it allows me to edit the style but look what happened . it actually applied the subhead style first, and thats when this becomes a problem. Now if I hit cancel and I make sure that I apply body to that text again, the reason that I always right-click to edit a style, is because regardless of where my cursor is in my document. If I right-click on the style and choose to edit the style, it only edits it and does not actually format the text at that location.
So, as a general rule of thumb, I always encourage people to use the right-click method or if your using a Mac and you don't have a two button mouse, you can Ctrl+click on that style to edit the style in that manner. So, once again I'm editing my subhead. You can see I have this section in here called Next Style, now what this allows me to do is control what style is going to appear after this style. So, in the Next Style drop down menu, I'm going to choose body, because in all of these instances, after the subhead, the body style occurs. So, I'm going to make sure, that Next Style is set to body. I'm going to click OK.
And now I've configured my subhead so that the Next Style that occurs is body. Now I'm going to do one more, I'm going to right-click on Body and I'm going to choose Edit Body. And in the Next Style section I'm going to click on the drop down menu and choose Body Indent. And I'll click OK. So, what exactly does this do for me? Well, for one, if I zoom in on this section, let's say after the word camp, I'm going to hit Return on my keyboard. And I'm going to click on the word subhead.
So, if I begin typing. When I hit Return on my keyboard, notice that my style automatically changes to body. And if I hit Return one more time, you can see how efficient this will be, when working with the Next Style and when you are entering text in your document.
Now I really don't this text here so I'm going to highlight this and I'm going to delete it. And I'm going to press Cmd+0 or Ctrl+0 on my keyboard to zoom back out. Now, the way that this can really be used effectively is if I highlight all of this text and I apply basic paragraph. So, lets assume that all of this text got flowed in or we entered the text and we now want to format it. I'm going to zoom in a little bit on this top section of the first column, and I'm going to highlight.
It doesn't have to be every character, but I'm going to highlight some text in all of these paragraphs. And using this Next Style feature, I can right-click on Subhead, because that's the first style that's going to appear within this selected range of text. And I'm going to choose Apply Subhead then Next Style. And when I do that, you can see that all three of these paragraphs are formatted automatically. I'm just going to move my document up and if I highlight the next section up to but not including the next subhead. I can choose Apply Subhead then Next Style by just right-clicking on that style.
To finish this up, I'll highlight facility down to the end, and once again, right-click or Ctrl+click and choose Apply Subhead then Next Style. Now we can see this first section, needs to have the subhead span applied. So I'm just going to click on that. And choose Subhead Span. And we could even update this by right-clicking on Subhead Span and editing it. And telling that Next Style to be body as well. That way, when we come in here If I apply a basic paragraph to this.
We could have started out by right-clicking on Subhead Span, and choosing Apply Subhead Span, then Next Style. I'm going to press Cmd+0 on my keyboard, or Ctrl+0. And if you want to take a look at this formatting without all these distracting elements. We can just click on the Preview button to see our text, and how we formatted this so far. As you can see if you have a lot of text in a document that needs to be formatted quickly and consistently, Next Styles could really save you a ton of time, especially when working with multi-page documents.
Whether the text already exists in a document, or is being typed in, Next Style really saves the day.
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