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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 take a tour of a style document, a document that contains several Paragraph Styles, as well as several Character Styles. We are going to examine how the document is put together. We are also going to take a look at how you can clean-up style sheets inside of a document, just to keep things tidy. Because often times, once you start taking advantage of style sheets, you will see that it's very easy to just absolutely create 20, 30, 40, 50, even a 100 styles inside of a document, no kidding. That can get pretty darn overwhelming, especially if you are trying to handoff the document to be used by other people and they are scratching their heads trying to figure out how it works.
So, a little bit of clean-up out front, just to give you a real world sense of what you will be doing inside of your documents. This document that you see on screen right now is just a single page long and it's called Page 191.indd. It's found inside of the O4Charstyles folder, that is C-H-A-R styles, short for Character Styles. This document is a slightly modified version of Page 191 from my Photoshop CS3 One-on-One book. All of my books, by the way are laid out in InDesign. So, the books tend to be real world projects themselves.
Alright, so notice where this document is concerned that there is a fair variety of paragraphs going on, not that many, but a handful of different kinds of paragraphs. Let's go ahead and bring up the Paragraph Styles palette, which I could do, of course by pressing the F11 key or just bringing it up from the palette columns over here on the right side of the screen. I am going to double-click inside of this headline right here and you can see that is styled with the Head-A style. I have got keyboard shortcuts, all of which involve Ctrl+Alt and a number on the keypad or Command and Option on the Mac.
Directly below that, is a Paragraph Styled in the Body style right there, indicating body copy and below that, is a paragraph that is styled with a Step style right there. If we go further down, we will see this paragraph at the bottom that is formatted with the Tip style. Most of the paragraphs, notice five in all, are formatted as Steps. So, if I click up here or here, here, here and here as well, steps 29, 30, 1, 2 and 3 are all formatted with the Step style. Then if I move over to the side, you can see that I have got a paragraph formatted.
I will go ahead and zoom-in on it here, this Figure caption right there. That's formatted with the Figure caption style. There is a little bit of an Override going on and that is that I have made this text flush right, instead of flush left. Now, I created this style back in Photoshop CS2. Photoshop CS3 now allows you to align text to the outside of the page, outward from the spine. So, I could have actually taken care of that if I wanted to. Then towards the bottom, let's go ahead and scroll to the bottom of the page, you can see that this text down here at the bottom is styled with the Footer style and then next door, we have page 191 which is formatted in the Folio style.
Now, fair enough, that's all of the paragraphs inside of this document. That does mean that we didn't use all of the styles in the Paragraph Styles List. I am going to go ahead and press Ctrl+Shift+A or Command+Shift+A on the Mac to deselect everything. Now, let's say you want to get to the bottom of it. You want to figure out exactly which styles didn't get used inside of the document, then you would go over to whichever styles palette you are working with because the command I am about to show you, occurs inside the Paragraph Styles palette, the Character Styles palette, the Object Styles palette and so on. So, I am going to make sure I am in the Paragraph Styles palette.
I am going to click on the little Palette menu icon there and I am going to choose this command, Select All Unused and it will go ahead and select all of the unused styles. Now, you can see Basic Paragraph up here didn't get used, fine, that's the default style. Then lower down, we have Pearl Label and Pearl Body. Well what the heck are those, these are style sheets that I assign to my Pearls of Wisdom which appear throughout the book, they just don't happen to make an appearance on this specific page. Now, let's say you want to delete these styles; you don't always want to delete your unused style. In fact more often then that if you have put together a well organized template, you don't want to delete these unused styles because you might use them, I mean they are there for a purpose.
But what if this is somebody else's document and they have made a mess of things and they have added all kinds of styles you don't need. Then you might want to just go ahead and delete the debris. Now, I should be able to click on the Trashcan, I can't though. Notice that the Trashcan is grayed and if I hover over it, I get that little Ghostbusters icon. That's telling me that I can't delete the styles and the reason is because I have Basic Paragraph selected. You can't delete the default style. So, you are going to have to Ctrl+Click on that style or on the Macintosh side of things, Command+Click on that Basic paragraph entry right there.
In order to deselect it, now notice the Trashcan is available to me, I will click on it and that will delete those unused styles. Here is something else you might want to think about doing. You can group styles into folders, into little sets, if you want to. Notice these items that are called Folio and Footer, that have bar characters in front of them. The idea there is those are styles for items that would appear on the master page. So, we are not going to use them very often. I might want to take Folio and Footer and actually group them together to get them out of the way and I would group them together by selecting them.
I could click on this little folder icon to add a group. Notice it says Create new style group, but if I do that, I will create a new style group but I won't put Folio and Footer inside of them. What I prefer to do instead then, is to go ahead and undo that maneuver there. Shift+Click on Footer, so I have got both Folio and Footer selected, then go up to the Palette menu and I will choose this guy, New Group from Styles, meaning from the selected styles and then I will go ahead and put those guys in this group and I get to name the group as well. So, I will call these Master page items or something like that or even better Master page styles.
Then I will click OK and notice that I have got this Master page styles folder that contains Folio and Footer. I can go ahead and twirl that folder close in order to tidy things up. So again, a way of organizing these styles, it may just seem like so much busy work, it's not, believe me. Once you start creating style documents and handing them off to other people, you are going to find that you want these documents to be as well organized as possible, so other people can figure out what's going on. In the next exercise, we are going to take a look at the Character Styles that I have created inside this very same document.
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