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When you are working with a lot of text inside InDesign, you want to keep your hands on the keyboard as much as possible, for formatting text. That's why there are so many keyboard shortcuts for changing font, size, leading and tracking and kerning and all that, but once you encapsulate all those choices into styles, it gets even easier to keep your hands on the keyboard as well. Now, there are ways to assign keyboard shortcuts to specific styles, but I find that actually a waste of time, because there is one uber shortcut, if you will, for quickly applying styles to any selected text here with just your keyboard.
Let's select this text frame, zoom up, Command+Plus or Ctrl+Plus so we can see this a little bit bigger. I am going to go ahead and double- click and select into this paragraph. Now I am going to temporarily open up my Paragraph Styles panel. If you are following along and it's not listed on your right-hand side, you can always do that from the Window menu. You can see I have got four styles here: Article Title, Description, Writer, and Photographer, kind of matching the table of contents or mock table of contents that we have got here. So yes, I could click inside of my paragraph and then come over to Paragraph Styles panel and click on the paragraph style I want and come back here and click again, and then come over to the Styles panel and click again on the next style, and so forth.
But that's just going to be a lot of mousing around and it's really not all that efficient. So here's what we are going to do instead. Since I have already got these styles created, we are going to invoke kind of a hidden feature, a secret feature called Quick Apply. It's been in InDesign for quite a while now and it's available via your mouse. If you look for the little lightning bolt in the Control panel. Now, you can also invoke that with the keyboard. So Command+Return or Ctrl+Enter on Windows brings up the Quick Apply pop-up menu here and you can just start typing the name of the style that you want.
So in this one we want Article Title, so I am just going to type A-r, and it jumps to Article Title quickly. I don't have to type in the rest. Once I drill in and highlight the style I am looking for, I just hit the Return key and that immediately applies that style to the paragraph my cursor was in. Now I can just use my Down Arrow to go to the next paragraph, Command+Return, Ctrl+Enter, brings up Quick Apply. The next style I need is Description, so just type d-e-s, it finds it, hit Return or Enter, and I have applied that style.
Command+Down Arrow or Ctrl+Down Arrow will go to the next paragraph. Again, Command+Return, Ctrl+Enter. This time I will type in Writer, w-r. That's enough to find it. Hit Return and so forth. Down Arrow one more time, Command+Return, and type in Photographer, and it finds that style after just a couple of letters. Hit Return and I am done. So you can see using Quick Apply is a very fast way to just instantly apply whatever style, either paragraph or character, to the text that your current cursor is in, just by invoking it, typing the name of the style, first couple of letters, hitting Return and go about your business.
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