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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.
As promised, in this exercise, I am going to show you how to set up some guidelines to mark exactly how our Auto Numbers should be aligned and we are going to do this in a very precise way. I could just grab a guideline from the vertical ruler and slop it in there and just say, "Well, right about there, at this point we are aligning with the period after the 10, so that's about where my 9 needs to be aligned as well." The problem is I have no idea where that really is and when I go to modify my Step Style then I need to be able to enter exact numbers and I don't have any frame of reference for this location.
So let's go ahead and give ourselves a frame of reference. Does that make sense? I will go ahead and delete that guide just by pressing the Backspace key. What I am going to do is I am going to identify this point right there as the location for a guide, then I am going to identify exactly the point at which all of these lines line up with each other as a point for another guide and then we will locate a third guide basically, with precise reference to the second guide. You will see, but that's going to give us exactly a sense of where this needs to be. So step number one is to check how this text right here is aligned.
I am going to go ahead and double click in it in order to activate the text and if you are looking at the Paragraph options up here in the Control palette, you would go ahead and switch from A to this little paragraph icon right there. I have also given you keyboard shortcut with my Deke keys to switch back and forth between those and that's the F4 key. It will switch you back and forth. InDesign ships with its own keyboard shortcut that's more elaborate and I just think F4 is easier. Now notice up here these options, notice that we have a First Line Indent of 1p6 which is 1 pica 6 points incidentally.
I can replace it with 0.25in like that which is 0.25 inches or I can do 0.25". It's hard to see but that's a double quote character and then if I press Tab, it's going to get replaced with 1p6 because they are exactly the same thing. Now this guy down here says -1p6 so basically, it means all of the rows inside of this paragraph are aligning 1p6 that is one quarter inch in from this guideline, this violet guideline right there, that column guide.
Alright, so let's go ahead and get the black arrow tool, click off the text to make it inactive, I am going to drag a vertical guide from the vertical ruler on the left hand side of the document over to the second violet guideline, this guy right there, the one right next to the 9 and release. Your guide, if things are set up the way they are set up for me and I believe they are because I have established all the new guides inside of the document as being orange. This new guide should show up as dark blue and the reason is that's the inverted version of orange. If I click off the guide, it's orange, if I click on it; it turns an inverted color which is dark blue there.
Alright, I want to make sure the guide is dark blue, that indicates it's selected and I want to move the guideline in exactly 1p6 points or if you prefer, one quarter inch. Now I don't know exactly how far that's going to be. I could try to watch the rulers except look at my little tick mark up there; that dotted tick mark. It's not aligned exactly with any of the ruler tick marks. So what I need to do instead is I just need to pay attention to the X value up here in the Control palette. Currently, it says 16p7.2 so what I need to do is add 1p6 to 16p7.2 so I whip out my calculator, right? No, you have InDesign do the math for you.
Enter a plus (+) character. Ah, ain't that nice? We are just going to add 0.25". I can even add a different unit of measure. So 0.25" so you press Shift and the quote key for a double quote character, that's inches, or if you prefer you could enter in like that, either way it's going to work for you and rather than pressing the Enter key which will move the guide, that would be the Return key on the Mac, that will move the guide to this different location. I want to keep it there at its original location as well. So I want to clone the guide.
I want to do that modification and I will enter that same thing plus 0.25" and then I will press Alt+Enter or option Return on the Mac in order to clone that guide to the new location. Alright, so now that we have done that, I want to create another clone of the guide that has just nudged in, let's go ahead and scroll down here to the point where a period occurs after a double digit number. So to roughly, this location here, just a little bit right of the period and I am going to do that.
Again, I want to be very precise here. I am going to do this by pressing Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V. what I just did, that's Command+C, Command+V on the Mac. I just copied and pasted a new copy of the guide just in that same location. So you can see if I move it off here, I have now got two guides at that one location. I will go ahead and Undo that movement. Make sure that you have a dark blue guide indicating that it's selected. Now press the left arrow key a few times and count as you do it. I am going to press the left arrow key, one, two, three, four, five times.
Five times, pressing the left arrow key moves that ruler guide, that vertical guideline there five points to the right because by default, InDesign nudges selected items one point at a time, one point per every press of an arrow key. So I now know that this guy is five points inward. That's where I want it to be. So that's good. Now I have a frame of reference, don't you see? Now I will go ahead and scroll down to the bottom of the page. I want to grab all three of these guides, I am going to marquee around them down here at the bottom of the page and I am doing that at the bottom of the page so that I can make sure I am only marqueeing the guides, not objects.
So I will select those three guides, Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V again, that's Command+C, Command+V again that pastes new copies of the guides to that location; all three of them together and then I will drag those guides over to the right, all the way to the right hand page. Notice, I am dragging by the way from the leftmost guide, I will drag over here so it snaps into alignment with the left edge of the right hand page like so and now I know where the number one needs to be as well. So I have got guides on both pages that are marking exactly, where the numbers need to align.
We are going to implement that alignment, all that work, but its precise work and hopefully, you learned a thing or two about doing math in InDesign and of course, moving guidelines around. That work will service well as we actually align the numbers ever so precisely of course, in the next exercise.
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