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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.
Ask a handful of professional designers what they think of style sheets and they will tell you that they assign Paragraph Styles to just about every line of type they create. The same goes for writers, editors, anyone who makes a living with words. Formatting a few pages of text is just too tedious and time-consuming without style sheets. But ask those same folks about character styles, and you will get a mixed response. Whereas Paragraph Styles permit you to assign dozens of formatting attributes to long passages of text with a single click, character styles typically convey far fewer attributes and affect only a few words or letters at a time.
The primary strength then of character styles is editability. When you assign a character style, you tag the styled text. From that point on, changing a character style updates all tagged text as well. Several pages of underlined words, for example, can be changed to italic in a single operation. In the following exercises, we will create a character style and apply it to several different sentences in different paragraphs. Then we will update an entirely different style and watch the results cascade up and down the page in the blink of an eye.
It's the usual style sheet miracle, just on a more microscopic level.
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