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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 closer look by what is meant by a local formatting attribute override and by the way, I am working inside of an updated version of my document, it's called New font & size.indd found inside the 03_update styles folder. This time around, let's say instead of modifying my style sheet and having all of the text, all of the link text update in kind, I want to operate directly on the text itself and then later on, update the style sheet to match.
So for example, let's say we want the Byline style to look differently than we are seeing it here and certainly we do; we don't want to have this Pepto-Bismol pink. This is not a printing thing, by the way; this is just a screen indicator to show you that InDesign can't find the desired font. I am going to go ahead and triple click; one, two, three inside of Marjorie Kaminsky there in order to select an entire line of type and you can see that it's set in the Byline style, all very well and good. Let's ignore the Paragraph Styles palette for a moment and let's just focus on styling this text so it looks better.
I am going to change the type style from Semibold Italic which doesn't exist on this machine and if it doesn't exist on your machine, you'll probably see square brackets around it. I am going to change that style to Bold Italic which does exist and notice, as soon as I click off that text, the Pepto-Bismol pink has gone away thereby indicating that InDesign can find that style just fine. Now here is my problem. I am going to go ahead and zoom in here a little bit on this text and drag the text over a little bit and if you have text active and you want to move the page, you can press the Alt key by itself or Alt and spacebar at the same time to drag the page around.
That would be Option by itself or Option and spacebar on the Mac. Notice that this Bold Italic Adobe Garamond Pro type here is a little too precious; I think, it's a little bit too scripty, it's leaning too far forward and it's kind of too close. The letters are too close to each other. So I want to open up the letters and I want to sort of un-slant the text a little bit. So I am going to one, two, three click on that text again, triple click on it and I am going to select this value right here.
Notice this guy, he is called Skew (false italic) and by the way, you are only going to see these options up here in the Control palette if you've got the A selected, the Character Formatting Controls. Otherwise, either these controls were going to be hidden as they are on a 1024 x 768 screen like mine or they are going to be shoved over to the right-hand side of the palette. In any case, I want to go ahead and select this value, the Skew (false italic) value that lets you change the amount of skew associated with your type and I am going to change this value to -8, then press the Tab key and notice that that lifts the type slightly.
It goes ahead and skews it to the left a little bit. A negative skew value skews the text to the left, positive skew value skews it to the right. By skew, I mean slant, same thing. Then I am going to go ahead and select this value right here which is the Tracking value incidentally. If I hover over it, you can see. I am going to change this value to 20, which is 20 thousandths of an em space, and em space is as wide as the type size is tall, so in this case, 14 points wide where 21 thousandths of 14 points at this point.
Alright, I'll go ahead and press the Enter key in order to apply that value to the text and you can see that the letters spread apart from each other just a little bit. Now then if I go ahead and at this point, bring up the Paragraph Styles palette, you can see that have a local override. It says Byline+. That indicates a local override, which means that I've applied some formatting attributes in addition to what the style sheet calls for. If you want to see exactly what those additions are, just go ahead and hover over the style and you'll see a hint, it's telling me 'Bold Italic; tracking: 20 and skew angle: -8 degrees.' In the next exercise, I'll show you how to revert this override to reinstate the original style and I'll also show you how to update the style to include the modifications that you've made.
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