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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 final exercise of the chapter, I am going to show you another way to update Character Styles and also how to deal with local overrides because it's slightly different than when you are working with a Paragraph Style. I am working inside of a document by the way, a catch-up document, our final catch-up document for this chapter called Goodbye mud brown.indd found inside the O4 Charstyles folder and of course I have named this file Goodbye mud brown because the mud brown is gone in favor of this lustrous blue, this sort of cobalt blue here. Alright. So now at this point just for the sake of argument here, those of you who might care to argue with me.
You might say, "Okay Deke, you know what, I kind of half-buy what you are doing here, this obsessive styling of this document. I buy the fact that you went ahead and styled the numbers with Step number because that is pretty special and I buy the fact that you went ahead and styled these leaders with Step leader. But what are you doing assigning special styles for things that are just italic and bold type? That's nuts." For example, this text here, which is styled in Emphasis italic, if I double-click on Emphasis italic, it's telling me that it's Adobe Caslon Pro + Italic, that's all it is.
It's just really just the Italic style and nothing more because the text was already set in Adobe Caslon Pro. So I'll cancel out of there, so you may think we well, all you have to do, to access Italic type in InDesign, is you just select the type, right? And you press Ctrl+Shift+I or Command+Shift+I on the Mac that's all you do. So, what in the world, are you doing creating a style for this purpose? Or how about this bold stuff right there, if I click inside Line Art, it is styled with Emphasis bold and all it is if I double-click on it is bold. That's it.
That's all the style does, it's bold. What a dopey style. After all, you can select some text and press Ctrl+Shift+B or Command+Shift+B on the Mac in order to make it bold. Okay, but here is the problem. I will undo that modification. Here is why my lunacy is not so lunatic as it were. It is not so dopey. This is actually a really smart approach, stupid as it may seem and obsessive as it may seem as well, not that anybody has ever called me obsessive before, but here is the deal, here is the reason it's a really smart thing to do. What if you decide you want to make a slight change? I am going to go ahead and zoom-in on this text and sometimes it's hard to get a sense of how text is really going to read when you are looking at it on screen.
For example - we are way zoomed-in and yes, this far zoomed-in, this Line Art text looks too heavy. This bold text looks too heavy with respect to the plain text around it. But when you zoom-out on screen, it doesn't look all that heavy, does it really? I mean once you start zooming-out; it is barely distinguishable from the regular text around it. But I am here to tell you, when this text gets printed, even if you are far away from it, it's going to come off more like this, come off more like the zoomed-in version. This bold text is going to seem very heavy especially if you are reading along inside of the text and all of the sudden you are hit with this big bold word; it's going to interrupt legibility.
Now I want people to know that this is literal text, so they are not reading it as part of the sentence as for example Save, the Save button being - somehow we are trying to save a button, like you read the word save as a verb. So I want to call it out especially so that there's little bit of a subliminal message really, but I don't want it to be this heavy. I want to change the font to something that is a little less bold than bold. So, I am going to move down here to Line Art once again, I am going to go ahead and select just the words Line Art, just Line and Art like so. I am going to go up here to the Control palette and I am going to note that I am working with the font Adobe Caslon Pro which ships along with InDesign, fair enough. And then I am going to change it from Bold to same Semibold. Perfect, just a little backed off from Bold.
So it's kind of a cross between Bold and Regular as it were. So I will go ahead and assign that local override to the text and then just to make sure I would like it, I will press Ctrl+Shift+A or Command+Shift+A on the Mac to check it out and it looks good. Alright, but if I select that text again, I see that if I have got a local override, I have got a little + sign right there next to my type. Now if you want to eliminate a local override and notice if I hover over it, it tells me Semibold is the override. If I want to eliminate that override, notice that I don't have a little sort of button down here, the way I do inside of the Paragraph Styles palette.
So to eliminate local override, your only option is to Alt+Click or Option+Click on that style and that will return the text to bold. I don't want that however; I just wanted to show you that's how it works. I will go ahead and undo that modification. Instead what I want to do is I want to update this Emphasis bold style and that will update all text that's linked to that style. Otherwise if this were real document, one of my real lessons that has like 40 or 50 pages in it and several hundred instances of this bold style, if all I had done was do it your way and press Ctrl+Shift+B or Command+Shift+B all over the place, well that might not have been your way, but you are the foil in this case.
Then I would be up the proverbial creek. I won't name the creek, but I would be in trouble, right? I would then have to spend a lot of time redoing that text whereas, all I have to do in my case because I was smart about the approach, smart/obsessive, all I have to do is I go up to my Character Styles palette menu right there and I choose Redefine Style, which as a keyboard shortcut, a slightly different keyboard shortcut this time around, of Ctrl+Shift+Alt+C or Command+Shift+Option+C on the Mac. I choose Redefine Style and watch OK right here. As soon as I choose that command, OK changed ever so slightly.
So, this was before, the thick OK; this is after, the more temperate OK. I have updated every single bit of type that is associated with that Emphasis bold style. Oh my goodness! I have got to tell you, that is the way to work. If you are obsessive and just a total control freak about the application, about the creation and application of your style sheets upfront, your future self is going to be so happy and so relaxed, on vacation even.
Alright, that's the end of this chapter. In the next chapter, we are going to move on to Character Styles on steroids, when we check out how to employ nested and numbered styles, you don't want to miss it.
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