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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.
Alright. So we have seen the Eyedropper tool right here, which is certainly tricked out, it's the best implementation of an Eyedropper tool that I have seen. The only problem that I have with it and the reason that I don't actually use it on a regular basis when I'm laying out pages is that it really offers a strange marriage of convenience and inconvenience. On one hand you can just go ahead and lift some attributes and apply them very quickly to some other type inside of a document. On the other hand, if you want to lift some attributes and not other attributes, you have to actually dig in to the tool by double clicking on it, change some settings, click OK, go ahead and lift some new settings and on and on.
So that part, I don't think is very convenient. The better way to work is to lay down some style sheets that represent the core formatting attributes that you are going to want to replicate over and over again. I'm here to tell you every single kind of text that I have inside of a document, every single word of text. Every single letter of text is linked to some style sheet by the time I get done with it. I recommend you do the same as well. They are that useful, that powerful, that you need to be using them on a regular basis.
So tell you what, in the remaining exercises of this chapter, I'm going to introduce you to style sheets, the five kinds of style sheets that are going on inside of InDesign. Probably it's going to go too quick for you by the way. So you may want to work along with me. You may want to just sit back and relax, and then in subsequent chapters, we will dig into each and every one of the various kinds of style sheets and see how they work. Alright. So it here goes. What I want you to do is, go up to the Type menu and notice that here is our first group of style sheets. There is Character Styles, and this command by the way brings up a palette.
All of the style sheets commands bring up palettes, because that's how you get to style sheets in InDesign. And some of them have keyboard shortcuts, like Shift+F11 here for the Character Styles. Character Styles affect independent characters of type or characters and words of type, and they allow you to store character level formatting attributes like typeface, and leading and type size and so on. Paragraph Styles affect entire paragraphs at a time and they go ahead and store not only paragraph level formatting attributes like alignment, and paragraph spacing, but also character level formatting attributes.
Then we have, if you go over here to the Window menu, you can see Object Styles, which also has a keyboard shortcut, Ctrl+F7, or Command+F7 on a Mac, for what it's worth. Object Styles allow you to go ahead and save object level formatting attributes, which include things like text wrap and anchored object settings and fill and stroke as well as potentially Paragraph Styles, which themselves can include Character Styles. So a lot of these styles include other types of style sheets as well. Then finally if we go down to Type & Tables here, you can see these guys in here, we have got Table Styles, which has no keyboard shortcut, which affects entire tables at a time and then Table Styles include Cell Styles, which style individual cells and they can include character and paragraph level styles as well as we will see.
Now in the remaining exercises of this chapter, I'm going to be focusing on the two most common and the two most useful kinds of style sheets in my estimation anyway, which are Paragraph Styles and Object Styles. Coming right up stay tuned.
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