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The purpose of a style is to allow you to collect groups of carefully selected settings. And apply them to another layer at a later point in time. For example, after painstakingly formatting a text layer, you may find that you want to format another text layer in that very same way. As apposed to having to manually assign those same formatting attributes a second time. Which would be a monumental waste of time and energy. You can save every attribute, from type face, to letting, alignment, to paragraph spacing, as a custom paragraph style, and then apply that style to another text layer with a single click.
The second kind of style, the character style, let's you store, and apply as many, or as few attributes as you want to independent letters, or word of text. So a character style that makes text blue will change just the color of the text and leave the other formatting attributes intact. The third kind of style, the layer style, lets you store and apply layer effects and blending settings. You can combine multiple styles to create new effects, as well as save styles to disk.
For transfer to a different machine or platform. For premium members of the site, I've created a few layer styles that you can load into your copy of Photoshop, so you can take effects that took me considerable time and experimentation to come up with and apply them in a matter of seconds. Simply put, styles ensure consistency and save you work in the long haul.
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