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QuarkXPress has always been the perfect tool for creating and publishing documents. In QuarkXPress 8 Essential Training, Jay Nelson—the publisher of Design Tools Monthly and a QuarkXPress expert—covers all the tools and features in this updated version of the program, from basic page layout to Flash integration and web page creation. Throughout this comprehensive training, Jay shows what's needed to produce professional-quality projects that integrate text, pictures, graphics, and tables. He also offers real-world page layout techniques that designers can apply to their own projects. Exercise files accompany the course.
Item Styles are a fantastic new addition in QuarkXPress 8. With an Item Style, if you apply that style to any number of items and then change the style, all of those items attributes will change to match the change you made in the style. Let me show you what I mean. Let's say we make a box and we'll fill that box with a color and we'll give it a frame. We'll give it a red frame that's dotted and nice and thick.
Now let's say we wanted these boxes down here to look like that box there. Probably the quickest way to do it would be to use Item Styles. So under the Window menu, you choose Item Styles and that will pop open the Item Styles palette. Of course, you can dock this palette group over here if you want to, but for our purposes right now; let's just keep it free floating. It's very simple to use. With the item selected that you want to make a style from, you click the Plus button. It will create a new style, which you can then name and we'll call it Blue marquee box.
You could even give it a keyboard command such as Ctrl+Shift+2 and you will see we use that hasn't just a minute. Down here, it tells you all the different attributes of that item so you can check it and make sure, oh yeah, that's what I want to look like, or you can flip across here and say oh geez, I want the Box Size and Angle and Shape and Skew and Color and Frame and if it were align, if there were picture in it, if there were text in it, if it had Runaround, assign to it, if it had Clipping paths, you can set all that kind of stuff. But for right now, we'll just take the defaults and say OK.
So now we have an Item Style that's based on this picture. So now all we have to do is select the other items that we want to look like that, say, this blue box here and click on the Item Style right here and it becomes the exact same size and all the other attributes as the same as well. If we click on this blue box over here, we can do the same thing. So now what happens if we change the Item Style itself? Well that's what the Pencil icon is for, edit. If we edit this Item Style, let's say we go to the Box tab and say well, let's not make it a rectangle.
Let's make it a rounded rectangle and say OK. Notice that these two suddenly became rounded rectangles. Now this one didn't because although we created the Item Style based on it, Quark doesn't apply that style to the item you based it on unless you tell it to. Now if you find yourself doing this a lot that's where the keyboard shortcut comes in handy. If you remember that it's Shift+Ctrl+ Keypad 2, for example, the one we set up here, we can click on other items and just press that keyboard shortcut and the item changes.
Click on this one and do the same thing. That way you are not always mousing back and forth to the Item Styles palette. Now, let's say you have a style you like, but you want to make another style that is similar but slightly different. Well, rather than creating a new object and changing it and then making a new style, you can select this style here, click this button here, which means duplicate, and it will duplicate it, looking with the same line, Blue marquee box, but copy. Let's make it Red marquee box. Of course, it can have the same keyboard equivalent so we'll just leave it blank for now.
And this time, we'll make the box, instead of Cyan, we'll make it Red. When we click OK, we have a new style that we can use on items. So we'll click over on this one here and click the Item Style and it becomes Red. If you have created a set of Item Styles that you like and you want to use them over and over on other projects, you can export them from this project and then import them into another project. And the way you do that is through this little menu in the upper-right corner of the palette. When you click on it, it has the same options that you saw just now, Edit, New, Duplicate, and Delete, which is what this trash can is here, or you can Import or Export.
So we export. It will ask you for a name and it will export this set of Item Styles and then in your new document, you choose Import and it would pull them all in and they would show up in the Item Styles palette there. The Usage item here shows you which boxes on your page are using which style and by selecting one and then hitting the Show button, it will highlight them in order. Now if one of these picture boxes happens to have had a picture in it that is now missing somewhere, the status would be different and you could click Update and the picture would update.
But that's something we'll cover in a later movie. Item Styles work on every kind of page item you can think of, text boxes, picture boxes, rules, Bezier curves and everything else. Any attribute that you can assign to an item can be included in an Item Style and then apply to other items when you apply the Item Style to them. This makes it really easy to keep a whole bunch of items on your page looking the same and avoids the potential if you are missing one if you were trying to edit them all later on. One aspect of the Item Styles feature that may not be apparent is that these Item Styles work across all the layouts in a project, so if you create an Item Style in your print layout and then you switch to, say, a different print layout or even a web layout or a Flash interactive layout, when you update the Item Style anywhere, it will update everywhere.
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