Join David Blatner for an in-depth discussion in this video Create and apply paragraph styles, part of InDesign CC 2018 Essential Training.
- [Instructor] Styles are a way to take a whole bunch of formatting and give it a name. Now, InDesign let's you create styles for character formatting, paragraph formatting, object formatting, even table formatting, and there are three main reasons why you want to use styles. The first reason is they let you apply a lot of formatting with a single click, so they really boost productivity. For example, on this first page of my magazine document, I can see that none of this text over here has been formatted.
I need to apply it quickly, and to do that, I need my paragraph styles panel, which normally doesn't show up over here in the dock, but that's because we're in the Essentials workspace. See up here in the application bar? The workspace is set to Essentials. Now, Essentials is like beginner mode. You're beyond that now, so from here on out, I strongly recommend you use Advanced. Advanced does not mean that you're necessarily an advanced user, it just means you want to see all these extra panels, like paragraph styles.
You can see that inside my paragraph styles panel, I've already created a bunch of paragraph styles. Let's go ahead and apply those to the text. I'm going to double click on my text frame, and then click once on the first line inside that text frame. The style I'm looking for is currently hiding inside this folder, Client Stories Article, so I'll click once on this little arrow to the left of the folder. That opens it up, and now I'll click once on client Juliane and Hanz. There you go, it applied all that formatting with a single click.
Now, notice that I didn't select the entire paragraph. I could have if I wanted to, but all I really had to do was click my cursor inside the paragraph, and then click once on that style. Okay, let's do a few more. I'll click in the second paragraph, and I'm going to come down here and click on Client Author Name. In the third paragraph, I'm going to use the Client Photographer Name. Now, I'm going to select all of this text down here, and I'll apply a single paragraph style, called Body Copy Columns.
Now, you can see that I was able to format almost his whole page really quickly. If I had to do that manually, applying first the font, and then the size, and the leading, and all of that, it would have taken much longer. Okay, now I want to show you how to edit these styles, because the second reason to use styles is that you can change a definition at any time, and more importantly, every place you use that style in your document will be updated immediately. Now, right now, my Body Copy style is selected inside the panel, but the style I want to change, to edit, is this one up here, Client Photographer Name.
If you want to edit the currently selected style, you can simply double click on it, but if you want to edit a non-selected style, well, then you should right click, and choose Edit, and the reason you want to do it this way, right clicking instead of double clicking, is that double clicking will apply the style to whatever's selected on the page. In this case, it would be applying that style to all the text over here on the page. I don't want to do that. So in my context menu, I'm simply going to choose Edit up here at the top.
That opens this huge paragraph style options dialogue box. Now, in here, we can change the definition of the style. For example, I'll click on Basic Character Formats in the list on the left, and let's make this a little bit larger, I'll say 14 points, and the leading should be larger too, like 17 points. Let's also change it to bold instead of regular, I'll just type B-O, and it knows that that should be bold. Now, I'll click on Character Color over here on the left, and let's give it a different color, like bright pink.
Great, now I'll click OK, and you can see that because I changed the definition, it changed it on my page, and again, not just here, but everywhere I had used that style throughout my document. Okay, now that we've looked at how to apply styles and then edit them, let's talk about how to create your own new style. I want to create a paragraph style for pull quotes, like this one down here in the middle of the page. To do that, I'm going to create an example that I'll be basing my paragraph style off of. To select this text, I'm first going to deselect all the text on my page by pressing Command + Shift + A, or Control + Shift + A on Windows.
Then, I'll click inside that text frame, and zoom into 200 percent, by pressing Command + two, or Control + two on Windows. Let's go ahead and select that text and change the font. I'll come up to the control panel and click on the A, so I'm in character formatting mode, click inside the font field, and then change its name. I'll just type A-D-R, and it knows that I want the Adrianna font. Let's choose Adrianna regular, and then let's change its size, how about 18 points large, and I'll tab down to the next field, and make it 22 points leading.
While I'm up here, I'll click this double T button. That makes it all caps, and finally, I'm going to change the fill color. I'll choose this color swatch down here. Then, in the paragraph formatting mode, I'm going to make this aligned center. That looks pretty good, so let's make a paragraph style based on that. To make a paragraph style based on an example on your page, like we're doing here, you can either select the whole paragraph, or select part of it, or even just had your cursor flashing inside of it, doesn't really matter.
Next, go to the paragraph styles panel menu, and choose New Paragraph Style up at the top. Now, here's the important thing, because the cursor was inside that paragraph, it grabbed all of that formatting, and dropped it into this dialog box, so now all I need to do is give it a name. I'll type pull quote. Now, if I wanted to, I could go through each one of these panes, one at a time, setting its font, and style, and so on, but as you can see, that would take a lot longer than just doing it once on my page, and then sucking all of that information into the dialogue box.
Now, before I click OK, I'm going to go back to the General pane, and I want to turn on the Apply Style to Selection checkbox. You don't have to do that, it's just a convenience, that means when I click OK, apply this new style to whatever's selected on my page. Also, I want to make sure that this checkbox is turned off, Add to CC Library. That can be helpful, but in this case, I just want to add it to this particular document. Alright, I'll click OK, you'll see it shows up at the top of my panel here, and it's applied to this paragraph.
Okay, one more thing that I want to point out about styles right now, sometimes you'll notice a little plus symbol in the paragraph styles panel. For example, I'm going to select this whole paragraph, and I'm going to go back to my character formatting mode of the control panel, and I'll change something, like I'll make this 20 points instead. Now, not only did it make that too big for this frame, but you can see in the paragraph styles panel, now there's a little plus symbol next to the paragraph style name. Now, that plus sign means there's formatting on top of the paragraph style, there's something different about it.
This is called a local override, and in fact, if I hover my cursor over that style, I actually get a little tool tip that shows me what the override is, in this case, it shows me that the size has been changed. Now, you can make local formatting or local overrides even more obvious by clicking this little button in the upper right corner of the panel, the style override highlighter. Let me click over here so you can see what that does. When that's turned on, all the text that has local formatting or local overrides shows up with this bright blue highlight, and that just says, watch out, there's formatting on top of, or different than, the paragraph style.
Now, if you ever have a document where you see that plus sign, or the blue highlighting, you can do one of two things. First, you could redefine the style to match the new formatting, and I'll show you how to do that quickly later on in the chapter, or you could get rid of all the local formatting by clicking inside the paragraph, and then coming down to the bottom of the paragraph styles panel, and clicking on the remove overrides button, also called Clear overrides in selection. As soon as you click on that, it takes away all that local formatting, and you're back down to just the way the paragraph style is defined.
Now, it's back to the way it was supposed to look, and the plus sign and the highlighting disappears. Now, as you can see, paragraph styles are one of the most important productivity features in InDesign. The more you use them, the more efficient you'll get.
- Creating a new layout
- Inserting pages
- Adding text
- Inserting graphics
- Applying color and transparency
- Drawing and editing frames and paths
- Formatting objects
- Formatting text
- Creating styles for uniform formatting
- Building tables
- Adding links and interactivity
- Printing and exporting InDesign documents