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- What are styles and why should I use them?
- Setting up and applying styles
- Dealing with style overrides
- Text styles
- Object styles
- Table styles
- Using style groups
- Sharing styles between documents
Skill Level Beginner
InDesign provides several methods by which you can apply styles to a document. Before we start creating styles, I'd like to explain a little bit about applying styles as well as dealing with style overrides. To begin, I'm going to configure my interface, also known as a work space, to make it a little bit more user friendly and style friendly. If you wanta follow along exactly with the way my screen appears, I'm going to go up to this Workspace menu and click on it and choose Essentials.
Then I will click on it again and I'm going to choose Reset Essentials. If you're using an earlier version of InDesign, you can go to the Window menu under Workspace and choose your workspace from here. Now, there's a couple panels that we want to be displayed, in order to be able to easily apply styles to our document. I'm going to go to the Windows menu, under Styles and I'm going to choose Paragraph Styles. This should actually display both your Paragraph and Character Style panels.
I'm going to click on this title bar at the top. And I'm going to drag over here until I see a blue line. And I'm going to dock those two panels, to my panel dock on the right side of my screen. Then I'm going to go to my Window menu again, and I'm going to choose Styles. Table styles. And once again, I'm going to dock this whole group of styles. To my panel dock. One more time, I'm going to go to the Window menu, Styles, and I'm going to choose Object Styles. Now I have all of my Styles panels displayed in my panel dock, on the right side of my screen.
One other thing I'm going to do is I'm going to change this Tools panel, to a double columned view to make it a little bit easier to see my tools. So, i'll just simply click on this double arrow to change this to a double columned view. And if you'd like, you can save this configuration so we don't have to do this every time we open up InDesign. If I got the Window menu, under Workspace, I can choose New Workspace, or I can click on my Workspace button and choose New Workspace. I'm going to type in here, learn by video, and I'm going to leave both of these options checked, and then I'll click OK. And that now saves my workspace, so that I have all of my styles panels displayed at all times.
So, I'm starting on page one, where I'm going to format this table. In order to format a table, I need to have my Type tool selected. I'm going to hover my cursor over the upper left corner. And when I see an angled arrow, I'm going to click to highlight that entire table. I'm now going to come down to my Table Styles panel, and choose Schedule Table. I'll click anywhere inside of that table. And you can see how the whole table has been formatted. Let's go to our next spread.
We're going to come down here into the lower left corner of my document, and click the right arrow to go to the next spread in my document. Next I'm going to format an object using an object style. I'm going to select my Selection tool, and I'm going to click on this text frame on the left panel on this spread. If I click on the Object Styles button, and then click on the Sidebar Style. You can see how that text frame gets formatted automatically. I'm now going to to zoom in, on the middle panel by holding down Cmd+Space Bar, on Mac, or Ctrl+Space Bar, on Windows.
I'm going to grab my Type tool. And I'm going to click on the Paragraph Styles panel. I'm going to click inside of this first line of text, and I'm going to choose Subhead Span. Then I'll click anywhere inside of the next paragraph and choose Body. Then click in the next paragraph and choose Body Indent. When applying paragraph styles, you only have to be clicked inside of the paragraph that you want to effect. I'm going to hold down the Option key on Mac or the Alt key on Windows and I'm going to scroll up the text.
I'm going to click inside of the paragraph that says, world class instructors, and apply Subhead to that. I'll click in the next paragraph and apply Body, and the next paragraph and apply Body Indent. I'm going to scroll up to the next section. I'm going to click inside of the paragraph that says, the facility, and I'll apply Subhead to that. Body to the next paragraph and then Body Indent to the following two paragraphs. I'm going to highlight the text inside of the this caption, and I'm going to apply the caption style to that text.
And finally, On the right panel I'm going to click inside of the coming events 2011 and I'm going apply the sidebar heading style to that. Then I'm going to highlight the remainder of this text and I'm going to apply events to that text. So you can see how easy it is to format text Within your document. Now, another way that you can apply styles is by clicking somewhere inside of your text and choosing the style from the dropdown menu up here. This menu right now is showing me my Character styles. Because my character formatting button is active.
If I switch to paragraph formatting, now that drop down menu shows me my paragraph styles. So, if I choose subhead from this list you can see that that whole paragraph gets formatted using subhead. I don't want to do that, so I'll click on that menu. And simply choose Body from the list. Those are several ways that we can apply formatting using styles inside of InDesign. Now one thing that will eventually occur is that you will experience what's called a style override. For example if I highlight this text, which currently has what is called a widow at the bottom of that paragraph which is a single word. I'm just going to highlight that entire paragraph by quadruple clicking on it, to select all of the text inside of it, again that's one, two, three, four, that will highlight the whole paragraph.
And I'm going to come up here to my Character Formatting, I'm going to click on the down arrow next to the tracking field, to reduce the tracking of the text that I have selected. Now, I'm just going to click somewhere inside of that text for now because I want you to look down here at your Paragraph Styles panel. And notice that Body Indent currently has a plus sign next to it. That plus sign indicates what's called a style override. And that means that I've made a change to that text, above and beyond what the style is defining.
And because I adjusted that tracking, it is telling me that there is in fact an override. As a matter of fact, if you hover your cursor over that style, you'll get a tool tip that indicates what that override is. Now an override is neither good nor bad. It's simply an indicator. It's a way that InDesign lets you know, that there has been some formatting applied to that text above and beyond what the style is defining. In the case of a widow or an orphan as we saw up here. That's going to be a necessary evil.
You're never going to have a document that is completely free of style overrides. It's next to impossible. However, we try to keep it to a minimum. Now there's some ways that we can deal with that override. And if I decided that you know what I don't want that local override, I do in fact want it to look exactly like my style or I want to start from a base reference point again. I can remove those override quickly, by clicking anywhere inside of that paragraph. Coming down to the Body Indent Style, it has the plus sign, and holding down the Option key on Mac, or the Alt key on Windows, and clicking on that style.
It then, removes any local overrrides, and returns this text back to, the original style. Understanding these style overrides are key to working with styles inside of InDesign. You'll notice these style overrides with every type of style that you can use, Object Styles, Table Styles, Cell Styles, Paragraph Styles and Character Styles. As you can see styles are easily applied in InDesign and knowing the new ounces of how styles behave especially with overrides, is key to working with an understanding styles in InDesign CS5.