InDesign Tips: How to Use Style Sheets

     

Why use style sheets in InDesign, you may ask . . .

Well, InDesign style sheets are helpful, time saving tools that make formatting text in your documents very simple. They allow you to define specific attributes once and then apply those attributes again and again to different areas of text with a single click. This is especially helpful when you have multiple page documents with a lot of text. 

Okay then, how do I use them . . .?
Here's how. . .check out my InDesign Tips on how to use style sheets:

Paragraph Styles

Paragraph styles apply formatting to entire paragraphs of text. To create a paragraph style, open the paragraph styles window and select new paragraph style from the pull out menu located in the top right corner.

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A window will appear that allows you to customize your paragraph style. The list on the left side of the window shows everything you have control over, including  basic character formats, hyphenation, and indents and spacing. 

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Simply click on any of these options and define the attributes to your liking. It is recommended that you name your paragraph style sheet something specific that relates to what it will be used for in your document, such as body copy or captions. When you have finished defining the style, click ok and you will see the style added to the list in the paragraph styles window. 

 

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To apply the style you created, simply select the text box you would like it applied to and click on the style. If you have multiple paragraphs within a text box and you would only like the style to be applied to one of them, click anywhere inside that paragraph and then select the style, this should leave the other paragraphs in the text box unchanged.

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If you need to change a paragraph style after it’s been created, be sure that no text boxes are selected, and double click on the style in the paragraph styles window. Make your changes and click ok. You will then see this change applied to every paragraph this style is linked to.

 

Character Styles

Character styles apply formatting to single words or phrases within a paragraph. They are created much in the same way that paragraph styles are, only using the character styles window. Open the character styles window and select new character style from the pull out menu located in the top right corner.

Indesign, tutorialYou will notice the window that appears gives you fewer options on the left than the paragraph styles window does. Because character styles are only meant to apply to single words or phrases, you don’t have control over things like hyphenation or indents and spacing. 

Indesign, tutorialIt is recommended that you name your character style sheet something specific that relates to what it will be used for in your document, such as quotes or names. When you have finished defining the style, click ok and you will see the style added to the list in the character styles window. 

 

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To apply the style you created, simply highlight the text you would like it applied to and click on the style.

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If you need to change a character style after it’s been created, be sure that no text boxes are selected, and double click on the style in the character styles window. Make your changes and click ok. You will then see this change applied to every word or phrase this style is linked to.

I hope that you have found these tips helpful and will give style sheets a try on your next large project. You never know, InDesign style sheets may save you some time and some hassle.

Do you have any InDesign tips that you would like to share? Please do! Are you using style sheets? Why or why not?

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About The Author

Graphic Designer, Amateur Homebrewer, Iced Coffee Connoisseur, Avocado Addict