The Complete Guide to InDesign® Styles

 

Lesson Info

Import Styles

Once I use all these great things, you think, "Great. That was a lot of work. I got to do that every time I create something very similar." But no, you don't. We can save these all and use these elsewhere. So let's say I laid out this newsletter and I love it and I'm going to use this template when I want to create this exact newsletter. I'm going to use a template and I'm getting... every time I open it, the styles will automatically be there. But now I want to do, let's say, something to the, again, to the board. I want to give them a report and a quarterly report on what's going on and I'd like it to look like my newsletter, just I don't want to open up the newsletter and have to delete everything that's in there just to get the styles. I can save these styles out and bring them in elsewhere. Or rather, I can open up this file elsewhere. So this is the rescue newsletter. If I create a new document and I want to use all those same styles, I can bring those in from that file. So I can...

go to either the paragraph style or the character style panel menu. Doesn't matter which one. And I can either load the individual styles or I can say load all text styles. So in this case it's going to do the character and paragraph. So I can bring those in and then I just need to go out and find where that one is and say Open. And it's not going to really open the file, it's going open it in the background and it's going to say, "Here's the styles that you have. Which ones do you want?" So you can pick and choose, well, I'm going to bring all of them in and it will tell me if I have a conflict. And I have a conflict in this first one because everything has basic paragraph style built in. Basically, the only way it knows it's a conflict is by the name. So if I already had one set up called captions, then this will say, "Well, you've got this one name captions," and it would tell you, if I click on this one, for instance, it tells me what the incoming style definition looks like and what the existing one looks like. Now, granted, this is very basic so it has no real information, but let's say I had one name captions already. It would say, "This is what the incoming one looks like. This is what your current one looks like. Which one do you want to use?" So you can basically tell it if you want to use the new one coming in or if you want to rename the one that's coming in instead. So I have those options, I can pick and choose which ones, I'm going to bring them all in. There's no conflict because nothing's here and now all of those that I have, and I did not have any character styles, apparently, in that one. I can also bring in from another file if I want, maybe I want to just come in and bring more styles from my multistyles one, so I come into one of these other ones and grab these. So I have new ones coming in, doesn't look I have any conflict on this either. There's all my new ones including the groups that we created as well. So all of those come in. I don't have to remake those, I'm ready to go. I can just start working on that. If you do bring in from other files, just be aware you're probably going to start getting conflicts. I get that all the time. I use the term "body text" all the time so if I bring that in but maybe I already started, I generally have conflicts with that. So I try to bring in my styles if I'm going to use them right at the beginning so I make sure I don't have any of those conflicts that are there. So that's how we can bring those in, we can also save those right back out. I can load them in. I totally made a mistake. You cannot save them back out. You save them in the file just like I did. You open up an existing file and pull them out of there. Sometimes I think of other things and that's not exactly where I was going with. So I just want to make sure I got style groups, saving them. Oh, and when we import, so when we import from different sources a lot of times that happens, an example in the newsletter. You're probably going to be getting stuff from elsewhere and styles can come in with the text or you can tell it, "Don't come in with that text," and that's actually something that I generally do. I find that when I get styling from somewhere else or files from somewhere else, the styling is not consistent. Especially things that come in from Word, and again, I'm going to pick on Word a little bit but it's just that they live in two separate worlds, Word and InDesign. So the fact that they play together at all is really cool but there are things that come in from Word all the time that I don't want to come in. And also, I find that most people that use styles, if they attempt to use them in Word don't use them consistently or correctly and I would rather strip them all out and have to reapply them and know that those little weird oddities aren't populating throughout my InDesign file. So for instance, if I bring in...let's bring it into the one that we had with all my style setup. Where did we go? Here we go, this is what we want. I'm going to jump back to page 1 so I've got some information in here. I'm going to create a new page. Just use my keyboard shortcut for that and I'm going to bring in some text and when I do that, let me do File, Place, and I'm going to go choose my text and let's bring in this guy. I'm going to make sure my options are turned on. Show my import options and say OK. So I want everything up here checked and I don't even know if I have anything in this file coming in that have footnotes or endnotes but I have those checked. But what I generally do is click down here on Formatting, remove styles and formatting from text and tables and then I also preserve my local overrides and that means even if they used the styles and didn't use them properly, I'm stripping them out. But if they did those local overrides, those italic and bold but didn't use a character style for it, those will remain so that will come in as local overrides. And the reason for that is that I can then see what's italicized or what's bolded and I can at least make the change manually. So I'll say OK, I'm going to just place this and hopefully, I've got... There we go. You can see that there's a few words here that are italicized, so even if I select everything here and I tell it, "Make it body text," I have overrides. And that's because they are these local overrides that I told it to bring in. I said, "Please make sure you leave that there," and I could select each one and then come over here to the character styles and say, "That's italic and then this one is italic." Or I could have InDesign do the work for me. So instead of finding everywhere where it's italic, I can use Find Change to have it do that for me. So I'm going to do CMD/CTRL+F to bring up Find Change and I'm going to just be in the text tab that's here and I'm going to come down to formatting. I'm not looking for specific text, just formatting. I'm going to come down and click in this Find Formatting field and I'm going to say find, under basic formatting, find any place where you have italicized text, and I'm going to replace it or change that formatting. Again, I'm just clicking in the square down below and I'm going to say replace any italic text with the italic character style. So I'm going to say OK and I'm just going to say Change All. It's going to change everything. Actually, I'm going to change it to just this story if I actually had it. I did not have just that frame selected, I'm just going to change everything in the document. Whatever else happens happens, seven replacements were made. Done. Now when I select this entire paragraph, I look and body text is not overridden. That means that this little word, darkness, let's come in here, that got the italic applied to it, that got the italic applied to it, so any place that I had that already italicized in my incoming text is now italicized and ready to go. Now, that being said, I would have to look for... I'd have to know what overrides were coming in this document. Was there a bold one? I'd have to run it again for bold. Is there bold italic? I'd have to run again for bold italic, so I would have to run that multiple times. If you do this a lot, there is actually a plugin that I like to use. Is it a plugin or a script? I think it's a script. It's called Multi-Find/Change so you can go and look for that if you want. Multi-Find/Change. It's a paid piece but if it's something you do all the time you can put a whole bunch of those together of that Find Change that I just did if you know there's always bold and bold italic and italic and red and whatever else there is. You can set all that together as one search and just hit Search and it does it all for you. And again, it's all automated. It's all built into the styles so, again, I could have taken these styles, set them up one place, used them in this new one, brought in new text from Word and said strip out the styling but leave the overrides and automatically style it for you. Maybe you have that plugin and you do a whole bunch all at one time and suddenly styles don't seem quite so scary anymore because we can start actually making it work for us. So I hope that lets you know what things you can do with it. I'm going to show you just... I'll do one or two more just to show you some of the things that I might put into a style and why we don't want to leave this as body text. So things I might do, the second paragraph that's here. And actually, I'm going to delete those extra returns, we don't need those, those came in with that text we just brought in. I've got my cursor in the second paragraph. I'm going to click on that and I want to just bring it in. I want to bring in the margins on either side. So this is something I might do for a pull quote, a pull quote I'd generally put those lines above and below. Well, actually, we can do that as well. I'm going to go to the paragraph setting of the control panel and I want to bring in the left margin slightly so I'll just bring that in a quarter of an inch. I'm going to do the same thing for the right one. Actually, let's bring it in a little bit more. There we go. So I have that sitting there. So now, as soon as I did this, of course, it says, "Oh, that's an override." So what we want to do is, we want to Option/Alt+click on that and give that a new style. As soon as you make that override and you realize that that's something you're going to use separately from body text. Make a new style. Don't wait until later because then you'll to remember where it is and how many places you applied it. So let's do this and we'll call this a pull quote because that's what we're going to end up making. That's a pull quote, it's already assigned to that. Now if I decide this needs to be a pull quote, I just click on it and it changes. I'm going to undo that. The other thing I wanted to do was add those lines up, above, and below. So, again, that's a paragraph rule. So I've got my cursor just sitting in the paragraph. I'm going to go to the paragraph panel, not the paragraph style but the paragraph panel, and choose paragraph rules. I know a lot of people don't go there because they think it's telling you what you have to do with your paragraph. It's not that kind of rule. It's a rule, a line. And I can choose rule above or below. I'm going to choose rule above. Turn on Preview so I can see what's going on, and that's not really much above, is it? It looks like it's below. I need to actually move it even further up so I'm going to go over here to the offset and just go up a little bit. I'm also going to say put a rule below it. Let's turn that one on. That looks good. Let's do a little bit of offset as well. So we'll just put that. I can play with things like the color. I can change it to a different color. I can tell it that it's the width of the text as opposed to the width of the paragraph itself. Like the way that looks, let's do that, and I can play with the thickness, of course, and we'll make this one four-point as well. So I can say OK, now that's what my pull quote looks like. But I need to redefine that. So I need to right-click or Ctrl+click on that and say Redefine Style. Now anytime I want something to be a pull quote, just click in there and it suddenly makes it a pull quote. Undo that. Buttons are... I'm sorry. Bullets and numbering. If you have something that needs to be numbered or and outlined, so you've got A and one and two and ABC, all the way down, you can set that up with bullets and numbering, which I'm not going to go into. You can do that and then what you can do, things like I will show you, I actually have one that's finished here. Oh, there we go, multilevel list. That's what I wanted. And the final one. And so this is set up with styles so I have this outline that's here and basically each one is a level setup. And again, this is done in bullets and numbering so I've set up the numbering so that it automatically numbers correctly and if I decide, actually, this is the next point so that actually needs to be a Level 1. As soon as I click Level 1, it moves out and all the numbering underneath it changes. Maybe this needs to be actually a Level 2. Now all that numbering changes, this is actually where Level 3 starts. I'm sorry. Level 1, jump that back out. This is a Level 2, and we can make all this. Level 3, Level 3. Again, that's just bullets and numbering that I've set up, but by setting up the bullets and numbering and assigning a style to each level of that outline, I can easily change how my outline looks and to make sure that the numbering continues. As soon as I hit Return on this, it automatically puts in the right number that's here as I add things. It does that. And then I can say OK. And the next one is actually Level 1. So that's something that we can really use because trying to do each one when you're doing an outline and then you realize everything needs to move in by one level and having to go and reassign all those manually is going to take forever. Having a style set up for those is huge. Also if I want to break items across columns, I can do that as well. Let's say our bullet points were a lot shorter. I'm just going to shorten these up, put periods afterwards. Let's put a period after this one and hit Return and I'll do one more and we'll just put in a Return there. All right, so I have these and I want these actually to be shorter so I have enough room. What I want to do is, when I have a long list like this but they're really short words that everything in the list is short. I would like them to fill up that whitespace just to the right. So what I want to do is break that across columns so I can do that as well. So this is bulleted text but what I want to do is take all of the text that's there that's bulleted and I'd like the second three to be in the next column. I can go under the paragraph panel menu, and again, I'm making changes to it and then I'm going to make a new style, of course, once I'm done with that. And I'm going to use Span Columns. But what I'm doing is I'm not really spanning the columns. I'm splitting the columns so I can tell it to split to how many subcolumns I need, in this case, I did two just to accommodate what I have. I can do that. I can actually make multiple columns if I wanted to. And I'm splitting it across there and I can set in all the different settings that are here. But as soon as I say OK then I can come back to my paragraph style and I realize that said "bullets" but what I really wanted was a new one, Option/Alt+click and I'll call this "bullets split" or something like that. And again, I don't have to do anything to it. It already knows that it's split columns because I already made that change, I'll say OK. And it even puts it in the same folder for me. So now I have bullets split so I can do bullets if I want like that, bullets split. So again, I built that into a paragraph style so that I don't have to restyle that every time. So anything that you can do to a character or to a paragraph can be built into the style. Just know that with the paragraph styling, one of the things that you have is character styles as well. If it's the part of that base, that foundation of what the paragraph is going to look like, and character styles go on top. They are the exceptions to the rule. They're like the candy coating, the cherry on top. They're the paint on the wall of that house analogy that we started with and it's just what is different. Don't ever format a whole paragraph with character styles. There's a reason they're called paragraph styles for that.

When working on page layouts for brochures, publications, catalogs or annual reports, it’s essential to create a logical workflow. Whether you work in print, digital, or a mixture, mastering text and object styles in InDesign is a necessary skill. Styles will speed up your design process and result in consistency and better looking work. Erica Gamet is an Adobe Certified Expert and in this class she teaches you how to master styles, including: 

  • What styles are and why you should use them 
  • Setting up paragraph, character and object styles 
  • Headers, subheads, bullets, numbering, pull quotes and more 
Erica shares with you in a practical format how she works with styles and what it takes to master them. if you don't know how to use styles, you're missing out on an important feature that saves you time (and money). Using styles is an industry best practice, and you owe it to yourself to master the art and science of using them.


Software Used: Adobe InDesign CC 2017

 
 
 
 

Reviews

  • Another amazing class Erica. I'm going to have to purchase the one because it's so much cool content I didn't know.
  • Lots of good information to make using InDesign efficiently. Thank you for this!
  • You are the consummate online teacher! And as you know, teaching teachers is the worst ever...and I can I honestly say (as a photoshop teacher) , I love how you are so organized and you just keep going. We are focused!