Introduction to Paragraph & Character Styles


The Complete Guide to InDesign® Styles


Lesson Info

Introduction to Paragraph & Character Styles

- [Woman] So I'm just actually going to arrange a couple of things. I want to make sure I have my object styles handy and ready. So I have all my styles down below here. And I'm actually going to open up just my paragraph style panel right now, and I'm actually going to rip this off and float it up above. And we're going to move the character style one, too. I want to make sure I have that ready to go. And I'm going to start first with sort of an analogy to kind of figure out why we have paragraph styles and character styles. And I always liken it to building a house. Now, I don't know how to actually build a house, but I've seen them built and I kind of get an idea of how it works. When you build a house or a building, anybody that's seen any construction knows that there's this foundation at the bottom and then there's some framing. And that's kind of standard no matter what kind of building it is and what kind of materials you're using. You've got this skeleton, this base, and again...

this foundation, and that's what your paragraph styles are. So when I create a paragraph of text, basically I want the paragraph to look pretty cohesive. There's going to be a lot of things in common, things that we're going to set in the paragraph panel. Things like alignment, how much space before and after, we've got left and right margins, drop caps, things like that. So things that are common to a paragraph. So if I changed the alignment in a paragraph, I'm not changing just one line. It changes everything. So all that goes into a paragraph style. Where people get confused is the other things that go into a paragraph style, we actually set up in the character panel. I know that's confusing. So things like font and typeface and...I'm sorry, the typeface and the font and the point size and the letting, things like that, we set that in character, but it actually becomes part of a paragraph style. And the reason for that is, again, mostly when you look at a paragraph of text, it's probably going to be the same font for the most part. So that's kind of, again, part of that foundation of what does that paragraph look like. So it's kind of everything that goes into a paragraph and that builds that foundation. And going back to the house analogy, in each room of this house that you're building you put on different maybe wall texturing, different wall coloring, different wall hangings, and things that you do to give each room its character. And that's what a character style is. So basically, what makes each room different or the exception to the rule. So in a paragraph, you've got the base of the paragraph styling. But then you might have a word that you want to be in italic whereas the rest is in regular. Or you want a word to be in blue and everything else is in black. So it's sort of the exception to the rule. There might be a word or one letter or five words that you want to look a little different than the rest of the paragraph. That's what we put in a character style. So the character styles get applied on top of the paragraph styles and they're sort of the exception to the rule. So just kind of be thinking that way. It's going to become clearer as we start creating these styles, but just so you kind of have an idea in your mind what is what. So you don't want to do a whole panel full of character styles that talk about this paragraph, your first paragraph, your header paragraph. Those are not character styles. Character styles are super simple, like blue or italic or bold italic red all together. Because one thing to keep in mind is you can only have one character style applied to any character. So you can't have a blue character style and an italic character style applied to text. You'd have to have one called blue italic. So also keep that in mind. Again, it's the exceptions to the rule. All right. So that's kind of what it is, how it works, how to be thinking about it. So how I work with paragraph styles is I don't necessarily set out and think, "Okay. Today I'm going to make a paragraph and it's going to be 10 point over 12 point, Times New Roman." I don't know, frankly. I'm going to put some text on the page and then I'm going to start styling it. And when I get something that looks good, then I'm going to make that a style and that's going to be my start. So I am going to start with just a huge block of text. So in this case, I'm going to go ahead and fill this with some placeholder text. Now, when I do that, I'm going to come up here to type menu and choose fill with placeholder text. And I can't see that very well. So what I want to do is I want to make it bigger. And this is something that I'm going to do a lot when I'm working, is I'm going to close all my documents. So I'm just going to close those that we had, that's all right. And with no document open, I'm going to choose the type tool and I'm going to come in here and change the font. We won't make it Trebuchets, we'll make it something else. Let's go with Bree, I guess, we'll go with Bree regular. And I want to make it bigger as well, I'm going to make it 22 point just so I can see it here on the screen and so that you can all see it. And now, when I do a new document, any time I create a new text frame, that new setting that we just set becomes my placeholder text size or becomes my text size for all new text frames from here on out. So go back and fill with placeholder text. Now I have that larger text so I can actually see what's going on with that. So I have some text in here, I have just placeholder text that came within design. And when I start laying something out, whether I'm laying out a book or a newsletter, the first thing I kind of think about, obviously, is probably what font I want to use. And I think about it in terms of what I call the body text setting that I'm going to set up. And so I'm going to set it how I think I want it, but along the way we'll see that we'll keep tweaking it. And we can tweak and tweak and tweak to our hearts content. But we're not redoing work, we're not having to redo everything. We're going to set it how we want it, make a few changes, add some more stuff, make some more changes, and see how that fits. So basically what I do is I select some text. And normally when you're working with paragraph settings, you only need to put your cursor in the paragraph that you're working in. But because we're also adding character formatting to this paragraph style, we have to have at least one character selected. So I just generally grab a little bit. And I know nothings italicized, it's all exactly the same text. So I grab a little bit of text and, basically, I'm going to stylist this how I want. So in this case, I might actually select everything. CMD or CTRL+A to select all my text to start with, and just play with the sizing. Maybe I want to play with the the alignment. So I'm going to come over to the paragraph panel and let's actually make it a line text. And when I get something that looks decent, I think, "Okay. That's a good start for body text." Actually, let's make it a little bit smaller just so I have some room to make bigger headers out of there. So I think, "Okay. That looks good. That's a good starting point." So the first thing I want to do is make a style. And like I said, I'm starting with the text that I want to use that's going to be the most prevalent in whatever I'm laying out. So it might be body text if you're doing an ad, it might be the one that's got all the information about the product. Whatever is going to be the most prevalent in the document, it makes sense to kind of start that as your starting point. So I'm going to select some text, it doesn't have to be all of it, just a word at least, and I'm going to go over to the paragraph style panel. And down at the bottom we've got the little new style icon and I want to OPT or ALT click on that, because otherwise it just creates a new style called paragraph style one. But when I OPT or ALT click on it, I get the style options dialog box, and that's important because this is where I'm going to put all the information. But the great thing is this: I selected some text before I did that. So everything, all the characteristics of that text, fonts, and alignment and all that is already built into this style. So if I come down here to the style settings, it will just tell me that. Here's some stuff and we'll go over what this means, the next and all that, but it's the Bree font, 20 point, justified alignment, and the last line justified. If I had certain things set up like kerning, we talked about that in my Build Your Own Newsletter course. We talked about optical kerning versus metric kerning, and optical kerning I generally have on by default. I did not set it as my default here, I don't think. But anything that's there that just, again, all these little things you can set, if they're already set and you've selected text that has that, when you build this style, it's already built in. In fact, the only thing I have to do once I open this up is give it a name. I'm going to call it "body text." And we'll come back and we'll make some tweaks to this, but right now this is body text, which is great. That means that if I create a new text on a new page, and I'm just doing a key command for my new page, I'm doing a SHIFT+CMD or SHIFT+CTRL+P to add a new page. Just to show you that in this same document when I add this page and I fill it with that placeholder text and I select this, I can then say "body text" and assign that and it shrunk it up to the size and it gave me that justification. So that's why I want to create these styles so that every time I create something that needs to be in body text, I just need to click it and it automatically happens. And jump back to this first page where we have our body text. So now when I'm working with this text, like I said, I have it there available for me. I can just click on it and it suddenly populates with that same exact text. However, I can keep making changes to this. Because maybe this isn't exactly how I want it to look, maybe I did want it to be a little bit bigger. So I'm going to select some text, again, it doesn't have to be everything. I'm just going to zoom in a little bit so you can see a little bit better. And I can take this text and I can make changes to it. So maybe I want to actually change my font. So let's go ahead change it to something else that we can see. Maybe let's change it to... I don't have much in here, do I? Oh, because I don't have my type kit ones on. Let's choose something else. I want a good Serif font that I can see. Let's come down here. We'll just do Bodoni, we'll just make it Book. So now I just changed that font that's there, just in that one word that I have selected. And actually, let me undo that really quick. One thing I didn't do is this paragraph is what we set up our paragraph style with. But you notice it does not have body text style applied to it. That's because I never told it, even though I based the style on that, I never said, "Now apply that style back to the text." In fact, that was an easy way for me to do that and I didn't check that box when I was in body text and we gave it a name. One of the options down here is apply style to selection, and I should have selected that when I created it. It would have automatically applied that style. So I need to apply that style first. Now when I make a change to this, and we will give it...what were we using? I forgot already. Well, I can come in here, I just want to give it something else that we can use. Let's use Georgia, that looks good. And I changed it. And as soon as I did, it put this little plus next to it. And that's an override. In fact, if you hover over it, mostly it should come up and tell you. Sometimes it does not. It should tell you what the override is, and in this case I know that I changed the font. So what it's telling me is, "You applied a style but then you made a change to it." I can't tell you how many files I get from designers that have all these styles built and then every piece of text has this plus on here. We don't want that. Because if you're going to do that and do these manual overrides and leave them, you're just making extra work for yourself. What is the point of creating a style? So keep that in mind. If you create a style and you assign it a style, and then you make an override, you have some choices to make. Why did you override this? Why did you change this font? Do you want all your body text to be in this font now? Do you just want this particular word to be in a separate font? Which is totally reasonable if there's a reason for it. And we have to do something with that text. So we've got a couple, like I say, choices to make. So the first thing I can do is look at and go, "Oh, why is this in a different font? I didn't want that. I want it to be in my body text font." So I can OPT or ALT click on the style name and it automatically puts that style, that text, back to the style. But maybe...and I'm going to undo that and bring back that override...maybe what I wanted was to see what body text in this font would look like. So I can do that as well. I can actually right click or CTRL click on the style and choose redefine style. And what that's doing is it's basically opening up the new style dialog box and it's changing the font, which is another way we could do it. We could open up the dialog box and do it. I like this way because it's visual. I'm actually just visually tweaking it till it looks good and then I'm saying, "Yeah, let's see what it looks like with body text in this style." So that's what redefined style is. So I redefine that style and now that body text is in that new style. In fact, on page 2, I'm just using a little keyboard shortcut to jump there, CMD or CTRL+J and then the page number. That's where I put that second box, that second text frame, with body text as well, and you notice it updated, too. So I can look at that and see how it flows. Maybe I need to make it a little bit smaller and then I need to redefine that style again. Because I need to see it not just here, but on page two and anywhere else I used that style. I want to keep looking and seeing does my text fit, does it flow nicely. So for me, this is how I start. I might start with this text and then I actually end up just tweaking and tweaking and tweaking. I'm going to put this back in Bree regular here. So again, I've made some changes back to it. I need to redefine that style. So that's kind of how I hone in and I can change this later on also, but we're going to start building styles based on other styles. And when we do that, we want to make sure that we know how that cascading is working with that. So for me, I try to at least get the paragraph style, the main one, the body text one, pretty dialed in to start with before I start making all these other things based on that. But again, I might come back later or the client might come back later and make a change and I'll have to change from there, as well. So that's kind of a start of how I get my paragraph style going. So after we get this sort of base going, the next thing I tend to do is start thinking about the character styles that I might need. And I'm going to add and add to all these styles as I go along, because right now I've got one body text. And anybody that's ever laid out anything with body text knows that there's body text and then there's body text with this exception and that exception. We might have bullets, we might have a smaller margin. And we're going to add those and we're going to base those on each other. But we're going to start simple and start with body text. And then I want to start thinking about some character styles that I might need, things that I use a lot in a document. Things like bold and italics, like I said, and some colored text as well. So let's, actually, I want to add a color really quick. So I'm going to come over to my color panel and let's just create one. And I just SHIFT selected on the spectrum down here to get this to show up. I'm just going to create a color, don't even care what it is. It's red. And I'm just going to go ahead and say "add to swatches." And so, now I have that in my swatches. I already had some other ones I could have worked with. Let's do our own red that's here. And I'm going to make some red text as well. Now when I make character styles, these I do slightly differently. I don't select anything. Because what we're doing, again, is we're defining the exceptions to the rule. So for instance, in this we have Bree as our body text and I'm going to make one italic. But that would mean that everything in body text that I apply the character style "italic" to will become Bree italic. But I don't want to define the style. I'm sorry, I mean the type face in the character style. Because if I define it as Bree and then later I change the body text font to Tahoma or something, then whatever is italicized will still be Bree italic. So again, I want to keep my styles very simple. I just want to say plus italic. And keep in mind if I have a font that I'm using in my paragraph style that doesn't have an italic, and I apply an italic character style to it, it won't do anything. It will still be there, it will still be hidden, but it won't actually be able to display italic because that font doesn't exist. But again, I'd make sure I have nothing selected. I don't want any information going into a new character style. So nothings selected, I clicked off it or did deselect all. And I'm going to go to the character style panel. I'm going to move this up just so we can see it a little bit better. We'll move this guy down. And I'm going to come to the bottom of the panel and, again, choose the new character style button, I'm going to OPT or ALT click that, and it's going to open up. Sure it is. There we go. I've got some clicking issues. It's not working. Maybe it's my fingers. So a new character style. And if you notice down here, style settings, none. So there's absolutely nothing in this style so far, which is exactly what we want. And I'm going to create one called "bold." And then I'm going to go over here and these basically are the different bits of the character panel and things that we can put into text. So under basic character formatting, I have an option for font style. And I can just type in "bold" or I can choose the pull down menu. If you notice, your list might be very, very long. And that means these are all the different faces that you have available for all the fonts that you have loaded. So you might have something like Oblique or Demi or anything like that, Black, or different numbers. Like Museo uses number weights instead. So I'm going to do bold. If I was using Museo, my bold would have to be like 500 bold and 700 bold and 900 bold, and all that. So just keep that in mind, that you need to use the right one for the fonts that you may or may not be using for your paragraph style. So I'm going to say bold. I'm going to go back to this general pane and look down here, and it says it's none. Which is how we start out, everything has none applied to it. Plus bold. So I'm going to add bold to any words or any characters that I assign this character style to. So I'll say, "Okay." And one thing, if you're using the newer versions, because most of this style stuff works for really old versions as well, but in the last couple versions they added this "add to my CC library." If you create a new style, it automatically wants to add it to your creative cloud library. So you want to turn that off and then that stays off while you're working. So I'll say "Okay." Unless you do want to add to your library, I don't in this case. So now I have a character style. So I want to make sure that this paragraph style is body text, and it is. And now when I am working with paragraphs styles, again, I don't need to select all the text, I just need to have my cursor in the paragraph that I want to effect. Or if I want to effect two of them, I can just make sure that I have a little bit of each there. In fact, I want to add something to kind of show you the break between these paragraphs. And the thing I do not want to do is that a hard return. I don't want that extra return actually sitting there. We always want to use "space before" or "space after" to give ourselves that breathing room. And I want to do that so that we can visually see where my paragraphs end. So what I'm going to do is, again, my cursor is just sitting in this first paragraph. Hopefully can see that, it's just sitting there in the first one. And I'm going to go up either to my paragraph panel, or in this case I'm going to go up to the control panel, and click the little paragraph button that's here. And I'm going to go over to this button and it says "space afterwards," and I want to give it a little bit of space after the paragraph and I want it to look like one hard return. So what I need to do is know how much letting I have right now. So right now I have 24-point letting. So I'm going to go back to my paragraph and go over here to the "space afterwards" and I'm going to type in 24 and I'm going to type PT, because that's going to make sure it puts 24 points of letting between my paragraphs. So I'm going to hit return. And when I do that, now it looks like I have a hard return, but there actually isn't that extra return. I don't want that because that thing shows up where we don't want it and it just causes a lot of problems. It can end up with a space at the top of a column or the top of a page and we don't want that. So I built that in, but now as soon as I did that there's that plus again, that override. We don't want that. So what I want to do is tell it this is what the new style needs to look like. So again, right click or CTRL click on the name and tell it to redefine the style. I actually have to have my cursor just sitting in there instead of text selected. So I put my cursor just in one of the paragraphs with the change on it and click redefine style. So now I did that, it added that space between all those paragraphs. And the reason I want to do that is just so you could see where my paragraphs ended. And then I need to apply some bold, because we made a character style for bold, and I do want to make sure that there's actually a bold for this font. So I'm just going to double check Bree, and we do actually have a bold. Now you notice the next one I was going to make was italic. But it doesn't have italic, it has oblique. So we need to make sure when we create an italic character style, it's actually an oblique character style. And that's something to keep in mind. If the font doesn't have italic, it will ignore it. So let's grab a couple of words. Just going to select these first two words that are here. And on top of this body text style, I'm going to give it a bold character style. So I'm just going to click bold. Hopefully you can see the difference there. It's kind of a thick font to start with. So anyway I have those and I can see that that's a bold font. I'm going to deselect everything again and create a couple of new characters styles. So just the same thing, OPT or ALT click and we'll call this one "oblique." Or we could call it italic and change it to oblique, and then if we change to a different font I might make one that's italic as well. And I'm just going to come here and we'll put oblque. And you notice the one thing I didn't put again was the font family. I didn't name what font family that was. I don't want that because I want it to remain whatever the body text is. I wanted to just add oblique on top of it. If I change it to something else, that oblique might not work if the font I change it to has italic instead of oblique. So I'll say "Okay" to that. And we can also select a word here and change that to oblique. So now that when I select this whole paragraph, if I hadn't used those character styles, I would have an override. But I don't. Everything's fine, there's no override. If I were to just come down here and make this bold and I make this word oblique, and then I select this entire paragraph by quadruple clicking on it, you notice I have that plus. So that means somewhere in there I've got some overrides . And the overrides might say mixed. It does. It says mixed because I've got too many for it to list. So I have to actually go and find those. I can come in here and click and just be like, "It's not there. It's not there. It's not there," until I hit this. Then I realize that's where it is. Or, instead, I can turn on this little teeny-tiny plus symbol and this tells me where all my overrides are. So I have nothing selected. You notice I suddenly have stuff in green? If I were to say change the justification of this, I'm going to make this left justified, I also get this green bar down the side. And what that's showing me is that the green bar is telling me that I have paragraph style overrides in this paragraph as well as these words that the character styling has been changed not through a character style. So I'm going to put my cursor back in this paragraph and I want to get rid of this bar. How do I do that? Well, I can just clear the overrides. So I'm going to OPT or ALT click on this name. Sometimes if you hit the actual name, it will highlight the name and think you want to change it. So try and click over off to the side a little bit. I'm just going to click at once with the OPT key, and now that's actually changed. It's hard to tell. It's a weird redraw problem that happens a lot. I just zoomed out and back in and now that's gone, but all my overrides are gone. If I didn't want to clear the character style overrides, I'm going to undo that so I get everything back. What I wanted is I wanted to clear the justification overrides. So I can come down here to the bottom and it tells me right here that I can CMD click to clear the character ones or CMD+SHIFT click to clear just the paragraph ones. So I'm going to do that. I'm going to CMD+SHIFT+click and just clear the paragraph ones. So now that paragraph one is fine, but I also have this still in these different styling. And the reason for that is I want to be able to see them and say, "Oh, that's bold. I need to apply this character style. And this is oblique and I need to apply that character style." So now all those overrides are gone. This entire paragraph has no more overrides. Let's click all that and there's no more overrides. So far that makes sense. We want to always be checking that. So we can leave this on and any time anything gets overridden, it will highlight the layer color for you. I tend to turn it off and only turn it on when I want to check that. So hopefully everybody's got that. That's kind of how I add character styles on top. I'm going to add one more, we're just going to make a new one, and we'll call this "red." And I'll come down to color and we'll grab that red that we created earlier, and just say "Okay." So basically that's it. If I wanted to change this to red, I would just tell it "red." Oops. Let's assign that. There we go. And again, if I needed red bold, I would need to create a new character style called "red bold" for that to happen because you can only put one character style on any piece of text. So that's kind of how we got started. I'm going to actually select everything here. I don't want any character style so I'm going to hit none. So there's no character styling. Everything is set to body text and that way anything I grab for a sample we already know is the right text that's there, the right style. All right. So how do I go from this to all my other styles? Well, I do based on styles. So I tell it, "This is body text." But what I'd like is I'd like most of my text to probably use the same font. In fact, I'm going to see if I have a better font to choose from. Let's actually choose one that I know has a lot of different options. Let's go with... Oh, Palatino usually has some good amount. That will work. I want to make sure I had enough, I had some bold, some bold italic, that's good. I'm going to have to change that oblique one to italic as well. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to change my body text to Palatino, so I'm just changing it to Palatino regular. And again, I have to override that. So I'm going to right click on that and tell it "redefine style." And I need to make sure that my oblique gets changed to italic. I have nothing selected. The other thing you want to be aware of is if you have something selected and you double click on a style to edit it, whatever you have selected will get that style applied to it. So there's a couple of ways around that. Whenever you're editing your styles, make sure that you either have nothing selected. Or if you need it selected, hold down all your modifier keys. That's what I usually do. So SHIFT+OPT+CMD or SHIFT+ALT+CTRL on a PC and and then double click, and it doesn't apply, whatever you have selected, doesn't apply the style to that. Or you can right click or CTRL click on a style and hit edit the style. So I'm going to change oblique really quickly to italic. So this is something you may have to do when you change the font to something else and you realize there's no oblique in Palatino, I need to change that to italic. I changed the name just to make it a little more in line with what we actually have. You might have called it "emphasis." So you might not even worry about it whether it's oblique or italic, you might have named it emphasis, and I changed that to italic. And so now, any place that I have that characteristic applied will automatically change for me. So let's start making other styles based on the style that's here. So for me, I think, "Okay, this is my body text. Now I want maybe a header and maybe a subhead or a byline or something like that." So here's how I do it anyway. I find this to be the easiest. If I select some text, again, by having text selected, it automatically feeds that information into the new style. So what I'm actually going to do is I'm going to create a new headline here and I'm just going to call it "headline." And I'm going to select all that and I'm going to assign the body text style to it. I want to make sure that there's no little plus. Sometimes that happens even though you assign a style. Sometimes there's this plus out of nowhere. So you're going to get pretty used to hitting the OPT or the ALT key to clear every override that comes on there, because sometimes things just wander in from who knows where. So I'm always clearing those out. I want to make sure that I have no character style applied. It's basic. It's body text. And then what I can do is I can either just start visually making changes like we have done, or I can go in and create a new style right off of this. But for me, when I'm building it off of something like body text, I have assigned body text and now I'm going to make some other options available to me. So what I want to do is select that and come immediately down to the new paragraph style "button," OPT or ALT click on that, and I'm going to call this "headline." But the reason I selected body text first is so that this automatically gets filled in for me based on body text. So it knows I started with that and it says, "Oh, you must want to base that style on it." And the reason for that is if I base it on body text and I take my byline or my subhead and base it on body text, when I change body text, everything that it has in common with these newer styles will also all change. So right now it's body text plus something different. So now we're going to add the plus. What is different about a headline style from body text? Well, the first thing might be that it's bold. So I'm going to leave everything the same except I'm going to change this to bold. And then I'm also going to change the size from 20 to 32 points. When I hit tab, my letting will change because I have that set to auto. So it's changing based on the size of my font, and I'm basically going to leave it at that. So it's bigger and it's bolder, but it's the same font. I'm going to make sure my "add to library" is turned off. And I can come back here and I can do a couple of things. I can apply my style to the selection, so the text that I have selected. And then I can double check and it says it's body text plus bold plus 32 point. And what that means is all these plus , these ones that are here, those will remain the same even if I change body text size, if I up it by 2 points, the header will remain at 32 points. But if I change the font which it has in common, if I change that, it will also change in the headline. So hopefully everybody's got that's how we start thinking about how we build and build and build. So I might have 50 different things, 50 different styles, that are all based on body text. There are different types of body text, different headers , subheads, sub subheads, things like that, but I might have things that don't go along that whole cascading route. Things like captions. Captions almost always, to me, I have them in a completely different font anyway. So I don't want those to necessarily be assign that. Or it might have fonts that I use in a table and I always want those to look like, I don't know, if it's like a informational table, I might want it to look like an old typewriter. And I always want it to look like that even though the body text might change. So I tend not to put those in that cascading flow. But body text, I'm working on a header, we're going to do a subhead, it all kind of builds on the same thing. So I'll say, "Okay" to that. And now it already looks like that because I said apply style to selection. It's set for the headline. I'm going to do the same thing with a subhead. So I'll just create subhead here. And again, I'm going to tell it body text to start with because I want it based on body text. And in this case, I'm going to go ahead and, instead of opening up that dialog box, I'm going to say, "Okay. That looks good but I'd like to make it bigger." So instead of punching in the numbers in the style dialog box, I'm going to just visually say, "Oh, I like that. I think maybe italic would be good. Maybe bold italic. Let's look and see what that looks like. I like that." And I come down here and of course it says, "You have overrides," because I took body text and I made changes to it. Well, I want to actually now say this is a new style. And this is what happens why I get all these overrides from people all the time. I always say if you have one and you have a plus next to it, but it is something you need, immediately create a new style from that. So now I want the subhead that looks a lot like body text with a few different things. So I'm going to say OPT or ALT click on the new style, pop that open, and we'll call this subheading. And again, body text is already there based on, it already says, plus bold italic, plus 24 point. So I'll say, "Okay." So now that's a subhead. So now I have a header, a subhead, and body text based on that. Now if I change body text to something else entirely, let's change that to a different format. We'll change this, let's see if I have Minion, which is good. I do have Minion Pro, and I'll say, "Okay." And when I do that, all those fonts changed as well. So again, we're trying to build this flow. I'm going to undo that. Just jump backwards so it's Palatino again. So we want to build that flow so that when I decide I don't like Palatino and I need to use something out of type kit, I can change it in one spot and everything flows down. So always be thinking about how those fit together. All right. So that's how I keep making changes, keep tweaking off of there. Any questions? - [Man] Yeah. - Yeah. Cool. - We do have some questions. - All right. - Is it best to put a drop cap into character styles or paragraph styles? Thank you for presenting. You're always so clear and helpful. - Awesome. Cool. Yeah, the drop styles, the drop cap styles, we're actually going to do that. That's in paragraph styles, so its actually built in. - Sweet. So we're going to cover it. - Yep. So that's something that we want to build in because it actually...we're going to set up a character style called "drop cap." - Okay. - And it becomes part of the paragraph style. - Sweet. - So it's this thing called nesting. So that's actually what we're going to do next. So do you have another question? - Yeah. - All right. - Does it make sense to name your colors? I heard that by doing that one can change a specific color and not the entire document. Or is that not necessary? Thanks very much. - If you have a color, it doesn't matter if it's named or not. I mean, you should name your colors because it makes it a lot easier, obviously. But if you have it there and you change it in a style or anywhere, once you change it any place that you've applied that color. Now you could have one that is exactly the same as the built in red and you call it "my red," because you only want some things to turn red. And so you can always have things that are defined exactly the same so they look the same, but with different names they can behave differently inside the document.

Class Description

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


a Creativelive Student

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!

DOlores RUsso

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!