"Brilliant" InDesign Trick for Style Sheets

January 29, 2004 - 1:00am ||| 0 Comments | Add new

[Though it's an InDesign tip, this is from a post I sent to the QuarkXPress listserv. The original thread was about some of the members' experiences in moving to InDesign from Quark, and the message I replied to is partially quoted below. David Blatner's message follows my reply.]

Subscriber Post:

"Time will tell if CS will be productive — but so far I'm very much liking the experience. It's harder to select successive objects in the stacking order, but the use of layers gives you some better control. Other than that, my two big gripes: character styles that aren't linked to paragraph styles and H&Js must be defined individually."

My Reply:

Re "character styles that aren't linked to paragraph styles": In Quark I usually just spec character formats by hand within the paragraph style sheet specs … that is, I leave Character at Default and click the Edit button to make char-based settings. I only use Char style sheets for things like numbers, bullets, lead-ins etc.

Was I working with Quark's style sheets completely different than most people all these years? I'm curious.

But anyway… in InDy CS you *can* link Char style sheets to Par ones via Nested Styles…not really how they were meant to be used, I guess though.

In your Par Style Options dialog, add a New Nested Style, and choose the Character Style you want from the drop-down. For the next two fields, choose "up to" and "1". For the last field, where you specify a stop character (where the Char style should stop being applied), just spec something that doesn't exist in your story. For example, an Inline Graphic Marker or Auto Page Number.

Since InDy never encounters a stop character, the Char Style Sheet is applied (linked to) all the text in the Par Style sheet.

[To which David Blatner, best-selling author of a bazillion books on Quark and InDesign, who is also a Quark listserv subscriber, replied to the list with the following. Of course I *have* to share it, it made my day, geekwise:]

Anne-Marie, that's a brilliant technique for basing a paragraph style on a character style! Thank you.

[Yep. He called me brilliant. Or at least my tip brilliant, almost as good. Let me post it once again, in case you missed it … along with the rest of his reply:]

Anne-Marie, that's a brilliant technique for basing a paragraph style on a character style! Thank you.

I did use this a lot in QX. The idea is that you can have five paragraph styles all based on the same character style… then, if you change that character style, it updates throughout the paragraph styles. It's very helpful in book and magazine work, I think, and something I definitely missed in ID.

You can do it in ID, but you do it by basing five paragraph styles on one other paragraph style. Not entirely the same thing, but it gets the job done.

David Blatner
(typing like mad to get "real world indesign cs" out the door)

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