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51 - Why Should I Use Character Styles In Adobe InDesign CC


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Hi there, we're going to create a Character Style. Why? Because we've created a Character Style for this first paragraph here, and the nice thing about it is that because it's connected to a Paragraph Style I can open up 'Body Copy', just pick a new font, let's pick 'Comic Sans'. And our lovely Character Style adjusts, it's pink, it's Bold, but it's taking the lead from our Paragraph Style and staying in that font, but being bold and pink, and awfully Comic Sans, sorry, Comic Sans. All right, let's look at how to set one of these up.

So to learn what a Character Style does let's first of all go into 'File', 'New', and create a 'Document'. Let's go to 'Print', we're going to use 'US Letter', make it '2' columns. Click 'Create'. I'm going to bring in some long text, so let's go to 'File', 'Place'. I'm going to use one of our earlier shortcuts. I'm want to bring it over from '06 Style', it's called 'Text'. I want to turn on 'Show Import Options', but I don't want to turn that on forever. So remember, I hold down my 'Shift' key, and I click 'Open'. I get the little custom box, just for this one instance. And I'm going to say 'Remove Styles', click 'OK'. And, remember another little shortcut from earlier? What do I hold on my keyboard so this generates lots of pages? Hold down 'Shift', and get that little curly arrow icon. If I click once in the top left here it generates pages for me all the way through, and they're all linked. Lovely!

First of all we need to create a Paragraph Style because you'd never have a Character Style without a Paragraph Style. You kind of use them on top of, to add value to a Paragraph Style. So we're going to select on all, we're going to pick-- I'm going to pick 'Roboto Medium'. I'm going to pick '10 pt', and I'm going to create a Paragraph Style. So 'Window', 'Styles', 'Paragraph Styles'. We've created lots of Paragraph Styles already. Click on 'Create New Style', double click where it says 'Paragraph Style 1' We're going to call ours 'Body Copy'. So we've got a Paragraph Style, now we want Character Styles.

The reason we have a Character Style is that you can add a little bit of extraness to our Paragraph Style. Let's say I want to do this first paragraph here, and I want to go through and make it bold, and a color. I want to go through and make it bold, and I want to make it pink color. So that could be my first Paragraph Style. I can create any other Paragraph Style but then I've got two styles doing a lot of the same work. The only thing different about this is the color and the boldness. So what I want to do, I'm going to undo that, and going to have nothing selected, and create a Character Style that does one thing. So I've got nothing selected, new Paragraph Style, click on this one. He's going to be 'First Para'.

What I'm going to do is, under 'Basic Formats' I'm going to say, whatever font it is, make it bold, and the Character color now is going to be switched out for the pink. Click 'OK'. That Character Style does nothing but those two things. You double click on it and say, I'm bold, and I'm pink. The cool thing about it is that if I apply it to my Paragraph Style Body Copy on top of it, I'm going to add this paragraph. Where it becomes quite useful, especially over longer documents is that if I go in and adjust Paragraph Styles now, so with nothing selected, double click 'Body Copy', 'Basic Character Formats'. Actually we're not using Roboto anymore, we're going to be using Arial. But that's okay, click on 'OK'. Now you'll notice that it changed from Roboto to Arial including everything that was underneath this Character Style because that Character Style said, remember, just do two things, be bold, be pink. So it doesn't really care what font it is. Let's go and change it again, something a bit more craziness. Let's go mad, okay? 'Comic Sans'. The font we love to hate, but it's bold and pink, let's undo that quick.

So that's the reason for a Character Style. They're quite simple, you might already know about them but we need to know this to carry on with lots of other styles we're going to create like Nested, and Grep. So let's get on with those now.

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