InDesign Tutorial 13 of 20

Paragraph styles

A free InDesign tutorial from the worlds best Adobe trainers!

Paragraph styles

A paragraph style is a combination of paragraph formatting (including font formatting) characteristics that are named and stored as a set. You can select a paragraph and use a paragraph style to apply all of the formatting characteristics to the paragraph simultaneously.

Another benefit is if when you need to make a change to a paragraph (change font or leading) you can change the Paragraph Style and everything that links with that style will update easily.

  1. File > Open > InDesign Exercise Files > Styles > Paragraph Style.indd
  2. Style the first text box, picking a font, size, leading etc.
  3. Highlight the first paragraph:
    Highlight text
  4. Window > Styles > Paragraph Styles
    Paragraph Styles
  5. Choose the Create New Style button
  6. Double click the new style called ‘Paragraph Style 1’ and name it ‘Body Copy’.
    Paragraph style options
  7. Choose Ok.
  8. Highlight all of the first box and apply the ‘Body Copy’ style by clicking it once in the Paragraph Style panel. Body copy style
    Note: Your Body Copy style is now linked to the text in the first box. Lets apply the style to the second text box.
  9. Highlight all the text in the second text box and apply the ‘Body Copy’ style by clicking it once in the Paragraph Style panel. Para Styles InDesign
    Note: To amend the style of all the text linked to the paragraph style follow these steps:
  10. Double click the style ‘Body Copy’ in the Paragraph Styles panel.
  11. Choose the Basic Character Formats from the left menu items.
  12. Make any changes (I’ve changed the font type from Arial to Rotis)
     Paragraph Style Options
  13. Choose Ok
    Updating paragraph styles in InDesign
  14. The new font is applied to all the text in the document.

Video transcription

InDesign CC tutorial 13: How to use a paragraph style.

Hi this is Pip Payne and you are about to see a tutorial from InDesign CC on paragraph styles and I’ve found the one of the main things that differentiates a power user from a new user is consistently using paragraph styles, no matter what.

They're a time saver and a very good way to stop errors. Particularly in consistence I’m going to magically put some text on the page and here you see I’m using lorem ipsum and I’ve also set up a nice bit of space between the paragraphs. Now this is the best practice for putting paragraph styles together. We start off by selecting one complete paragraph and going to my character format and controls and contents menu above and choosing a type face.

Now I’m going to choose from the top here which are previously used type faces that come up and I’m going to try that and I’m going to change it perhaps to ten point and notice that the automatic letting of twenty percent is in brackets of twelve points but I’m going to change it from auto to fourteen points. That gives it a bit more space between the paragraphs. So lets say I’m happy with that I’ll go to my paragraph settings now. I’ve put seven mil between paragraphs. Now that's probably going to be too much for anything so two mils is probably quite a good thing to do. So once you’ve got your type as you want it. now you might want to do a style now but you also might want to compare it to another type face. So lets look at another type face and its a good idea to set them up side by side so you can see what's going on.

Lets choose a serif face. So again I’ll change the leading, again I’ll take this down to two. Which one do we like ? Well I think I’m going to stick with the top one. So I can click anywhere inside that text box. Go to type, paragraph styles, and this is best practice for creating paragraph styles. You select a paragraph you want to use and then its easy as. New paragraph style. Give it a name and we’ll run with that. Notice that its not selected so I change that to body.

Now if I want to create another style I can go new paragraph style - body two. Apply style to selection. That saves a wee bit of time as it will now already be styled to that selection. I can control zero, apple zero, to see the whole page. Select everything, all the text, that particular type face. If you're working with a document that has a lot of type faces and styles, be aware that you can create a new style in group and then group certain styles together. Space between paragraphs seems to be the common theme but be aware that you can differentiate paragraphs by putting a space at the beginning of your sentence.

So if I move first line indent and I now take out the space here we can see that it is a new paragraph by the indent. And if we save this paragraph style. I’ll just make a new paragraph style and I’ll call it first line indent. Apply the style to selection and I now have a style. And what if I want to update my style. That's very easy as well. If I take out the space after here. You notice a plus applies what means that something has been added and I can simply go redefine style. And the style is set. I can select everything and call it. Notice its a little bit tidier visually and also has the benefit of allowing columns to line up. Plus not many people use it theses days. so you can stand out from the crowd.

Related articles