InDesign Tutorial 14 of 20

 Character Styles

A free InDesign tutorial from the worlds best Adobe trainers!

Character styles

character style example

It is sometimes confusing to know where a Character Style and Paragraph Style differ. The main difference is that a Paragraph Style will apply to the whole paragraph, where a Character Style will only apply to the text you have highlighted when you choose that Character Style. You would use a Paragraph style to style whole blocks of text (like the body copy) and then use a Character style to add to or amend the text within that block (for example to change it to bold or italic).

For example you would style your body copy in Arial, 10pt, Black. You then might apply a character style to highlight key words by making them bold. The Character style would have only one simple attribute - Bold. This means the first paragraph is Arial, 10pt, Black with part of it bold. This is important for longer documents, making changes easy.

  1. Highlight the first paragraph and change the font to a bold version.
    Character styles
  2. Window Styles Character Styles.Window Styles Character Styles
  3. Make sure the bold paragraph is highlighted.
  4. Choose the Create New Style button
  5. Double click the new style called ‘Character Style 1’ and name it ‘Bold’.
    Character style options
  6. Done. You can now use this Character Style throughout your document.
  7. Highlight a word in the second text box.
  8. Choose the ‘Bold’ option from your Character Styles panel.
    Note: You can amend your character style but double clicking it in the Character Styles panel.

Video transcription

InDesign CC tutorial 14: How to use a Character style.

Hi, this is Pip Payne from Bring Your Own Laptop.

This InDesign tutorial is about character styles. Paragraph and character and styles live under type. And here we have character styles, notice its nested with character styles there. In the same way that we create a paragraph style we can do the same thing at a character level by simply selecting the text, making a change, and going to options, new character style, and I’m going to type in bold, click apply style to selection and there is our style.

I can now select any amount of text and apply character level style to activate. A quick way of applying styles is to select the eye dropper tool, click on the style that your interested in and you can click and drag through any text and quickly apply that to it.

Then if I go back to my text tool and select it, you’ll notice that it has picked up the character style. If we double click on the character style we can see all of the character styles that are available. Basic character formats, advanced character formats character colour and even underline option strike through and here for export tagging for E pub HTML. And while we’ve dug down into character level formatting lets just have a quick look at character formatting controls here. With the paragraph ones here, you’ll notice its all about paragraphs where as character, we have the typeface, bold the font, leading and also some different things , all caps, super scripts, under line, kerning and tracking.

We can extend the face upwards, we can baseline shift it, we can horizontally scale it and the nasty skewing. Notice that you can actually put a line or a stroke around your type. It could be useful for a heading where you wanted it a little bit fatter or you wanted to put a colour round it. The style is also reflected up here, character style. Updating a character style is very straight forward, similar to paragraphs. Updating, select the style that your wanting, lets say we change it to, bold italic, a little plus appears and if we go to the options we can redefine style. Now notice that all the type face that was in that style is changed.

And that's it from this Bring Your Own Laptop in tutorial in character styles.

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