9 Replies Latest reply on Mar 15, 2013 10:44 AM by Amikoe

    Applying a Paragraph Style that ignores local formatting

    Amikoe Level 1

      I'm cleaning up a book that is a compilation created by several people, each using his/her own styles (a mess…).  I managed to convert all their different fonts styles to a simple, consistent 2-font-style text (headers and body text), and now I need to clean up the inconsistencies, mostly left margins, which are all over the place (headers should have a different left margin than the body text)....

       

      So I need paragraph styles which are limited to only certain parameters, IGNORING THE CHARACTER STYLES AND THEIR LOCAL FORMATTING, like BOLD text or UNDERLINED text which is inserted here and there, and which I must keep.

       

      Can I do that?  Can I created a paragraph style which is STRIPPED OF, or IGNORING any character styles?...

       

      Thanks...

       

      .....EDIT:   in other words, I'd expect (OK, if there isn't such option, I'd request) Adobe to have an option where, when I select text that has some local formatting, I could right-click on the paragraph-style, and choose "SELECT PARAGRAPH STYLE X, KEEP OVERRIDES"

       

      Message was edited by: Amikoe

        • 1. Re: Applying a Paragraph Style that ignores local formatting
          Amikoe Level 1

          Wait, but then SOMETIMES....  When I select text that has some local formatting, I click on the parag. style ONCE, it will KEEP the locals, and the style's name will now show a + next to it.  Once I click it AGAIN --- that's when the local formatting will disappear, together with the + marking....

           

          But it's not always working that way...

           

          Message was edited by: Amikoe

          • 2. Re: Applying a Paragraph Style that ignores local formatting
            Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

            Applied Character styles should ALWAYS be preserved when you assign a Paragraph style unless you consciously choose to remove them, They are not considered overrides. Locally applied formatting is normally preserved, and you see the + sign after the style name indicating a local override. If you hold the Alt/Opt key while clicking the style name, the local overrides are removed. Also, if the text conforms to the style definition, even manually styled, when you assign a style, that override disappears and will be lost if you change the style again.

            • 3. Re: Applying a Paragraph Style that ignores local formatting
              Amikoe Level 1

              ...In other words, there's no way today to assign a PARAGRAPH STYLE SHEET that would only assign certain paragraph-level parameters, like Left Margin + Space Before + Drop Cap, while telling ID to IGNORE the typeface/s used within the paragraph, ignore size/s, case/s, usage of underlines, or any other CHARACTER-LEVEL STYLES. 


              Am I right?

              • 4. Re: Applying a Paragraph Style that ignores local formatting
                Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                Let's be sure we use the term "style" correctly here. A style is a collection of "attributes" that is assigned. Paragraph styles include basic text formatting attributes -- font, size, font style (normal, bol, italic...), character color, as well as paragraph level attributes like indents, alignement, justification, tabs and spacing, and keep options. Character Styles apply only character level attributes and are used to alter special case text strings inside a paragraph, such as applying bold or red to an isolated word or words inside a paragraph.

                 

                It is certainly possible to change things like paragraph indent, space before, or drop caps for any paragraph without affecting any other attribute, but that would be done with local overrides rather than by using a style. The point of using a style, though, is that each type of paragraph formatting required should have a style defined (and that style applied to the paragraphs) so that if changes are requires, such as a change inthe size of body text, or a change to the face used for headings, it can be applied across the entire document in one step by editing the style definition.

                 

                It is not impossible to "fix" a file that was created using a hodgepodge of different styles and local overrides, but it requires a bit of work, much of which can be done using automation. See http://indesignsecrets.com/free-scripts-help-fix-word-formatting.php and http://indesignsecrets.com/perfectpreptext-a-smart-way-to-style-local-formatting.php for some scripting options to turn local formatting into styles. Typically, these scripts would be run on a document near the beginning of work after importing the text, then a series of Find/Change queries can be used to identify the various types of paragraphs that should have styles applied and to apply the correct paragraph style. There are entire threads here, and I expect other tutorials on the web, about how to prepare raw imported text. Google is your friend for that.

                 

                It's also possible to use Find/Change to apply local formatting overrides to paragraphs that meet your search criteria WITHOUT applying any styles at all, but I'm a believer in the use of styles and don't really recommend working that way.

                • 5. Re: Applying a Paragraph Style that ignores local formatting
                  Amikoe Level 1

                  Thanks, Peter. I will certainly look into the links later, at a more quiet time....

                   

                  But I'm just curious, I still have a very practical question to get me going now:  The book I got (a golf-club's rules book that's a patchwork (originally written some 10 years ago…), a mishmash (ragbag in Yiddish) of styles, written by different people, updated at different times…  I managed to narrow down the number of typefaces used, made all the text same size, leading, color (you should see how many kinds of "BLACK" colors were assigned to different sections...), etc.

                   

                  The only issue I still have unsolved is those left margins, which are all over the place… So my practical question is, could I create a paragraph style that would ONLY refer to a specific paragraph-level attribute, like left margin, IGNORING any character attributes?

                  • 6. Re: Applying a Paragraph Style that ignores local formatting
                    Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                    No. A paragraph style ALWAYS includes a basic character styling specification.

                     

                    But why don't you want to do that? How many different styles do you actually need (i.e. how many actual different paragraph formatting options do you really want)?

                     

                    If all your headings are supposed to be in one typeface in one size, and your body paragraphs in another, you can define paragraph styles withthe correct specifications, then do a series of  Find/Change operations specifiying a character formatting found only in each style, then apply that style to the found text. A properly styled document will be a big help going forward.

                    • 7. Re: Applying a Paragraph Style that ignores local formatting
                      Amikoe Level 1

                      The truth is, I'm not interested at this point to "save the world," once and for all create a clean, professionally formatted, properly-styled file... Nobody is paying me for this, and the next time the club will be making major changes could be years from now...

                       

                      There are all kind of variants within the text, like underlined words here and there, or bolded, or italicized, all caps, etc.  I'm not in a position to change those attributes (in a way, this is a LEGAL document), so I'm very careful not to deal with paragraph styles that would affect the text itself in any way, beyond what I already did, namely, create a better consistency when it comes to number of typefaces (I got the original file with 7, I now have 2) and sizes used.

                      • 8. Re: Applying a Paragraph Style that ignores local formatting
                        Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                        Isolated bold, underline or italics can be preserved as character styles BEFORE you apply paragraph styles. You can do it using Find/Change one at a time for the attributes, or the scripts in the first link I gave you above will automate it. Work on a copy of the file for safety.

                         

                        If you aren't interested in doing a proper cleanup and you cannot figure out something usnque abou tthe types of paragraphs that need different indents (so you can use Find/Change), you'll have to go through paragraph by paragraph fixing as you go.

                        • 9. Re: Applying a Paragraph Style that ignores local formatting
                          Amikoe Level 1

                          OK, I guess it's worth looking into it before proceeding with the job, even if for future projects... Thanks, Peter.