14 Replies Latest reply on Aug 5, 2011 8:16 AM by aganess

    How to use Paragraph styles??

    aganess

      Can anyone explain how to use Paragraph Styles? OMG! These are so difficult for me to grasp - I cannot seem to figure out how to create a paragraph style inside a document, in the first place, then I don't seem to be able to apply it to the rest of the paragraphs in the document.  Every time I try this I lose track and then I lose patience!

      I do appreciate this forum and hope some one can clarify this problem for me, I will be eternally grateful. I am trying to pull together my illustrations and story into a booklet for kids and need to get it out to publishers (fingers crossed!) before I forget why I started being a Graphic Design and Illustration student in the first place

      Thanks!

        • 1. Re: How to use Paragraph styles??
          peter minneapolis Level 4

          aganess wrote:

           

          Can anyone explain how to use Paragraph Styles? OMG! These are so difficult for me to grasp - I cannot seem to figure out how to create a paragraph style inside a document, in the first place, then I don't seem to be able to apply it to the rest of the paragraphs in the document.  Every time I try this I lose track and then I lose patience!

          I do appreciate this forum and hope some one can clarify this problem for me, I will be eternally grateful. I am trying to pull together my illustrations and story into a booklet for kids and need to get it out to publishers (fingers crossed!) before I forget why I started being a Graphic Design and Illustration student in the first place

          Thanks!

          I've been there. It was long ago, but I still remember the confusion and despair.

           

          First of all, know that you'll survive and wonder what the hang-up was. If you're a special person, promise yourself never to forget what the hang-up was, so you can help others when it's time to pay back the community.

           

          Think of how things work without paragraph styles. When you want a paragraph to look a certain way, whatever the software you've used to work with text, you select ("highlight") some text and look for ways to style it (control its appearance, or "attributes," or "characteristics," or "features.") You choose a font (Helvetica, Times, etc.) a weight (bold, extra-bold, light,) a text color, an angle (italic, roman,) space between the lines ("leading,") space between paragraphs (space before, space after,) and so on. Without named styles, you have to choose each property from a menu or list when the text is selected. The next time you want that same paragraph look, you can either remember everything you did and repeat it with newly-selected text, or you can copy and paste one that has the look, then change the text in it.

           

          However, it doesn't take long to realize that there must be a way to save these settings, and pull them up and slap them on other selections, with a couple of clicks, and be sure you didn't forget to do something. Creating and saving a paragraph's collection of property settings is called "defining a style." Most modern text manipulation software can save paragraph styles that apply to complete paragraphs, and they can also save character styles, which apply to portions of text within a paragraph. A paragraph of regular text might be use a style called "body." You can select a bunch of miscellaneously-styled paragraphs and apply the body style to them with one click on the list of defined paragraph styles.

           

          If you decide some time that you would like the body style to look different, you can redefine it, and all the paragraphs in the current document that use body style will change to show the look of the new definition.

           

          Within a body paragraph, you can have bold text and italic text, and even bold italic text, and so on. You can always select text within a paragraph and find a menu that offers to bold or italicize the selected text. But you can also create a character style for each of these appearances, and apply them to selections. As with paragraph styles, character styles are more controllable and more useful than simply highlighting and applying a property. If you use a character style that applies bold, you can change the definition of its character style and all the places it's used in a document will show the change.

           

          Here's an example that shows the usefulness of named character styles:

           

          According to standard style guides for writing that were developed before computers, scientific names, foreign-language words in a host language like English, titles of documents, films and poems, and a few other things, are supposed to be italicized. With character styles, you can create and apply character styles for each category of italicized text. In this forum, **** sapiens, The Pentagon Papers, and Gone With the Wind, all look the same, but with character styles, styles named "scientificName," "bookTitle," and "filmTitle," can distinguish between the italicized texts. Sometimes you need to be able to treat these things differently, and styles is one way to keep them organized.

           

          Most text-writing tools can create a named style from an existing example. So, if you've tailored a paragraph for your body text, you can use InDesign to define the body style from the selected example paragraph.

           

          Search Google for terms like "InDesign create paragraph style from selection," "InDesign redefine style," "InDesign create character style," and "InDesign tutorial character and paragraph styles."

           

          HTH

           

          Regards,

           

          Peter

          _______________________

          Peter Gold

          KnowHow ProServices

          • 2. Re: How to use Paragraph styles??
            aganess Level 1

            Yes, Peter, this DOES help and I am keeping this email on my desktop, in my ART folder, printing it out and nailing it to the wall because you didn't just explain the steps, but you answered in the way of all good teachers: you gave the big picture, which is how we learn best.

            I thank you for your understanding of the angst, the process and the need.  And  I will pay it forward (should I ever know the answer to anything.)

            Best to you,

            Aganess

            • 3. Re: How to use Paragraph styles??
              Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

              Very nicely done, Peter G.


              • 4. Re: How to use Paragraph styles??
                [Jongware] Most Valuable Participant

                It should also be mentioned using Paragraph Styles the Proper & Just Way will help you get a clearer view of your text.

                 

                A heading is not the same as a plain text paragraph "with some other font, and some space above, and below". A heading is a structural element in its own right, regardless of what it looks like. So don't use a "plain text style" and a lot of manual adjustments to create headers, but make a dedicated "header" style and use that. If you need a sub-header, don't re-use your existing header one but create a new one instead.

                 

                (Although it's safe, and I'd actually recommend, to base the design of one header upon another.)

                1 person found this helpful
                • 5. Re: How to use Paragraph styles??
                  aganess Level 1

                  Thanks for adding to the above info - this is something I hadn't thought about - the header being its own unique entity.

                  Helpful, I appreciate it.

                  • 6. Re: How to use Paragraph styles??
                    peter minneapolis Level 4

                    aganess wrote:

                     

                    Yes, Peter, this DOES help and I am keeping this email on my desktop, in my ART folder, printing it out and nailing it to the wall because you didn't just explain the steps, but you answered in the way of all good teachers: you gave the big picture, which is how we learn best.

                    I thank you for your understanding of the angst, the process and the need.  And  I will pay it forward (should I ever know the answer to anything.)

                    Best to you,

                    Aganess

                     

                    You're welcome, Aganess.

                     

                    NOTE: My reply is locked now, so I can't edit it to fix the dang excessive stretch of bold text. I deleted some bolded text when I was writing, and I missed its stubborn return when I posted. Sometimes the edit mode of these posts gets goofy and mean-spiritiedly reapplies deleted formatting. BAH! If the forum's editing tools knew styles, well....

                     

                    Regards,

                     

                    Peter

                    _______________________

                    Peter Gold

                    KnowHow ProServices

                    • 7. Re: How to use Paragraph styles??
                      peter minneapolis Level 4

                      [Jongware] wrote:

                       

                      It should also be mentioned using Paragraph Styles the Proper & Just Way will help you get a clearer view of your text.

                       

                      A heading is not the same as a plain text paragraph "with some other font, and some space above, and below". A heading is a structural element in its own right, regardless of what it looks like. So don't use a "plain text style" and a lot of manual adjustments to create headers, but make a dedicated "header" style and use that. If you need a sub-header, don't re-use your existing header one but create a new one instead.

                       

                      (Although it's safe, and I'd actually recommend, to base the design of one header upon another.)

                      FrameMaker users have been wishing for dependent character and paragraph styles for 20 years. When I started working with InDesign, I thought it would be great, but I found that you need to plan the style structures wisely, because if you change an underlying style, all its descendants change, too. If you don't inspect everywhere these changes ripple out to, some unpleasant surprises can occur. IOW, "be careful what you wish for."  When you need to redefine multiple styles, in InDesign you may need to disentangle underlying styles from their descendants. Unlike InDesign, FrameMaker can redefine selected multiple independent styles in a single action, so the result is like changing an underlying style.

                       

                      Regards,

                       

                      Peter

                      _______________________

                      Peter Gold

                      KnowHow ProServices

                      1 person found this helpful
                      • 8. Re: How to use Paragraph styles??
                        peter minneapolis Level 4

                        aganess wrote:

                         

                        Thanks for adding to the above info - this is something I hadn't thought about - the header being its own unique entity.

                        Helpful, I appreciate it.

                        This is a really important insight - seeing text as structured language as well as for the visual design qualities of its typography. Concepts and meanings in linear progressive thinking presented in writing, are communicated best to readers when there are visual cues to the structure. Headings, subheadings, body text, etc. When the visual cues run amok, you get things like Wired Magazine. When the concepts and content aren't linear, you get things like poetry.

                        Regards,
                        Peter
                        _______________________
                        Peter Gold
                        KnowHow ProServices
                        • 9. Re: How to use Paragraph styles??
                          peter minneapolis Level 4

                          P Spier wrote:

                           

                          Very nicely done, Peter G.

                          Thanks, Peter S.

                           

                          BTW, do you notice that even posting "thanks" for congratulatory posts increments both posters' scores

                          Regards,
                          Peter
                          _______________________
                          Peter Gold
                          KnowHow ProServices
                          • 10. Re: How to use Paragraph styles??
                            Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                            I lost count 10,000 posts back...


                            • 11. Re: How to use Paragraph styles??
                              peter minneapolis Level 4

                              P Spier wrote:

                               

                              I lost count 10,000 posts back...

                              Whether or not you're counting, you just added one. And so did I.

                               

                              Regards,

                               

                              Peter

                              _______________________

                              Peter Gold

                              KnowHow ProServices

                                 
                              • 12. Re: How to use Paragraph styles??
                                aganess Level 1

                                Thank you!

                                • 13. Re: How to use Paragraph styles??
                                  aganess Level 1

                                  I agree with you, Peter, if the editing tools had "styles" we could all be a lot more creative in the forums - which is a good place to be so!

                                  A

                                  • 14. Re: How to use Paragraph styles??
                                    aganess Level 1

                                    This is the big idea here: visual qualities of typography, poetry and Wired Magazine - all  things I love - even while I agree with the analysis of the magazine's layout - some of my best friends won't even read the thing because it is too difficult to find the good stuff.

                                    Finding the underlying structure in InD paragraph style has been the problem, and now I know what to look for when I run amok. (non-linear thinker runs amok frequently!)

                                    I confess that I, too, have lost count - of the Peters here, but I am grateful for and to both of you!

                                     

                                    Thanks everyone - this has been a great thread

                                    !

                                    Aganess