13 Replies Latest reply on Mar 6, 2017 5:13 PM by testifystudio

    Why don't paragraph styles get assigned?

    rpitcairn Level 1

      I am really puzzled by this behavior and can't figure out how to solve it. I have a document that has the default setting for a text block to be Adobe Garamond Pro regular, size 12. When I create a text block and start entering text, all looks fine. The problem is that when I go to my paragraph styles and apply to some of this text it does not work. For example, I will have one line as a sub-heading and will click on a paragraph style that will make the font larger and A. Garamond bold. What happens is that the text will shift in orientation, such as flush left, but does not show the style. When I look in the par. styles drawer it shows it assigned to the par. style I selected, no + sign. So all looks fine except it did not work.

      So what I have to do to fix it is, with my cursor in the line, I hold down the shift and option keys and click on "basic paragraph" and then reapply the style and then it looks as expected. So it appears I am removing some styles but I don't see why I have to do that first.


      Any ideas? Help appreciated.



        • 1. Re: Why don't paragraph styles get assigned?
          SJRiegel Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          Check to see if there is a Character Style assigned to the text. Character styles will always override the Paragraph Styles, but will not show a plus sign, because they are styles and not locally changed formatting.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Why don't paragraph styles get assigned?
            Daniel Flavin Level 4

            Actually, I think the plus sign would show, but the OP's use of holding the shft + option key should applly the P Style and clear the Char style.


            Are ther Nested Styles in the Style? Is the Style based on another style?

            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Why don't paragraph styles get assigned?
              rpitcairn Level 1

              I thought of that but when I checked the character styles did not see any selected. But just to be sure, I just went in and with text tool selected but no text selected clicked on char style "none". Will play with that. See if a difference.

              • 4. Re: Why don't paragraph styles get assigned?
                rpitcairn Level 1

                No nested styles, but the ones in question are based on other styles, not necessarily the same one. Will try changing that assignment if it continues.

                • 5. Re: Why don't paragraph styles get assigned?
                  rpitcairn Level 1

                  I think there has been progress. I can't say I understand completely why this happened but using the advice the two of you gave I checked what character style was selected with the basic text style was in use. It kept indicating "normal" which, on checking, was the same as the paragraph style font I was using. So I assume that is somehow duplicated the font style. I have previously chosen "none" as the character style when no text selected, but that did not fix it. So at this point I just deleted the "normal" char. style from the list. Since then it has behaved as expected (except for once) so I am thinking maybe that was the issue. But as I say, it doesn't tell me why the style would not change when I changed paragraph styles but somehow this was the factor it seems.

                  Thanks for your help.

                  • 6. Re: Why don't paragraph styles get assigned?
                    Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                    The whole point of character styles is they are applied to special cases inside a paragraph, and you would presumably want that style preserved if you change the underlying paragraph style. That's why they don't go away on their own.

                    • 7. Re: Why don't paragraph styles get assigned?
                      rpitcairn Level 1

                      That makes sense. I must have done that earlier on and did not realize it, or remember. From what you have said here I am thinking that I can then just check each paragraph style as I have problems with it and see if a char style come up — and delete if necessary.

                      • 8. Re: Why don't paragraph styles get assigned?
                        Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                        Sure, but Shift + Option clicking a style name OUGHT to have removed character styles along with local overrides. Ar you sure you added the Shift key?

                        • 9. Re: Why don't paragraph styles get assigned?
                          rpitcairn Level 1

                          Yes, I found that both shift and option had to be used together for it to work. But are you saying that doing that would have removed the char style permanently from the saved paragraph style? (Not sure I am wording this right)

                          • 10. Re: Why don't paragraph styles get assigned?
                            Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                            Lots of users, including, it sounds like, yourself, are confused about the difference between character and paragraph styles.


                            All text has a paragraph style of some sort (even if it's [No Paragraph Style] that gets assigned after issuing a "remove link to style" command) and that paragraph style, as part of its definition, has complete formatting attributes that are assigned to all of the text in that paragraph, and nothing more is required to define how the text will appear.


                            If you want part of the text in a paragraph to have a different appearance from the paragraph style-defined attributes, you have three choices, select it and apply a local override by changing the specifiactions in the Character panel (or character format section of the control panel), select it and apply a character style that makes the change, or use a nested style or a GREP style to apply a character style to make the change. Because nested styles and GREP styles are part of the paragraph style definition, they are applied only when that paragraph style is chosen, so they will not be applied if you change the paragraph style, unless the new style definition also includes them.


                            Locally applied formatting, and locally applied character styles, however, since they were applied to selected text, always trump any paragraph style defintiton. Local formatting also trumps character styles. What this means is that you can define very general character styles to do very specific things, like make text bold, italic, or red, without changing any other characteristic of the font, like size or face, so that they are useful with text to which almost any paragraph style is applied, and the cahracter style will remain applied when you change or redefine the paragraph style, so that text you want to be red will remain red, whether the font is Myriad Pro or Bickham Script.


                            Locally applied formatting shows up as a Plus sign after the paragraph style name because it is a real override. Character styles, however, are not an override, but an addition, so to speak, and they do not show as a plus sign. Both, as mentioned, continue to be applied to selected text no matter what changes are made to the paragraph style. Holding the Alt or Option while clicking on a paragraph style name will remove the local foramtting overrides, but preserves the applied character styles (which is usally a good thing and what you want, since you went to the trouble of selecting that text to apply  the style for a reason). Adding the Shift key removes the character styles from taht paragraph as well.


                            There is no way I know to use the Paragraph panel to remove character styles without also removing local formatting overrides (if you would want to), but if you are trying to remove character styles "en masse" you can use a GREP find/change to search for .+ with the applied style inthe find formatting and change the character style to [None] in the change formatting.

                            • 11. Re: Why don't paragraph styles get assigned?
                              rpitcairn Level 1

                              Thanks Peter. Complicated but I sort of get it. I appreciate you taking the time to explain it to me.


                              Best to you,


                              • 12. Re: Why don't paragraph styles get assigned?
                                Scott Citron Adobe Community Professional

                                When you Shift + Option click on a paragraph, all Character Styles are removed from the paragraph. The Paragraph style itself remains unchanged.

                                • 13. Re: Why don't paragraph styles get assigned?
                                  testifystudio Level 1

                                  So helpful, thank you! I was redefining a style over and over, wondering why it was reverting back to properties that I never allocated to it! It was Character Style behind it all! So Helpful!