If every caption in your book is in a different font or point size, or if you found yourself constantly reminding students of which font and point size to use, then you need to set up Character and Paragraph Styles in InDesign. Make this one of the first things you do for your yearbook next year. After you’ve decided on your theme (verbal and visual), choose your fonts and set up your styles.
What’s the difference between character styles and paragraph styles?
- Use paragraph styles when you want to apply one style to an entire paragraph or text box. Create a style for Headlines, Subheads, Body Copy, and Captions. You can even go further and create styles for Academics Headlines and then one for Student Life Headlines.
- Use character styles when you want to format text within a paragraph or text box, but you do not want to change the entire paragraph. You can create a style for quotes, names in captions, or those “row” descriptions in groups photos
How do you create a paragraph style?
ALTERNATIVE METHOD: If you’re more of a visual person, you can start by typing a paragraph with the format you like, then while you have that text box selected, click “create new style.” A new style will be created based on the paragraph that you currently have selected. All you have to do is name it!
How do you create a character style?
ALTERNATIVE METHOD: If you just want to copy the format of another text on the same page, you don’t need to create a new style. You can use your eye dropper tool to copy text formatting as well. Highlight the text you want to copy, then use the eyedropper tool on it. While the eyedropper is “full,” continue to highlight every line of text that you want to format.
ADVISER TIP: Create all your styles on your master template BEFORE distributing them to each computer (or putting them up on the server). If students have already started working on their pages, it’s not too late. Create a blank template with the styles on it, and distribute this document to students (or place on the server). Students can then choose “Load All Text Styles” from the Character/Paragraph Styles pull down menu. They then locate the blank template (with the styles), click on it, and InDesign will import all of the styles from that template onto the page the students are currently working on. (*Herff Jones customers, HJ Planner will create a template for every page in your book with the styles already set. Ask your rep to show you!)
- InDesign Feature Focus: Nested Styles (Styles – Part 2 of 2)