Why Work With Style (Sheets)

Some of you are very familiar with style sheets; some of you are not. Some of you have very elaborate methods of maintaining consistent style in your books; some of you just have a corner of the chalk or white board with all the pertinent information listed. No matter how you present the information to your staff, the bottom line in consistency is how your staff members apply the correct styles to their spreads. How many hours do you or one of your editors spend fixing the type on pages considered “finished” because someone used the wrong point size in a headline package or the wrong font for the captions? Well, if you are using InDesign or eDesign, the Styles Panels can be your new best friend. As with everything in life, the little bit of time it takes to set things up will save you hours and hours of “do-over” frustration during deadline crunch time.

What are styles and how do they work?

Style sheets are a set “rules” you apply to text. There are character styles and paragraph styles. Character styles determine what the type will look like (font, pt. size, bold, italic, etc.) while paragraph styles determine the attributes applied to an entire paragraph (tabs, indents, hyphenation, justification, etc.) Once you set these up, when you type anything on the layout, you can apply the style you want with a single click of the mouse.

The simplest and best explanation for InDesign users comes from TypeTalk, a regular blog on typography found at CreativePro.com.

Click here to read the entry on Styles: http://www.creativepro.com/blog/typetalk-importance-style-sheets

For eDesign users, here’s how it works:

First note you cannot edit the default Character Styles that are included with eDesign. Those styles include:

  • Subhead
  • Byline
  • Body Copy
  • Index
  • Photo Credit
  • Folio
  • Caption
  • Headline

If you want to edit these particular styles, you must delete them first, (click the delete button) then add them back in as new Character Styles.

To add or format Character Styles:

  1. Click Book Setup in the upper right corner of the Home page.
  2. Click Character Styles.
  3. Click on a style’s name to view more information about it.
  4. To add a style, click the Add button.

a. Type a name for the style in the Style Name field. (Be sure not to use a style name that already exists)

b. Choose a font from the drop-down list. Click the arrow to see a list of options.

c. Choose the font Size, Leading, and Tracking.

d. Click Apply. The new style name is added to the list at left.

5. Click the X in the upper right corner to close Book Setup and return to the Home page.

That’s it! Your text will be formatted according to your Style Sheet specifications.

Just think of what you can do with all the time Style Sheets will save! How ’bout telling me about it over a cup of coffee!

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