QuarkXPress 8 : Working with style sheets

10/27/2011 5:00:11 PM

Working with style sheets

To quickly and consistently format text, you can save multiple attributes as paragraph style sheets and character style sheets. In general, paragraph style sheets set the general text formats while character style sheets are reserved for exceptions within the paragraph. For example, if you bold words within a paragraph, you might use a character style sheet. When you use style sheets, you can easily make global changes across a project by revising style sheets rather than manually reformatting text. You can apply style sheets quickly by clicking the Style Sheets palette or pressing keyboard shortcuts (Figure 1).

Figure 1. A foolproof template includes style sheets for every possible variation of formatting. The style sheets list for a magazine shown here includes “Headline,” “Byline,” “Body Text,” “Body Text No Indent,” and “Photo Caption” paragraph style sheets along with a Book/Bold character style sheet. The numbers in front of each style sheet name not only create a hierarchy (1 for heads, 2 for bylines, 3 for body text), but the numbers are synchronized to the style sheets with Command+1 for “1 Headline,” Command+Option+1 for “1.1 Department Tag Line,” and so on.

Creating style sheets

The easiest way to create a new style sheet is to first format text, then create a new paragraph or character style sheet based on its attributes. To do this, click in formatted text and choose New Paragraph Style or New Character Style from the Style Sheets palette menu. (To create a character style sheet, select text or be sure to click within text that has the appropriate formatting.) Use the Edit Paragraph Style Sheet and Edit Character Style Sheet dialog boxes to name the style sheet, specify keyboard shortcuts, and confirm the formatting (Figures 2).

Figure 2. The Edit Paragraph Style Sheet dialog box, at left, and the Edit Character Style Sheet dialog box, at right, let you name style sheets, specify keyboard shortcuts, and base style sheets on existing style sheets.

The Edit Style Sheet dialog boxes work as follows:

  • Name field: Enter a name that indicates the style sheet’s use (such as Headline, Body Text, or Sidebar Text) rather than its attributes (such as Garamond or Blue). That way, you will always remember where to apply the style sheet—and you won’t have to change the style sheet name if the attributes change.

  • Keyboard Equivalent field: To specify a keyboard shortcut for a style sheet, click in the field to highlight it, then press the key combination. You can use any combination of Command, Option, Control, and Shift (Mac) or Control, Alt, and Shift (Windows) with your keyboard’s function keys or keypad keys.

  • Based On menu: You can base a style sheet on another style sheet. Then, changes made to the “based on” style sheet affect both style sheets. For example, you might start with one “Body Text” style sheet and base related style sheets such as “Bulleted List” and “Body Text No Indent” on it. Then, if you decide to change the font or leading, you can change it in “Body Text” and the changes affect all three style sheets.

  • Character Style controls: In the Edit Paragraph Style Sheet dialog box, you can specify character attributes by embedding a character style sheet in the paragraph style sheet. If you embed the same character style sheet in all related paragraph style sheets, you can make changes to character attributes such as font or color across all paragraph style sheets by editing the character style sheet. To embed a character style sheet, choose an existing one from the Character Style menu or click New. To confirm or set character attributes without embedding a character style sheet, click Edit next to the Character Style menu.

In addition to creating style sheets from the Style Sheets palette, you can choose Edit > Style Sheets. Click New and choose Paragraph or Character from the New button’s menu. If a project is open and text is selected, you can create style sheets from formatted text. If no text is selected, you can specify attributes manually. If no projects are open, you can modify the default list of style sheets included in all new projects. In fact, you may want to change the default font included in the Normal paragraph and character style sheets since Normal is applied to new text boxes by default.

Applying style sheets

The Style Sheets palette lets you quickly apply paragraph and character style sheets (Figure 3).

  • Paragraph style sheet: Click in a paragraph or select several paragraphs, then click a style sheet name or press its keyboard shortcut.

  • Character style sheet: Select text and click the style name or press its keyboard shortcut.

Figure 3. In this example, the “3 Body Text No Indent” paragraph style sheet is applied to the paragraph while the “4 Runin Subhead” character style sheet is applied to the selected text, which serves as a subhead.

Tip: Clearing Local Attributes

When you make changes to text that is already formatted with a style sheet, the additional formatting is referred to as “local formatting.” (QuarkXPress also considers a character style sheet applied to text within a paragraph to be local formatting.) When local formatting is applied to selected text, a plus sign displays next to the style sheet name in the Style Sheets palette. To clear local overrides so text reverts to the style sheet definition, Option+click (Mac) or Alt+click (Windows) the style sheet name.

Editing style sheets

The beauty of formatting text with style sheets is that you can make a quick change in a style sheet to make global changes throughout a document. For example, if you decide to change the font used for headlines in a newsletter, you only need to change the font in your headline paragraph style sheet. You can also delete a style sheet and globally replace it with another.

To edit all the style sheets in a project, use the Style Sheets dialog box (Edit menu). You can also use options in the Style Sheets palette menu to edit the selected style sheet. If you want to update a style sheet to match selected text, choose Update from the Style Sheets palette menu (Figure 4). This technique is helpful for experimenting with different looks then making global changes.

Figure 4. The Update command in the Style Sheets palette menu lets you redefine a style sheet to match the attributes of selected text.

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