Using Character Style Sheets in Adobe InDesign

cowboy typeface

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Character style sheets can be real time savers for designers creating long or multi-page documents. These sheets are a preset format that you can use in your design at will. Consistency is one of the principles that designers must follow; style sheets help the designer so he doesn't have to manually apply the same type of formatting over and over again throughout the document.

This information applies to Adobe InDesign CC.

Create a New Character Style

Character Style Options

Open the Character Style Sheets palette at​ Window > Type ​> Character (or use the shortcut Shift+F11).

From the palette, select the New Character Style button, which looks like a Post-It note along the bottom of the box.

InDesign inserts a new style called Character Style 1. Double click it to open a new window called Character Style Options.

Set the Character Style Options

Character Style Options

Change the name of your style sheet and set your type any way you want. Most people focus on the Basic Character Formats section of the options box.

Change the Character Style Options for Quick Changes Throughout

Text using character style

Select the text that you want to apply your Character Style to and then simply select your new Character Style.

If you change the formatting on any parts of the text where you applied a Character Style, you will see a (​+) added to the name of the style when you click on that text.

If you want all of the parts of texts where you have applied the Character Style to change in one go, all you have to do is to double-click on the Character Style you want to change and then change your options there.

Integration with Adobe InCopy

Most significant text-based projects laid out in InDesign pair with a "master copy" of the text in Adobe InCopy, the Creative Cloud's complimentary text-and-markup document editor.

Styles associated with either InDesign or InCopy will flow bidirectionally, so if someone configured styles in InCopy, they'll automatically populate in InDesign.