#75. Using Paragraph Styles in Illustrator and InDesign
Paragraph styles in Illustrator and InDesign make it possible to apply a consistent set of character and paragraph formatting attributes to a paragraph or several paragraphs at once. Then when you change any of the formatting attributes in the paragraph style, all the paragraphs in your document with the applied style automatically update. Paragraph styles are essential for laying out documents consistently while incorporating the flexibility for changes later on.
Although you can create a paragraph style completely from scratch, it's much more straightforward to first apply all the formatting you want to include in your style to a paragraph of text. Once you have the formatting applied to the paragraph, click the New Paragraph Style button in the Paragraph Styles palette while holding down the Option/Alt key. (To access the Paragraph Styles palette, choose Window > Type in Illustrator or Window > Type & Tables in InDesign.) You will then be able to rename your paragraph style and make any adjustments to the formatting attributes within the Paragraph Style Options dialog that opens (Figure 75a). Enable the Preview option so you can immediately see what effect any changes you make to the style will have without exiting the dialog. Once you're satisfied with your paragraph style, click OK. With your paragraph style created, you can start applying it to paragraphs within your document.
Figure 75a. The Paragraph Style Options dialog is your control center for defining all the formatting attributes (both character and paragraph) that will comprise your paragraph style. Notice that the Style Settings provides a helpful summary of the formatting applied in your style.
You can apply a paragraph style via the Paragraph Styles palette in Illustrator or InDesign. InDesign also offers a Paragraph Style drop-down menu in the Control palette when you have it switched to the Paragraph Formatting Controls . You can also take advantage of the new Quick Apply feature (see #49) in InDesign. To activate Quick Apply, press Command+Return (Mac) or Control+Enter (Windows) and then start typing part of the style's name. When the name is highlighted, click Return or Enter again to apply the selected style. Since a paragraph style applies to an entire paragraph, you don't have to worry about selecting the whole paragraph before applying the style. Just have your text insertion point within the paragraph or select a portion of the paragraph you want to apply the style to. You can select any part of multiple paragraphs to quickly apply a paragraph style to all of them at once (Figure 75b).
Figure 75b. You don't need to select an entire paragraph to apply a paragraph style to it. You can even select just portions of multiple paragraphs to quickly apply a style to them at once.