#77. Defining Character Styles with Paragraph Styles in Mind
Character styles can contain as much or as little formatting as you want to assign to them. This is important to consider when defining your character styles, especially if you want them to play well with other paragraph styles you've created.
For example, you could create a character style to use for emphasis based on existing text. The character style might specify the font family, font style, size, leading, and color formatting attributes (e.g., Myriad, bold, 10 point over 12, and red) (Figure 77a). Although it is perfectly fine to specify this level of formatting in a character style, you may find that it causes some formatting headaches when applying the character style within text that also has a paragraph style applied.
Figure 77a. You can define as many character formatting attributes as you want in your character style, but it may complicate matters later on when paragraph styles are also applied.
But let's say you know the character style will coexist with paragraph styles that already determine the font family, size, and leading. So all you really need to specify in the character style is the font style and color (bold and red) (Figure 77b). If you then decide to change the paragraph style's font family (say from Myriad to Warnock Pro), your character style perfectly adapts to apply just the additional formatting attributes required to emphasize the text (bold and red). Using character styles in this manner, to only override formatting attributes that have already been specified in the paragraph styles, really taps into the powerful flexibility character styles can offer.
Figure 77b. Defining just the formatting attributes necessary to override what's already been defined in paragraph styles is far more flexible to changes in both.