Learning InDesign’s Nested Styles has been one of those ‘typographic’ peas I’ve been pushing around my plate for way too long. Now that I’m working on a book project that includes designing and typesetting over 40 chapters, I can’t delay it any longer if I want to avoid spending an unnecessary amount of time formatting (and sometimes reformatting) repeated elements. Here’s how I went about it:
To begin, I manually compose the preliminary design and typography of the chapter headings and the body text. It is important at this stage to set up all of your desired settings and preferences, including hyphenation, justification, numeral style, etc. This will save a lot of time when creating each individual style.
With my preferences set, I create the paragraph style for my indented body text, and character styles for the raised cap and the small cap lead-in in the first line of the first paragraph.
With these pieces in place, I can create the style for the first paragraph of each chapter, which will harness the magic of nested styles.
With my cursor in the first paragraph of text (currently formatted with my Indented Body Text style), I hold Option/Alt and click on the new style button at the bottom of the Paragraph Styles panel. This opens the New Paragraph Style dialog box, and my new style is automatically based on the existing style (Indented Body Text). I also set the Next Style to my Indented Body Text style (you’ll see why shortly).
Next, I jump down to Nested Line Styles. I go through the same process as above, clicking on New Line Style, selecting Small Cap Lead-in, and then set it for 1 line. I hit OK, and there you have it, a Nested Style!
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Ilene Strizver, founder of The Type Studio, is a typographic consultant, designer, writer and educator specializing in all aspects of visual communication, from the aesthetic to the technical. Her book, Type Rules! The designer’s guide to professional typography, 4th edition, has received numerous accolades from the type and design community. She conducts her widely acclaimed Gourmet Typography Workshops internationally. For more information on attending one or bringing it to your company, organization, or school, go to her site, call The Type Studio at 203-227-5929, or email Ilene at email@example.com. Sign up for her free e-newsletter, All Things Typographic, at www.thetypestudio.com.
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