Which should I make first: Paragraph or Character Styles?

Create Paragraph styles first, then create Character styles second. This is so the Character style will see what’s different from the Paragraph style and only the settings that are different from the Paragraph style will be set in the Character style.

Tips for Applying Styles

Use the Eyedropper Tool:

  1. Make sure nothing is selected.
  2. Select the Eyedropper tool.

  3. Click on the text with the styling you want to copy. This loads up the cursor with that style.

  4. If you picked up a Paragraph style you can click on other Paragraphs apply the style. If you picked up a Character style you’ll have to drag over the text you want to apply the style to.

NOTE: Each time you leave the Eyedropper tool and reselect it, the Eyedropper will be empty and ready to sample new styling. Instead of switching tools to get it ready to sample new formatting, just hold Option or Alt and click on something new to sample its formatting.

Use Keyboard Shortcuts:

  1. When editing a style, there is a Shortcut field in the General category. Click into that field and press the desired keystroke. Keystrokes must include at least one modifier Command, Option, or Shift or Control, Alt, or Shift AND a number on the number pad. The number pad is on the right side of some keyboards. It’s different from the numbers at the top the keyboard, which do not work! Sadly many laptops don’t include number pads so you may not be able to assign keystrokes unless you plug into a full keyboard with a number pad. Apple used to include an overlaid keypad that you used the fn key to access, but they don’t even do that anymore!

  2. To apply the style, select some text and press the keystroke!

Use Find/Change:

You can find text and apply a style to it. If you’re trying to apply a Paragraph style, you don’t even have to find the entire Paragraph’s text to style it. You only have to find something in a Paragraph and when you apply the Paragraph style, it will style the entire Paragraph!

  1. When using Edit > Find/Change: Enter your text for Find what, but leave the Change to blank.

  2. At the bottom of the panel click in the empty space below Change Format. If you don’t see Change Format, click the More Options button on the right.

  3. A dialog will appear where you can choose the formatting you want to apply.

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