As you know, I don’t think it makes sense to learn random InDesign features just to learn them. Hello, GREP feature.

But I do find it valuable in learning techniques you can apply right away and see an immediate benefit to. And that’s why I’m going to show you how to use…

Character Styles in InDesign

  • Feature Character Styles
  • Best For Uniform Text Formatting throughout your entire document with one click
  • Example Create 1 character style for a planner weekday heading or day of the week or column of dates and then change it once for the entire document
  • Benefit Major Time Saver!

Imagine editing the Character Style once for a 365 page Daily Planner…

….vs clicking and editing all 365 pages one at a time. 

The product used in this tutorial and where you can see this is in action is the Academic Planner


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Hi everyone. I’m Lisa from Pretty Fabulous and today I’m going to talk about character styles. So I’m going to be working in the academic calendar which is available from the shop. So if you’re following along, go ahead and jump on down to the first weekly spread in September. I think let’s see what page that is. That is page 18-19.

Now character styles are really cool because character styles are going to save you so much time. So this document, what I’ve done, is I’ve embedded character styles in it. So I’m going to show you how to use it in this document and also how to create them on your own.

Over here is Sunday. Now Sunday is a three and it’s red. I know that it repeats every Sunday as a red text field, but let’s say I want to change that and I’d really like that to be green. So if I highlight this, what I’ve done in this document, if I got to styles, if you go to Window, styles, character styles, you can see that I have weekly header Sunday. When I double click that style it remembers the formatting for me, so it knows that it’s a play for a display, size 32, the regular font style. It knows that it is red and I think that’s all I changed. I don’t think I changed anything else, but there’s so many different things in here you can change.

Let’s say I want to go ahead and I said green right? So I say green and I said okay. Now this is green and this is green over here too and it’s green over here too and it’s green over here too. So every single time that I have used that particular character style, it is green. So let’s say this one over here I want to change this to be green as well. So I could do weekly header, Sunday, and apply it and now that’s green. So over here same thing. Weekly header, Sunday, and now it’s green. So everywhere that I want something to have that particular color, I can go over here and apply it. So that’s how you apply a character style.

Let’s say you just want to create your own anywhere that you are. You want to go up here to none. So you start with a nice clean sort of slate. Otherwise if you say new, I believe sometimes it will just inherit the properties of that one. Really easy, go to the top, say none and then over here, click this third button which is create new style and it will default and put a new style down here at the bottom. I know it looked like nothing happened right? It actually put one in here. You can rename it by double clicking it, my new style and then you can double click it again and then you can change anything you want. I can change the font. I can change the size. I can change the weight of the font. Then it’s going to, if I say okay, there’s no save button, it’s going to remember that and then when I go over here and I apply my new style, now it’s been applied. Obviously that was a very small text, but you kind of get the idea.

That’s something cool that’s going to save you a ton of time, especially if you’re doing planners. You should, if you know that Thursday is going to have a particular look and feel, every time you have Thursday make sure you define it over here as a character style and then you just have to change it once if you change your mind later.