There are three main ways to use Drop Caps and Nested Styles feature: to apply a character style to a drop cap, to apply a nested style to text at the beginning of a paragraph, and to apply a nested line style to one or more lines in a paragraph.
Apply a character style to a drop cap
You can apply a character style to the drop-cap character or characters in a paragraph. For example, if you want a drop-cap character to have a different color and font than the rest of the paragraph, you can define a character style that has these attributes. Then you can either apply the character style directly to a paragraph, or you can nest the character style in a paragraph style.
If you want to apply a different nested style to any characters after the drop cap, use the New Nested Style option. (See Create nested styles.)
Create nested styles
You can specify character-level formatting for one or more ranges of text within a paragraph or line. You can also set up two or more nested styles to work together, one taking over where the previous one ends. For paragraphs with repetitive and predictable formatting, you can even loop back to the first style in the sequence.
Nested styles are especially useful for run-in headings. For example, you can apply one character style to the first letter in a paragraph and another character style that takes effect through the first colon (:). For each nested style, you can define a character that ends the style, such as a tab character or the end of a word.
Michael Murphy provides an article on nested styles at InDesign's Nested Styles Auto-Format Multiple Paragraphs. He also provides a series of video tutorials that starts at Nested Style Sheets.
To add nested styles to a paragraph style, double-click the paragraph style, and then click Drop Caps And Nested Styles.
To add nested styles to a single paragraph, choose Drop Caps And Nested Styles from the Paragraph panel menu.
For best results, apply nested styles as part of paragraph styles. If you apply nested styles as local overrides to a paragraph, subsequent editing or formatting changes in the nested style can produce unexpected character formatting in the styled text.
Click the character style area, and then select a character style to determine the appearance of that section of the paragraph. If you haven’t created a character style, choose New Character Style and specify the formatting you want to use.
Specify the item that ends the character style formatting. You can also type the character, such as a colon (:) or a specific letter or number. You cannot type a word.
Specify how many instances of the selected item (such as characters, words, or sentences) are required.
Choose Through or Up To. Choosing Through includes the character that ends the nested style, while choosing Up To formats only those characters that precede this character.
Select a style and click the up button or down button to change the order of the styles in the list. The order of the styles determines the sequence in which the formatting is applied. The formatting defined by the second style begins where the formatting of the first style concludes. If you apply a character style to the drop cap, the drop-cap character style acts as the first nested style.
You can apply a character style to a specified number of lines in a paragraph. As with nested styles, you can set up two or more nested line styles to work together, and you can create a repeating sequence.
Attributes applied by nested line styles can co-exist with attributes applied by nested styles. For example, a nested line style can apply a color while a nested style can apply italics. If both set conflicting settings of the same attribute, such as red and blue, the nested style takes precedence over the nested line style.
You can repeat a series of two or more nested styles throughout a paragraph. A simple example would be to alternate red and green words in a paragraph. Or, in nested line styles you could alternate red and green lines in a paragraph. The repeating pattern remains intact even if you add or remove words in the paragraph.
For nested styles, click New Nested Style again, choose [Repeat] in the character style area, and specify how many nested styles will be repeated.
For nested line styles, click New Nested Line Style again, choose [Repeat] in the character style area, and specify how many lines will be repeated.
In some cases, you may want to skip the first style or styles. For example, an events calendar paragraph may include “This Week’s Events” followed by days of the week and their events. In this case, you could create five nested styles: one for “This Week’s Events,” one each for the day, event, and event time, and a final style with a [Repeat] value of 3, thereby excluding the first nested style from the loop.
The [Repeat] item should be the last in the list. Any nested style below [Repeat] is ignored.Looping through nested styles
If you don’t want the character to be included in the nested style formatted, choose Up To instead of Through when you define the nested style.
Periods, question marks, and exclamation points indicate the end of a sentence. If a quotation mark follows the punctuation, it is included as part of the sentence.
Any character other than zero-width markers (for anchors, index markers, XML tags and so on) is included.
If you select Characters, you can also type a character, such as a colon or a period, to end the nested style. If you type multiple characters, any of those characters will end the style. For example, if your run-in headings end with a hyphen, colon, or question mark, you can type -:? to end the nested style where any of these characters appears.
End Nested Style Character
Extends the nested style up to or through the appearance of the End Nested Style character you insert. To insert this character, choose Type > Insert Special Character > Other > End Nested Style Here.
Forced Line Break
Extends the nested style up to or through the forced line break. (Choose Type > Insert Break Character > Forced Line Break.)
Indent To Here Character
Extends the nested style up to or through the Indent To Here character. (Choose Type > Insert Special Character > Other > Indent To Here.)
Em Spaces, En Spaces, or Non-breaking Spaces
Extends the nested style up to or through the space character. (Choose Type > Insert White Space > [space character].)
Anchored Object Marker
Extends the nested style up to or through an inline graphic marker, which appears where an inline graphic is inserted.
Auto Page Number / Section Marker
Extends the nested style up to or through the page number or section name marker.
In most cases, a nested style ends where the condition of the defined style is met, such as after three words or where a period appears. However, you can also end a nested style before the condition is met using the End Nested Style Here character.
- In the Drop Caps And Nested Styles dialog box, or in the Drop Caps And Nested Styles section of the Paragraph Style Options dialog box, select the nested style and click Delete.
- Apply a different paragraph style.
Create GREP styles
GREP is an advanced, pattern-based search technique. You can use GREP styles to apply a character style to text that conforms to the GREP expression you specify. For example, suppose you want to apply a character style to all the phone numbers in text. When you create a GREP style, you select the character style and specify the GREP expression. All paragraph text that matches the GREP expression is formatted with the character style.
A. Character style B. GREP expression
- To apply GREP styling to individual paragraphs, select the paragraphs and choose Grep Styles from the Paragraph or Control panel menu.
Enter the search expression manually. (See Metacharacters for searching.)
Click the Special Characters For Search icon to the right of the To Text field. Choose options from the Locations, Repeat, Match, Modifiers, and Posix submenus to help construct the GREP expression.