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Character and paragraph styles

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Learn how to create and work with Character, Paragraph Styles, and style overrides.

When you create a brochure or any artwork with large amounts of text, Character and paragraph styles help you maintain consistency. Read on to know how to create, edit, load, and delete Character, Paragraph Styles, and how to remove style overrides.

Use Character Styles and Paragraph Styles to easily maintain text consistency
Use Character Styles and Paragraph Styles to easily maintain text consistency

Before you proceed with Character and Paragraph Styles, learn more about text, path, and objects:

Create character and paragraph styles

Character style is a collection of character formatting attributes that you can apply to a selected range of text.

Paragraph style includes both character and paragraph formatting attributes. You can apply it to a selected paragraph or a range of paragraphs.

Use Character and Paragraph styles to save time and ensure consistent formatting throughout your artwork. Follow these steps to easily create a new Character or Paragraph style:

  1. Select text.

  2. Select Window > Type > Character styles to open Character styles panel.

  3. Click Create New Style button to create a style with the selected text format.

    You can follow similar steps in the Paragraph styles tab to create a new Paragraph style.

Character and Paragraph Styles panel
Character and paragraph styles panel

A. Character Styles tab B. Paragraph Styles tab C. More Options D. Delete Selected Styles E. Create New Style F. Add selected Style to my current Library G. Style Name with Overrides H. Default Style 

Edit styles

You can change the format of the default or new Character, Paragraph style anytime.

Edit Character, Paragraph Styles

Follow these steps to edit and apply a style to selected text or set the style for new text:

  1. Open Character and paragraph styles panel.

  2. Select the Character styles tab. You can see a list of available styles.

  3. Go to More Options > Character Style Options.

  4. Select a category from the list of available options and make the changes.

    character Style options

    Add or adjust the following options to create a new style or modify an existing one:

    Character Style Options
    Character Style Options


    View the style settings of the selected style.

    Basic Character Formats

    Change the Font Family, Font Style, Size, and other basic character format options.

    Advanced Character Formats

    Adjust the Horizontal and Vertical Scale, Baseline Shift, Character Rotation, and Language options.

    Character Color

    Change the Character Color, Tint, Weight, and Overprint Fill or Stroke options.

    OpenType Features

    Set the Figure, Position, Ligatures, Alternates, Ordinals, or Fractions options.

    Paragraph Style options

    Add or adjust the following options along with Character Style Options:

    Paragraph Style Options
    Paragraph Style Options

    Indents and Spacing

    Adjust Alignment, Indents, and Space Before and Space After options.


    Set Tab, X, Leader, and Align On options.


    Set Composer and Roman Hanging Punctuation.


    Add or adjust the settings for Hyphenate options like Words Longer Than, After First, Before Last, Hyphen Limit, Hyphenation Zone, and Hyphenate Capitalized Words.


    Adjust settings for Word, Letter and Glyph Spacing, Auto Leading, and Single Word Justification.

Load styles

If you have a preferred text format that is used frequently, you can follow these steps to load styles from another Illustrator file into your current artwork:

  1. Open Character, paragraph styles panel.

  2. Follow any of these options:

    • Choose Load Character Styles or Load Paragraph Styles from More Options.
    • Choose Load All Styles from More Options to load all the styles.
  3. Double-click the Illustrator file that contains the styles you want to import.

Load Character, Paragraph Styles from another Illustrator File

Delete styles

Don't need a particular style? You can follow these steps to easily delete Character, paragraph styles:

  1. Select a style name in the Character styles panel or the Paragraph styles panel.

  2. Follow any of these options to delete a Character or Paragraph style:

    • Choose Delete Character Style or Delete Paragraph Style from More Options.
    • Click the Delete    at the bottom of the panel.
    • To delete all unused styles, choose Select All Unused from More Options, and click the Delete.
Delete Character, Paragraph Styles
Delete Character, Paragraph Styles

When you delete styles, the appearance of paragraphs tagged with the style doesn’t change, but their formatting is no longer associated with a style.

Remove style overrides

An override is any change made to an existing style. If there are any overrides to a Character, Paragraph style, you can see a plus sign next to the style name.

Follow any of these options to clear overrides and return the style to its original format: 

  • Click the style name.
  • Choose Clear Overrides from the More Options.
  • To maintain the new appearance of the selected text, choose the Redefine Style from the More Options.
Remove Style Overrides
Remove Style Overrides

Tips and tricks

  • Select some text or insert a cursor within your text to see the Character Style and Paragraph Style in the respective panel.
  • By default, every character is in Normal Character Style, and every paragraph is in Normal Paragraph Style.
  • You can drag a style onto the Create New Style to copy an existing style.
  • You can drag a style onto the Delete    to delete it.

Related resources

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