A character style is a collection of character-formatting attributes that you can apply to a selected range of text. A paragraph style includes both character- and paragraph-formatting attributes, and can be applied to a selected paragraph or range of paragraphs. Using character and paragraph styles saves time and ensures consistent formatting.
You use the Character Styles and Paragraph Styles panels to create, apply, and manage character and paragraph styles. To apply a style, simply select text and click a style name in one of the panels. If you don’t select any text, the style applies to new text you create.
A. Style name B. Style with additional formatting (overrides) C. Panel menu D. New Style button E. Delete icon
When you select text or insert the cursor in text, the active styles are highlighted in the Character Styles and Paragraph Styles panels. By default, every character in a document is assigned the Normal Character Style and every paragraph is assigned the Normal Paragraph Style. These default styles are the building blocks for all other styles you create.
A plus sign next to a style name indicates that there are overrides to the style. An override is any formatting that doesn’t match the attributes defined by the style. Any time you change settings in the Character and OpenType panel, you create an override to the current character style; likewise, when you change settings in the Paragraph panel, you create an override to the current paragraph style.
For a video about using character and paragraph styles in Illustrator, see www.adobe.com/go/vid0047.
You can change the definition of the default character and paragraph styles, as well as any new styles you create. When you change the definition of a style, all of the text formatted with that style changes to match the new style definition.
Select the style in the panel, and choose Character Style Options from the Character Styles panel menu or Paragraph Style Options from the Paragraph Styles panel menu.
Click the style name.
Note: Clicking applies the style to any selected text or, if no text is selected, sets the style for any new text you type. If you don’t want to apply the style, hold down Shift+Ctrl (Windows) or Shift+Command (Mac OS) when you click the style name.
- On the left side of the dialog box, select a category of formatting options and set the options you want. You can switch to a different group of formatting options by selecting a different category.
A plus sign next to the style name in the Character Styles panel or the Paragraph Styles panel indicates that there are overrides to the style. An override is any formatting that doesn’t match the attributes defined by the style. There are several ways to remove style overrides:
- To clear overrides and return text to the appearance defined by the style, reapply the same style or choose Clear Overrides from the panel menu.
- To clear overrides when applying a different style, Alt-click (Windows) or Option-click (Mac OS) the style name.
- To redefine the style and maintain the current appearance
of the text, select at least one character of the text and choose
the Redefine Style command from the panel menu.
If you use styles to maintain consistent formatting, you should probably avoid overrides. If you’re formatting quick, one-time-only text, these overrides pose no problem.
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.