Learn the basics of formatting text in Adobe InDesign, including changing font and font size, understanding the difference between character and paragraph formatting, and saving text formatting as a style.
Explore basic text formatting such as Adobe fonts and font size.
Adobe InDesign offers a lot of ways to format text in your documents. In this project, you'll apply basic formatting options like font, size, and color to text using the Properties panel. If you want to follow along, you can open a file you have or this file from the practice files for this tutorial. The text on this business card need some formatting changes, a different font, and a smaller font size so it fits in the text frame. This red plus down here means some of the text doesn't fit in the frame. Also, you may make a few other changes. So first, select the Type tool in the Tools panel on the left and click in the text - Studio Iconic. To select all the text in the text frame, choose Edit, Select All. Text formatting can be found in the Properties panel to the right of the document. There are a lot of text formatting options you can experiment with, including Font, Font Style, Font Size, Leading, which is the vertical space between lines of text, and more. To change the Font Size of the selected text, choose 8 pt from the Font Size menu here. Now you'll apply some formatting to just the Studio Iconic text. So, move your pointer to the right side of the text, press and drag to the left to select it. Only the selected characters will reflect formatting changes you make. So, make sure you select all of the characters in both words. To make the text all capitals, click More Options here in the Character section of the Properties panel so you can see some more formatting options. Click the All Caps button to apply all capitals. You'll see a series of options here like Underlines, Strikethrough, and more. Now to apply some text formatting to the text on the right. So, select the Selection tool in the Tools panel on the left and click to select this text frame with the text ODEN QUEST in it. If all the text in the text frame needs the same formatting applied, you can simply select the text frame with the Selection tool and apply the formatting. To change the font size of the text, choose 8 pt from the Font Size menu in the Properties panel. Now you'll change the default font of Minion Pro for this text. In the Properties panel, click the Font Family menu. You should see the selected text that begins with ODEN QUEST is showing as sample text. Sample text lets you easily preview a font. You can choose from the list of fonts in your machine like you see here, but you can also browse Adobe Fonts from the thousands available with your membership. To see the Adobe Fonts, click find more in the Font Family menu. The list of fonts you see might look different, which is okay. Your font list depends on the type of creative club membership you have and which fonts you've already installed, and keep in mind that Adobe is always adding more fonts for members. Now you can sort the fonts based on properties like Serif, and Sans Serif or different weight fonts by clicking here. We'll just choose a font from the list, so you can press ESC to hide the options. You can then choose a font and sync it to your machine. Syncing a font makes it available on your computer, and also available to all of your other Creative Cloud Apps. So, scroll all the way down in the font list and find Raleway. Click the arrow here to see the font styles and click this icon to the far right to sync Raleway Regular to your machine. Click OK in the message that appears. The font is now syncing to your machine. You can filter this list to see the Adobe Fonts you've synced in the Font Family menu here, and you should eventually be able to see your newly installed font. Click to apply the Raleway font to your text. InDesign offers a lot of powerful text formatting options from formatting heading type, to fine tuning the appearance of body copy in a book, you can now format your own text according to each design's unique needs.
What you learned: Change font and font size
- Select text with the Type tool in the toolbox or select a text frame with the Selection tool to apply the same formatting to all text within a frame.
- In the Properties panel to the right of the document, see formatting options such as font, font size, and more, or choose Type > Character to open the Character panel.
- When selecting a font in the Font Family menu, click Find More to find and sync an Adobe font to your computer. To show only the Adobe fonts, filter the font list by clicking Show Activated Fonts. You can also choose a font style associated with the selected font, such as bold, from the Font Style menu.
- Change the font size by choosing a size from the menu, typing in a value, or clicking the arrows to the left of the field.
Learn about the difference between paragraph and character formatting.
Adobe InDesign excels at all types of text formatting. In order to complete a restaurant menu, you'll explore the differences between character and paragraph formatting and apply a few different types of formatting to the menu text. If you'd like to follow along, you can open this practice file from the downloadable practice files for this tutorial. Now with the document open, you may see the Missing Fonts dialog box. This means you haven't yet installed the fonts used in this document. In InDesign, any text that uses fonts that are missing from your system will be highlighted in pink in the document. To see the pink highlighting, you could drag the dialog box out of the way by this title bar. Now to fix the missing fonts, in the Missing Fonts dialog box, click the Activate button to sync the Adobe Fonts to your machine. Access to the Adobe Font library is included with your Adobe Creative Cloud membership. When syncing is complete, you can click Close. If for some reason you don't have access to the Adobe Fonts Library, you can click the Find Fonts… button in this dialog box. You can then select the font that's missing. You can tell it's missing because you'll see a small yellow yield sign appear here. Then select the font to replace it with down here and click Change All. Once you're finished, you can click Done. To start with, you'll learn the difference between character and paragraph formatting. So, in the Tools panel on the left, select the Type tool and then come down here to the bottom of the page and click in the middle of this paragraph text. To zoom into it, press Command + on Mac or Control + on Windows a few times. Now if you look in the Properties panel on the right, you'll see this Character section of formatting and a Paragraph section of formatting. Character formatting is formatting applied to the character level. In other words, the individual letters, numbers, and other you select. This type of formatting applies to whatever text is selected, which could be a letter, a word, or even a series of paragraphs. Click to insert the cursor after the asterisk at the beginning of the text down here. Back in the Properties panel, click the Kerning value and choose 200. Kerning is the space between characters. Notice how it only affected the space between the characters where the cursor was. That's character formatting. Now to apply character formatting to a lot of text, click four times in the text down here to select it all. In the Properties panel, click the Leading value and choose 14 pt. Leading is the distance between the baselines of text. If you look at the lines of text down here, pretend that each line of text is sitting on an imaginary line. The distance between those lines is the leading value. Now to move up to the top of the page, press the Option key on Mac or the Alt key on windows to access the Hand tool temporarily, and press and drag in the document window so you can see the text up here then release the key. Now you'll work a little bit with paragraph formatting. Formatting you see in the Paragraph section of the Properties panel is applied to entire paragraphs, regardless of what's selected in the paragraph. For example, select the word Swiss by double clicking the word, then in the Properties panel, click the Align Center option, and the whole paragraph, which is actually only a line of text, aligns to center. Now all the text in this frame needs to be aligned to center. To do that, you'll select all of the paragraphs. So, choose Edit, Select All. Click the Align Center option again in the Properties panel and all the text in the frame aligns to center. Sometimes it can actually be difficult to tell what text makes up a paragraph. For instance, click in the Ham and Swiss Cheese Sandwich text. To see where the paragraph ends, choose Type, Show Hidden Characters. You can now see hidden characters like these little dots which indicate spaces or these icons which indicate the end of a paragraph and other marks that don't normally show or print. To hide those characters again, choose Type, Hide Hidden Characters. And then so you can see the entire page, choose View, Fit Page in Window. Now that you understand character and paragraph formatting and you've discovered a few of the many different formatting options available. In your own projects, you can start to apply different types of formatting and continue to explore all of the formatting options available to you.
What you learned: Format basic text
In the Properties panel, there are two types of text formatting that you can apply to text: character formatting and paragraph formatting. Character formatting, such as font and font size, applies to selected text or all of the text in a selected text frame. Paragraph formatting, such as alignment, applies formatting to entire paragraphs.
You can view text formatting in separate panels by choosing Type > Character or Type > Paragraph.
- Select the Type tool in the toolbox and drag across text to select it.
- In the Character section of the Properties panel, change the leading value to adjust the spacing between lines of text.
- In the Paragraph section of the Properties panel, change formatting such as the text alignment.
Discover how to save text formatting as a paragraph style for formatting speed and consistency.
To work smarter in InDesign, you can save text formatting as a style that you can easily and quickly apply later to other text. In this video, you'll save text formatting as a Paragraph Style and apply that style to a text in a document. You can open a file you have or this file from the practice files for this tutorial to follow along. Now on this resume design, each of the listings under Education and Work Experience like Program manager, Project manager, et cetera, will have the same formatting. Instead of applying the same formatting separately to each job title, you can format one. Save that formatting as a style and then apply that style to the remaining job titles in the document. So, to select text, select the Type tool in the Tools panel and click in the text WEST VALLEY COLLEGE up here. To zoom into the text, choose View, Zoom In and do that a few times. With the cursor in the text in the Properties panel on the right, you can see the Font, the Font Size, and other formatting applied. Now to save the formatting from this text as a style, you'll first choose what type of text style to create. There are two types of text styles in InDesign: Paragraph and Character. Paragraph Styles save all of the text formatting available, character and paragraph and can only be applied to entire paragraphs of text. So, Paragraph Styles can include everything you see in the Paragraph and Character sections of the Properties panel and more. Now Character Styles only save character formatting. In other words, the formatting found in the Character section of the Properties panel. Character Styles apply to selected text and are usually used for formatting a proper name or maybe a price, for instance. Click to select Paragraph Styles. Now each document starts with default formatting - 12 pt Minion Pro, et cetera. The [Basic Paragraph] style in a menu you see here controls that formatting. To save a new style with the cursor in the text or with text selected, click the Create Style button in the Properties panel here. Change the name to Title or something similar. Then press Return or Enter to accept the name. The formatting from the selected text is now saved as a style in this document only. Now to apply the formatting from the Paragraph Style, insert the cursor in the text Program manager down here. You can see in the Properties panel that the [Basic Paragraph] style is applied, which is the default formatting for a document. Select the text by clicking three times, change the Font Size in the Properties panel over here by clicking the up arrow. The selected text is changed, and that formatting is called Local Formatting. In the Properties panel, click the Paragraph Styles menu and choose Manage Styles to open a panel for managing the paragraph styles in the document. You should see a plus next to the [Basic Paragraph] style in the Paragraph Styles panel now. That plus if you move the pointer over it indicates that the selected text has some formatting that is different from the [Basic Paragraph] style formatting. That's called an Override. Now to remove that different formatting you applied and make it look like the default text, click the Clear overrides button at the bottom of this panel. You can then close the panel by clicking the X in the corner. Now to apply a Paragraph Style, the cursor can be in the paragraph or the paragraph could be selected. Choose the Title style in the Paragraph Styles menu to apply it. The text now has the Title Paragraph Style formatting applied. If after applying a Paragraph Style to text, you decide you want the formatting to return to the default formatting, you can choose the [Basic Paragraph] style from this menu to apply it. Scroll down and apply the Title style to each of the titles by inserting the cursor and choosing the style name from the menu. As you can see, Paragraph Styles are a great way to work smarter in InDesign. Now that you know how to create and apply a Paragraph Style, practice by saving a Paragraph Style from the date text and apply that style to the rest of the date text in the document. You can also try creating a style for the body text and applying that style to the rest of the body text in the resume.
What you learned: Save text formatting as a style
Text formatting can be saved as a text style in a document for formatting speed and consistency. Updating a text style will update all text with that same style applied.
There are two types of text styles: paragraph and character. Paragraph styles save both character and paragraph formatting and apply to entire paragraphs of text. Character styles save only character formatting such as font and font size.
Each new document starts with a basic paragraph style called “Basic Paragraph.”
- To make a new style, click in the text with the Type tool or select the text, and then click the Create Style button in the Properties panel. Double-click the new style to rename it and press Return (Windows) or Enter (macOS) to make the name change.
- To apply a paragraph style, insert the cursor in text and select a style name in the Properties panel.
Local formatting may be removed in the Paragraph Styles panel. To open the Paragraph Styles panel, with text selected choose Manage Styles from the styles menu in the Properties panel. In the Paragraph Styles panel, click the Clear Overrides button to remove the local formatting.
Learn how to edit a paragraph style.
Paragraph Styles are a great way to maintain consistent text formatting, plus they also save time. Using this resume file, you'll edit a Paragraph Style and see how any text with that style applied in this document will be updated. If you want to follow along, you can open this practice file from the downloadable practice files for this tutorial. Select the Type tool in the Tools panel on the left and insert the cursor in this Program Manager text. To zoom into it, so it's a little bit easier to see, press Command + on Mac or Control + on Windows a few times. Now when you insert the cursor in text, looking in the Properties panel on the right, you can see which styles apply to the entire paragraph. In this case, the Title style is applied. If you click the Paragraph Styles menu, you can see there are several Paragraphs Styles created, including Dates, Body, and Title. You can also open the Paragraph Styles panel from here where you have more options for editing and creating Paragraph Styles, which we'll do later in this video. Now to edit the saved formatting in a Paragraph Style, you can change the formatting for text that already has a style applied. Then change the applied style definition to match the new styling in the selected text. This is called Redefining a style. To select this text so you can change the formatting, press and drag across it. Change the Font Size to 9 pt in the Properties panel. In the Paragraph Styles menu to the right of the style name, you should now see a Redefined Style icon that looks something like this. Click the icon to change the formatting for the Title style to match the new formatting from the selected text. You just redefined the Paragraph Style based on the text. Notice that all the text with the style applied changed. Now click in some of the date text and then the body text to see which style is applied in the Properties panel. If you want to edit styles, maybe a style that isn't applied to text yet, you can do so in the Paragraph Styles panel. Choose Manage Styles in the Paragraph Styles menu here. This opens the Paragraphs Styles panel. You can also open this panel by choosing Type, Paragraph Styles in the menus. Now you'll edit a Paragraph Style but so that you don't accidentally apply a style to selected text when you're editing it, choose Edit, Deselect All. Then come to the Paragraph Styles panel and double-click a style name to edit the style. It won't apply to anything since no text is selected. You'll see the Paragraph Style Options dialog box. In here, is all of the text formatting that could be saved with a Paragraph Style. You can change the formatting in here and any text with this style applied will update. You can click Cancel to close the dialog box without making a change. Paragraph Styles are really an easy and efficient way to save and update text formatting, and there are a lot of ways to create and edit them. As you start to work with text in your own projects, experiment with creating and editing styles to work smarter.
What you learned: Edit text styles
After applying a paragraph style to text, you can easily update the formatting in the style.
- Apply a paragraph style to text in the Properties panel.
- Make formatting changes to the same text in the Properties panel.
- Click the Redefine Style icon, which appears to the right of the style name in the styles menu, to update the formatting of the saved style to match the selected text. Any text with the style applied will update.
You can also edit a paragraph style in the Paragraph Styles panel.
- Choose Manage Styles from the styles menu in the Properties panel to open the Paragraph Styles panel (Type > Paragraph Styles).
- In the Paragraph Styles panel, either right-click (Windows) or Control-click (macOS) the style name in the panel and choose Edit [style name] or simply double-click the style name.
When you change the definition of a style, all of the text in the document that is formatted with that style changes to match the new style definition.
- Change the text formatting for the style in the dialog box and click OK.