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I'm looking for resources on how to approach using Text Styles. I understand technically how to use them, but I am struggling with practically how to use them.

I often find myself making sure that any text I use is assigned to a paragraph style. What I end up with is a huge list of styles that is hard to keep up with. Maybe I am not making enough use of groups and inheritance, but if I'm drilling down into the 5th nest of a style, why am I even using a style and not just selecting those attributes from the Character and Paragraph panels?

When I select a style and change an attribute, I get a + that shows that it is different. Is it ok to have those + signs in the document, or is it best practice to not have them? Why does changing the font size add a +, but adding Bold does not?

Maybe I should only assign a paragraph style to a paragraph if there is more than one paragraph I want to be styled exactly the same, otherwise maybe I shouldn't use them.

I also think that if I am running into over 10 or so styles, I have really introduces too many and need to start scaling back.

Some resources would be awesome. Some quick tips and thoughts would be approciated. Even some screen shots of the text styles panel for documents that you all thing are very well organised might help a ton! thanks!

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Text style are quite a rich, flexible and thereby complex feature, which you can use with different intensity or depth. In particular the style options in "Style" > "General" allow a very effective workflow but also can be entirely useless or may even cause confusing results if not set according to the needs, because they define dependencies among styles. This feature can feel as great help – or great hell, if used unintended. From this perspective there might be no tutorial or source which appears satisfying but may appear either overloaded or missing content. This doesn't mean they aren't any which may help you, possibly other users will guide you to any. Also it maybe most helpful to experiment and experience the features yourself, starting with a low number of used styles.

808655881_textstyleswindow1.jpg.44838fd01700450bdba79a4966f97df3.jpg

30 minutes ago, AmDivVal said:

When I select a style and change an attribute, I get a + that shows that it is different. Is it ok to have those + signs in the document, or is it best practice to not have them? Why does changing the font size add a +, but adding Bold does not?

For a "best practise" it depends on both the amount of text and the number of visual styles, whether you want or should avoid any + symbol, or instead prefer to live with it because you are aware for each of their cause and use. The + symbol often will be disturbing only once you have forgotten what makes it occur. One possible "best practise" is to avoid every single + symbol, and therefore do any style change in general not to selected text but to the style in the style editor window, (or to use the 'update style' button intense).

As soon you do any change to text which has a style assigned it will be listed in the changes on top of the styles panel, here for instance a 'manually' changed "Bold":

1381186591_textstyleswindow2.jpg.4f6f276750ba7b0476a40d7cab22371b.jpg

A change applied to a selected part of a paragraph only can be worth to be saved as separate character style for easier use, for instance to color certain words in red you can create a style "red" which changes the font color only. In case you want to have red word but also italic you would either create an additional style which has both this properties set or live with a + when italic gets set or create a dependency between styles. However, you always can apply only exactly 1 saved paragraph and 1 saved character style to any text, so you can't apply both "red" AND "italic" even if you have saved both as character styles.

Just two samples of a range of available online resources:

https://affinity.help/publisher/en-US.lproj/index.html?page=pages/Text/textStyles_create.html?title=Creating and managing text styles

"Affinity Designer Text Styles" (12 minutes)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emHIEKj9DvU   


macOS 10.14.6, Macbook Pro Retina 15" + Eizo 24", Affinity in Separated Mode (documents merged)

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I'm watching through that video you posted:

"Affinity Designer Text Styles" (12 minutes)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emHIEKj9DvU

He is setting up his headings as Character Styles instead of Paragraph Styles. I'm not sure why he would do that. I guess there are just many ways to approach organizing styles.

Also, he is creating a text frame for every paragraph. My approach would be to make one large text frame and select different paragraph styles for each paragraph and heading within that text frame. The downside to my approach is having to meticulously assign spacing to each paragraph style. The upside to my approach is having exactly the same amount of spacing between paragraphs.

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I find text styles essential for body-focused documents (books, brochures, reports), and less useful for display-focused documents (posters, web graphics, advertising splashes).

If you are throwing up 20 different kinds of artistic text  on a page, you probably don't need text styles.

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Posted (edited)

Hi - I'm having issues getting my paragraph and character styles to save - I'll create them in one document but once I've closed out of the document and go to edit another, I have to create the styles again. Is anyone else running into this issue? It's becoming quite aggravating. Are text styles better to use than paragraph or character styles? I didn't know there would be a difference.

Edited by Brockmcms
clarification

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37 minutes ago, Brockmcms said:

I'll create them in one document but once I've closed out of the document and go to edit another, I have to create the styles again.

That's how Text Styles work; they're document-specific.

But you can update the default Text Styles in the Affinity applications. When you have the text styles that you want, click the hamburger (settings) icon in the Text Styles panel, and choose "Save Styles as Default".

(You can also "Import Styles from Document" if you have a document with styles that you want to install into a different document.)


-- Walt

Windows 10 Home, version 2004 (19041.388),
   Desktop: 16GB memory, Intel Core i7-6700K @ 4.00GHz, GeForce GTX 970
   Laptop:  8GB memory, Intel Core i7-3625QM @ 2.30GHz, Intel HD Graphics 4000 or NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M
Affinity Photo 1.8.5.703 and 1.9.0.734 Beta   / Affinity Designer 1.8.5.703 and 1.9.0.734 Beta  / Affinity Publisher 1.8.5.703 and 1.9.0.742 Beta.

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I'm jumping into this thread because I have a similar problem, and I'm not 100% sure that it's not just my lack of understanding.

I've just set up the template for a new journal. I want to be able to apply a style (e.g. "Body") and choose to apply it without any style overrides (so just "Body", no "+") but I can't seem to get rid of some of the +.

Each article in my publication is in a set of connected frames, but there are no connections between articles. Articles are sent to me in all sorts of ways (email, Word documents, etc). I'm copying/pasting in the text (I missed the "Paste Special" option initially) and inherited the look from the source. Not a problem, as I thought I could just apply the style.

I've found 2 (related) issues:

  1. The pasted text was going into the document showing the "style" of the paragraph it was pasted into, but with the look of the source document (a lot of "+"). To get away from this, I tried applying the style I wanted again. I even tried applying the style and clearing character formatting... but it didn't get me back to a clean look. So I changed the style completely (to a heading, for example) then back to Body... and that worked!
     
  2. For one of the articles, I can't get rid of the "+"... but I'm not sure it really exists! See screenshot below.  I have checked the Base, Body Styles and Body, and the leading is NOT set to 13 pt anywhere. It's set in Base at 105% (which in the Paragraph panel shows as 12.6 pt for the same paragraph that the Text Styles tool shows as a + 13 pt (I accept it might be rounding, but why the +?) and then cascades down. I can't see that there should be a +? (I had it happen with another - it had + for a lot of what I would consider to be paragraph settings... indents and so on... but applying the style and clearing the character-level formatting removed them... just not this one!)

For this particular edition, it's not hugely important... it "looks" OK, and the articles are on separate pages so very minor differences (as this is) are not likely to be noticed... if they really exist at all. 🙂

I just want to understand what I'm doing wrong and how to correct it in future as I'm possibly lucky that the changes are relatively minor.

Thanks in advance,

Alison

Text Styles.png


Alison

Serif user since the mid-1990s. Affinity Publisher, Designer and Photo all at 1.8.5.703. Windows 10. 

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4 hours ago, ajpeck123 said:

The pasted text was going into the document showing the "style" of the paragraph it was pasted into, but with the look of the source document (a lot of "+"). To get away from this, I tried applying the style I wanted again. I even tried applying the style and clearing character formatting... but it didn't get me back to a clean look. So I changed the style completely (to a heading, for example) then back to Body... and that worked!

Selecting all the paragraphs, then right-clicking on the paragraph text style in the Text Styles panel and choosing "Apply to paragraphs and clear character formatting" should have worked, as far as I know. But it would also remove any bold, italic, etc. formatting. To preserve them you'd need to use "Apply to paragraphs" and one of the "and preserve ..." options.

4 hours ago, ajpeck123 said:

For one of the articles, I can't get rid of the "+"... but I'm not sure it really exists! See screenshot below.  I have checked the Base, Body Styles and Body, and the leading is NOT set to 13 pt anywhere.

It could have come from a Character text style, or from being set directly on some of the text. It won't necessarily be visible in a paragraph text style.


-- Walt

Windows 10 Home, version 2004 (19041.388),
   Desktop: 16GB memory, Intel Core i7-6700K @ 4.00GHz, GeForce GTX 970
   Laptop:  8GB memory, Intel Core i7-3625QM @ 2.30GHz, Intel HD Graphics 4000 or NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M
Affinity Photo 1.8.5.703 and 1.9.0.734 Beta   / Affinity Designer 1.8.5.703 and 1.9.0.734 Beta  / Affinity Publisher 1.8.5.703 and 1.9.0.742 Beta.

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Thanks again, Walt. It hadn't dawned on me to check character styles for leading. I've tried the "clear character formatting" option and that doesn't do anything. I may deliberately set something else, then go back (same as I did with the paragraphs).


Alison

Serif user since the mid-1990s. Affinity Publisher, Designer and Photo all at 1.8.5.703. Windows 10. 

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It's doing it again.

I attach a very small document. The text frame was added to the page, the style set and I started typing. The heading style has a 12pt leading applied that I can't remove. It also (magically) had a character outline that wasn't specified in any of the levels of the styles (Base, Heading Styles or Heading 1) , and a few other character bits that I had never specified, but that vanished when I reapplied the Heading 1 style.

It's not a huge issue, but the whole point of styles from my perspective is that my document is consistent throughout, and one edition to the next is also consistent. I just can't work out where the + Leading: 12pt is coming from.

I'm happy to be told I'm doing something wrong... I just need to know where. And it would be REALLY useful to be able to remove all style overrides and reapply a paragraph style without them... removing any paragraph overrides (such as leading) as well as any character overrides.

Thanks in advance for any help,

Alison

Test.afpub


Alison

Serif user since the mid-1990s. Affinity Publisher, Designer and Photo all at 1.8.5.703. Windows 10. 

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@ajpeck123I have the same issue with mysterious + paragraph styles.  walt.farrell's correct about character style overrides, but I have had the same experience with no apparent paragraph style overrides, no apparent character styles applied, and an explicit attempt at purging any character styling, yet can't get the + to go away.

I haven't tried hard to track it down, because I frequently have character styling overrides.  But I would like that visual indication that a given chunk of text is "straight up" its assigned paragraph style.

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15 hours ago, ajpeck123 said:

The heading style has a 12pt leading applied that I can't remove.

To me this issue appears to be a confusion ('corruption'?) of the specific text frame on page 1, the frame on Master "Last A" has the same styles applied but doesn't show the "leading + 12 pt". Also if I create a new frame on page 1 and apply "Heading Style" and/or "Heading 1" the + 12 pt don't appear.

If I click with your frame on page 1 selected the circled T icon ("Reset formatting") I get rid of the "+ 12 pt" without any visual change in the text frame.
1695657289_resetformatting.jpg.85cded2a4e964dd9c3428b7e0ecf9e53.jpg

I wonder if it can matter that leading appears not to be defined in your two custom styles but only as 12 pt in "[No Style]": "Heading 1" is based on "Heading Style", which is based on "[No Style]", which has a leading of 12 pt (rounded, with all decimals it says 12,392578 pt). Both "Heading Style" and "Heading 1" have their leading set to "[No change]", so I assume they somehow rely on (or mean to) the 12 pt leading of "[No Style]".

On 9/8/2020 at 11:37 AM, ajpeck123 said:

It also (magically) had a character outline that wasn't specified in any of the levels of the styles (Base, Heading Styles or Heading 1) , and a few other character bits that I had never specified, but that vanished when I reapplied the Heading 1 style.

Here I don't see a character outline for your text, neither in the Stroke nor the Colours Panel, and also no other custom settings in the Character Panel. – How/where do you detect those?


macOS 10.14.6, Macbook Pro Retina 15" + Eizo 24", Affinity in Separated Mode (documents merged)

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Thank you, Thomaso.

19 minutes ago, thomaso said:

If I click with your frame on page 1 selected the circled T icon ("Reset formatting") I get rid of the "+ 12 pt" without any visual change in the text frame.
1695657289_resetformatting.jpg.85cded2a4e964dd9c3428b7e0ecf9e53.jpg

That's the bit I was missing... I hadn't spotted the T icon! Thank you so much! I've reapplied the style so many times...!  🙂

20 minutes ago, thomaso said:

I wonder if it can matter that leading appears not to be defined in your two custom styles but only as 12 pt in "[No Style]": "Heading 1" is based on "Heading Style", which is based on "[No Style]", which has a leading of 12 pt (rounded, with all decimals it says 12,392578 pt). Both "Heading Style" and "Heading 1" have their leading set to "[No change]", so I assume they somehow rely on (or mean to) the 12 pt leading of "[No Style]".

image.gif.64e95a703dd00e5cd5c201977a28c861.gifMaybe that's the problem... the leading is defined in the Base and is set to 105% and at one point Heading Styles was based on Base. At some point, I've managed to lose that link. But if they are based on No Style and it has 12 pt set, that explains why it IS 12pt, but not why it's + 12pt.

23 minutes ago, thomaso said:

Here I don't see a character outline for your text, neither in the Stroke nor the Colours Panel, and also no other custom settings in the Character Panel. – How/where do you detect those?

They did clear when I chose to "Apply Heading 1 to Paragraphs and Clear Character Style" but I don't know why they were there in the first place. I didn't want to send the whole magazine, so I just sent the one page. 🙂

I also hadn't realised that "No Style" actually had a specification attached - although I suppose it's obvious it needs something to display. I'll re-attach my heading styles to Base... although that doesn't account for the Body styles that did the same thing in another document, and they were definitely attached to Base. I have a feeling it's user error - I just haven't yet worked out what!

Thanks again.


Alison

Serif user since the mid-1990s. Affinity Publisher, Designer and Photo all at 1.8.5.703. Windows 10. 

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4 hours ago, ajpeck123 said:

But if they are based on No Style and it has 12 pt set, that explains why it IS 12pt, but not why it's + 12pt.

You seem to read this particular + symbol as a mathematical operator (addition), I think it is rather a neutral separator, as if saying: << You have style "XY" assigned, and differing from that, you have the leading of 12 pt, while I only mention this because your style "XY" with its 22 pt font size has another leading than 12 pt because in its grandparent style "Base" its defined as 105 % of height >> . Compare the + symbol in other, non numerical meaning, e.g. "+ bold".

It's interesting (and confusing, too) that visually on the page layout this announced leading of 12pt does not occur anywhere in a paragraph of "Heading 1".
However, this "theory" also doesn't explain where the leading decimals are resulting from: 12 pt x 105% = 12,6 pt, while the decimals say "12,392578 pt".

These odd decimals trigger another guess: might it have happened that this particular text frame got scaled with its outer handle? (it would cause a manipulation of its style's dimensions)


macOS 10.14.6, Macbook Pro Retina 15" + Eizo 24", Affinity in Separated Mode (documents merged)

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No, not mathematical. If it's inheriting 12pt from its parent ("no style"), it wouldn't be +12pt in the same way that if the parent style had italics set and the current style (body, for example) had "no change", I wouldn't expect to see "body + italics".

I'm not going to worry about it any more... I had 12.6 for most styles body styles, and I'd expected 105% for headings, but I'd lost the link to Base (now restored). I can't remember now whether I'd resized a frame using its outer handle or not... certainly not deliberately, but it's impossible to be 100% certain that I didn't accidentally drag that slightly. Now I know about the "T" option, I can live with that.

I've also found that if a style INSISTS on picking something I don't want (another brand new document kept adding "+ Default paragraph style" to Body... if I cleared everything and reapplied Body, it came back!), I can change it to "No character style" then update the paragraph style. It's an annoying extra step, but I can live with it.

Thanks again for all the help and suggestion. It is very much appreciated. 🙂

 


Alison

Serif user since the mid-1990s. Affinity Publisher, Designer and Photo all at 1.8.5.703. Windows 10. 

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On 9/8/2020 at 10:37 AM, ajpeck123 said:

It's doing it again.

I attach a very small document. The text frame was added to the page, the style set and I started typing. The heading style has a 12pt leading applied that I can't remove. It also (magically) had a character outline that wasn't specified in any of the levels of the styles (Base, Heading Styles or Heading 1) , and a few other character bits that I had never specified, but that vanished when I reapplied the Heading 1 style.

It's not a huge issue, but the whole point of styles from my perspective is that my document is consistent throughout, and one edition to the next is also consistent. I just can't work out where the + Leading: 12pt is coming from.

I'm happy to be told I'm doing something wrong... I just need to know where. And it would be REALLY useful to be able to remove all style overrides and reapply a paragraph style without them... removing any paragraph overrides (such as leading) as well as any character overrides.

Thanks in advance for any help,

Alison

Test.afpub 486.34 kB · 6 downloads

In a document I was working on recently, I had the same problem with odd leading. The paragraph style was set to 13pt, no character style was applied to the text, yet the info bar at the top of the screen (forget the technical name) told me the leading was 12pt. I had to apply a different style to the highlighted text and then reapply the paragraph style I actually wanted to get the 13pt leading to 'stick'.

I also find that sometimes a random character style will be applied. For instance, I am applying paragraph styles to headers etc quite happily, but the next time I click on the paragraph style 'Header', the character style 'Bullet' is also applied. No idea how/why that happens but it's pretty annoying.

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While it's not a bug, I continually find it unexpected (due to work habits developed using other apps) that text can be given override properties of the last paragraph style assigned if the text comes "unglued" from that style due to ham-fisted editing.  This inevitably trips me up because when I apply the new paragraph style in the most direct way, the overrides take precedence over the new style.  I need to change my habits in Affinity suite to more often apply styles with the "override" methods.

BTW, when applying paragraph styles, the namig of "preserve character formatting" and "preserve local formatting" seems misleading.  Both modes retain both character styling and non-style character property overrides.  The help page says the first mode sets paragraph indent/alignment, while the second mode retains it.

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Hmmm... I also find that misleading. From other apps, I think of paragraph formatting as being indents, leading, fonts, etc applied to the whole paragraph (and I can't normally change leading at a character level, although I can raise or lower individual characters). I think I need to play some more. As I started by saying, it's possibly me trying to use workflows I've learned from other applications. 🙂


Alison

Serif user since the mid-1990s. Affinity Publisher, Designer and Photo all at 1.8.5.703. Windows 10. 

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