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Hey everyone,

I've been working with Affinity Publisher for quite some time now (actually I'm a day one user) and before that I worked over half a decade with the equivalent of the big A. So, I'd like to think I already have some experience with DTP software. Still, here I am coming back to questions that arise every now and then when working with interdependent Text Styles. (Some things I never quite get used to, heh. 😅)

Question: Is there any documentation or overview of the different options (I know, there are a lot) or a section in the FAQ or help file that I missed that helps to explain them and the context/requirements?

Just as an example: I am currently stuck and wondering how (and if at all) I can combine a pragraph style with a character style, So if I change the character style, all the associated paragraph styles adapt as well?

Thanks for pointing me in the right direction!

For those wondering what the heck is he talking about, here's a screenshot of the first tab in the left list – there are many more options:

image.thumb.png.17bc5026285be484004f7662056ff35d.png

MrDoodlezz Behance Profile

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Your question sounds confusing to me. It causes two questions:

1. If you are well experienced with ID then what do you still need to learn – since the functions work quite the same (though a few features vary, e.g. nested style, GREP style)?

2. How do you expect a paragraph style getting influenced by a character style – if you consider that paragraph is the parent style which can have many more different children, as each character in a paragraph can have a separate character style while the entire paragraph (and thus each letter, too) has a common paragraph style applied?

macOS 10.14.6, MacBookPro Retina 15" + Eizo 27"

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19 minutes ago, MrDoodlezz said:

Just as an example: I am currently stuck and wondering how (and if at all) I can combine a pragraph style with a character style, So if I change the character style, all the associated paragraph styles adapt as well?

I guess you could make a Character Style and then base a Paragraph style on that. I frequently make Character Styles for use in Drop Cap and Initial Words Paragraph Styles. The Character Style may or may not be based on the Paragraph Style, never the other way around.

I honestly do not see any advantage to using a Character Style as the top level in a Paragraph Style.

Mac Pro (Late 2013) Mac OS 11.7.3 
Affinity Designer 2.0.4 | Affinity Photo 2.0.4 | Affinity Publisher 2.0.4 | Beta versions as they appear.

I have never mastered color management, period, so I cannot help with that.

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44 minutes ago, thomaso said:

How do you expect a paragraph style getting influenced by a character style

That's exactly what I'm wondering. I mainly became aware of it because Publisher offers these options and not necessarily because I need it right now.

44 minutes ago, Old Bruce said:

I honestly do not see any advantage to using a Character Style as the top level in a Paragraph Style.

Me neither, not at the top level, don't get me wrong. But please take a look at the first three dropdown menus in the screenshot – I would like to understand how they build on each other and influence each other. For some reason, I have not been able to really figure it out. What does »Next Style« imply? I can't seem to wrap my head around it.

One use case I see could be controlling colours (each colour gets its own character style) without editing the global colour swatches?

---

Please don't forget the big picture though!

Character Style paired with Paragraph Style was also just an example for the head topic – I would still appreciate documentation of the other functions in this dialogue, as not everything is self-explanatory and the help file therefore seems incomplete. Besides, you don't seem to get the information about these options anywhere else. Scouring the forum for possible threads cannot be the solution when you need a quick answer. Adding documentation would also benefit novices who want to delve deeper into the matter of clean typography and therefore more organised file structures.

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2 hours ago, MrDoodlezz said:

questions that arise every now and then when working with interdependent Text Styles. (Some things I never quite get used to, heh. 😅)

In case your question concerns dependencies between styles only: Affinity does not offer ID's "Nested" nor its "GREP" styles but available are "Next Style" and "Next Level".

Unfortunately there is no "Documentation" in terms of a "Reference Manual" for Affinity. But there is the "Help" with some feature & function descriptions, though it can feel limited and not quite verbose, in particular its search engine with limited keywords.

"Based on" refers to an optional parent style, means, if a property of the "base" gets changed it can affect other styles (depending on the setting of those: [No change] means it remains linked to its parent style and thus reflects any change done to its base style).

"Next Style" simply means that a series of styles can get defined to be auto-applied to a series of paragraphs. For instance shown in the video in this post (which also illustrates a possible issue if empty paragraphs are used):


This thread may shed some light on "Next Level":

macOS 10.14.6, MacBookPro Retina 15" + Eizo 27"

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12 minutes ago, MrDoodlezz said:

But please take a look at the first three dropdown menus in the screenshot – I would like to understand how they build on each other and influence each other. For some reason, I have not been able to really figure it out. What does »Next Style« imply? I can't seem to wrap my head around it.

Only Based on influences the current Paragraph Style. The Next Style and Next Level don't Build On or Influence anything, they replace the current style with the one chosen.

Next Style is the next style while typing in text. You hit the return key and you'll get Colour Red instead of the current Heading 3. The Next Level refers to lists, I don't have much experience with it.

Mac Pro (Late 2013) Mac OS 11.7.3 
Affinity Designer 2.0.4 | Affinity Photo 2.0.4 | Affinity Publisher 2.0.4 | Beta versions as they appear.

I have never mastered color management, period, so I cannot help with that.

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2 minutes ago, Old Bruce said:

Only Based on influences the current Paragraph Style. The Next Style and Next Level don't Build On or Influence anything, they replace the current style with the one chosen.

Next Style is the next style while typing in text. You hit the return key and you'll get Colour Red instead of the current Heading 3. The Next Level refers to lists, I don't have much experience with it.

Good point. Though in the users eyes this auto-style change can appear as an influence. 😉

Designers often aren't typing text but rather paste text into frames (or place text as frames) which need to get styled afterwards. Therefore I use "Next Style" more often not while typing but when all text does exist. Then Next Styles can get applied with the according option in a style's burger menu or via right click.

Next styles can be very helpful if a pattern of text contents is used repeatedly, for instance…
… in an interview (question / answer),
… a history (year / event),
… a catalog (product name / description / technical specs / product number),
… a set of business cards (name / function / contact data)
… etc.

A sample video with base / next / same styles being applied:

 

Different to paragraph breaks line breaks ("soft" paragraph breaks) allow to interrupt "Next Style" and continue after the next paragraph break:

macOS 10.14.6, MacBookPro Retina 15" + Eizo 27"

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1 hour ago, Old Bruce said:

Only Based on influences the current Paragraph Style. The Next Style and Next Level don't Build On or Influence anything, they replace the current style with the one chosen.

Next Style is the next style while typing in text. You hit the return key and you'll get Colour Red instead of the current Heading 3. The Next Level refers to lists, I don't have much experience with it.

Ah, now I get it @Old Bruce!

You guys have just answered my example question about the styles perfectly. (At least I’d like to think so!)

Basically, it's like this, and I wasn’t fully aware, at least for »Next Style«:

  1. Paragraphs (in some way) serve as a trigger for »Next Style«.
  2. Tabs (in some way) serve as a trigger for »Next Level«.

At least for me, this solved my example question, besides the faulty functionality shown in your videos @thomaso.

But basically that's exactly the kind of explanation I expect from a (here I go again) documentation or or rather a fully comprehensive help file. 
How is anyone (regardless of the degree of experience) supposed to get to know this, why aren’t there any tooltips in that dialogue?! Trial and error is a great way to learn the ropes, but it's not always an option.

By the way, I didn't even know about the »... Then Next Styles« option – so thanks for pointing that out, @thomaso! Definitely comes in handy next time when formatting text! Now I just wonder why there is not also the option "... Then Next Level", e.g. for nested lists.

Edit: I now also know why I got confused about this in the first place! When setting up »Bullets and Numbering« you can also provide a Style that will be used for the bullet/number at the start. I guess I though that »Next Style« would work quite similar. Guess I didn't think that through completely. 😁

image.thumb.png.9dfa500b59bc6e31e32026b6910c51ed.png

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1 minute ago, MrDoodlezz said:

Tabs (in some way) serve as a trigger for »Next Level«.

No – Sorry if this was visually misleading in the video.

In this clip it is the mentioned "Line Break" (or "Soft paragraph break") which prevents the Next Style from getting used. The tabs in this example were just used to make the "fake" paragraph break visually more obvious. Well, indeed I would much better have set a "first line indent" for this style, no tab at all. Additionally: An indent can get created just by its style definition whereas a tab can't get caused by the style but requires to get added to the text as special character.

macOS 10.14.6, MacBookPro Retina 15" + Eizo 27"

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8 minutes ago, thomaso said:

No – Sorry if this was visually misleading in the video.

In this clip it is the mentioned "Line Break" (or "Soft paragraph break") which prevents the Next Style from getting used. The tabs in this example were just used to make the "fake" paragraph break visually more obvious. Well, indeed I would much better have set a "first line indent" for this style, no tab at all. Additionally: An indent can get created just by its style definition whereas a tab can't get caused by the style but requires to get added to the text as special character.

Kurz auf deutsch, geht schneller: Ah, nein, ich hab’s schon verstanden in deinem Video – du hast automatische Einschübe definiert … oder?
Edit: Hast du nicht, ach so. 😅

Naja, was ich jedenfalls meinte ist, wenn du allerdings einen Paragraph Style mit »Bullets and Numbering« eingestellt hast dient ein Tab dafür ins nächste Level zu wechseln.
Also von z. B. Level 1) zu 1a), das meinte ich damit.

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4 minutes ago, thomaso said:
14 minutes ago, MrDoodlezz said:

Tabs (in some way) serve as a trigger for »Next Level«.

No – Sorry if this was visually misleading in the video.

Sorry again, I haven't read carefully and overseen your "Level". – My recent answer refers to "Next Style" (and since I used tabs in the second video I have been answering too fast.

A Next Level gets probably triggered by the bullet style settings – but I am not experienced enough to give a useful hint. (… and I don't want to wait with this post to correct my error of Level misreading a as Style)

macOS 10.14.6, MacBookPro Retina 15" + Eizo 27"

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4 minutes ago, MrDoodlezz said:

Naja, was ich jedenfalls meinte ist, wenn du allerdings einen Paragraph Style mit »Bullets and Numbering« eingestellt hast dient ein Tab dafür ins nächste Level zu wechseln.
Also von z. B. Level 1) zu 1a), das meinte ich damit.

Oje, jetzt gibts auch noch cross-posts. 😅

Ja, "Level" betrifft die Nummerierungs-Formatierung und wird dort definiert.

macOS 10.14.6, MacBookPro Retina 15" + Eizo 27"

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