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garrettm30

How to Apply Paragraph Style and Clear All

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In Publisher, I am looking for the command to apply a paragraph style and clear both character styles and local formatting. Everything I try leaves me with extra formatting besides the style definition. I am looking for the equivalent of this InDesign command (when right-clicking on a Paragraph style):

1676998191_ScreenShot2019-07-10at4_33_02PM.png.ddfb51c7d97da6222e8bb1303c2bc179.png

 

I also cannot find the "Apply [style name], Clear Overrides" command. Can anyone advise me?

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Hi garrettm30,

The closest we get to this is when you right click on a paragraph style and you get the option to Apple 'style name' to Paragraphs and clear character styles.  

Would make for a good feature suggestion tho :) 

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Another way to get rid of unwanted style properties is using the button "Revert defaults" in main tool bar first. Depending what you have defined there as Default it clears the unexpected, frame properties included.


macOS 10.12.6,  Macbook Pro 15" + Eizo 24"

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3 hours ago, stokerg said:

Hi garrettm30,

The closest we get to this is when you right click on a paragraph style and you get the option to Apple 'style name' to Paragraphs and clear character styles.  

Would make for a good feature suggestion tho :) 

Thanks for the reply. When I try that, for some reason it applies the the paragraph style to both the paragraph and character, (for example, it shows "Heading 1 + Heading 1"). What is the difference in that and Heading 1 as the paragraph style and [No Style] as the character style?

And what I especially want is to be able to clear all overrides from the text when I apply a style. If that is not available, then I think we should make that as a suggestion. I use text styles extensively in InDesign, but I have having frustrating in trying to use the Text Style studio in Publisher, and I am not yet sure what is happening to be able to put into words the problem or what to request.

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On 7/12/2019 at 11:34 PM, garrettm30 said:

… for some reason it applies the the paragraph style to both the paragraph and character, (for example, it shows "Heading 1 + Heading 1"). What is the difference in that and Heading 1 as the paragraph style and [No Style] as the character style?

Yes, the whole 'Heading 1 + Heading 1' thing really threw me, and it took me a while to realise that it was the 'Apply [Style] to Paragraphs and Clear Character Styles' command that was the culprit. It's one thing to get funky and allow paragraph styles to act as character styles—quite another to make that the default behaviour for such a standard command, and end up with the same style being applied to the same text twice. What were they smoking when they thought this was a good idea?

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Thanks for the bump in this thread, because I have still been confused about this, and having forgotten that I already posted about it, I have been considering making another post to ask the same question. Your reminder kept me from needlessly starting a duplicate thread.

That said, I am still wondering if anyone can explain what is the difference in having the paragraph style applied also as the character style. For example, as we talked about above, is there any difference at all in "Heading 1 + Heading 1" versus Heading 1 with [No Style] as the character style?

If there is no difference at all, then maybe I should just not worry about, because I am in effect getting the same result. It is just a little disconcerting that when I click "Apply {Style Name} to Paragraphs and Clear Character Styles," that it actually applies as a characters style what is in fact a paragraph style.

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I agree, it is disconcerting. If you're someone who just likes to work 'clean' (to avoid the unexpected), you learn to take notice of those potentially pesky '+' symbols in the styles panel.

On 10/17/2019 at 1:05 AM, garrettm30 said:

… is there any difference at all in "Heading 1 + Heading 1" versus Heading 1 with [No Style] as the character style?

I suspect that the end result is exactly the same, even if there's some murky code lurking beneath the surface. That still bothers me.

I was really looking forward to Beta testing Publisher when I had the chance. But as it turned out, I didn't delve in deep enough… only found time to scratch the surface, after which I raved about it. It's when you start using it for production that you start to bump up against these kinds of frustrations. My feedback on this feature (of being able to use paragraph and character styles interchangeably) would have been: interesting concept, but probably a solution looking for a problem—and one that complicates the things that are really important, like we've seen here. Guess how many times, in my 20 years of using InDesign, I wished that I could double-up and use a paragraph style as a character style? (Hint: somewhere between -1 and 1.) What I have occasionally wished I could do was apply multiple paragraph styles to the same paragraph, like you can with CSS. This would create its own set of headaches though, so the hierarchical approach (having one style based on another) is probably the best solution.

But I digress. My feature request for Affinity would be this… Change the behaviour of the 'Apply [Style] to Paragraphs and Clear Character Styles' command so that it applies only the paragraph style as a paragraph style, and removes everything else. If you could do this by simply Option-Clicking on the style name (the way it works in InDesign) that would be even better. (Edited: That's how to remove overrides in InDesign, not character styles.)

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10 hours ago, garrettm30 said:

If there is no difference at all, then maybe I should just not worry about, because I am in effect getting the same result …

The big problems start when you want to change the paragraph style. Now you have two conflicting styles applied—one as a paragraph style, and one as a character style. This is really driving me nuts now. I think the feature is a huge mistake.

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14 hours ago, Kal said:

The big problems start when you want to change the paragraph style.

Ah, you're right, that is a difference in having a paragraph as a character style versus having no character style.

Moderators, I think this thread should be moved either to the bugs or to the feature requests. There may be a case for still allowing one to set a paragraph style as a character style if that's one's desire (though it does not make sense to me), but "Apply to Paragraphs and Clear Character Styles" should do what it claims—clear character styles, not assign another.

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5 hours ago, garrettm30 said:

Moderators, I think this thread should be moved either to the bugs or to the feature requests. There may be a case for still allowing one to set a paragraph style as a character style if that's one's desire (though it does not make sense to me), but "Apply to Paragraphs and Clear Character Styles" should do what it claims—clear character styles, not assign another.

Hear, hear!!

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I think that as for "Apply 'style name' to Paragraphs and Clear Character Styles" command, it actually does "Clear All", but the command name is erroneous as it lets understand that it only affects character formatting that has been done by using Character styles. Its name should be something like "Apply 'style name' to Paragraphs and Clear All", or "Apply 'style name' to Paragraphs and Clear All Character Formatting". In addition, the "Paragraph Style" + "Paragraph Style" marking should be corrected to mere "Paragraph Style" by applying [No style] character formatting to the affected text. As it is now, "Reset" does not have any effect, because the text has already been reset!

But I noticed another thing, which is far more serious, and which I consider a major blunder: if text is formatted with paragraph style "X", and contains local formatting, e.g. bold and/or italicized parts, and the text cursor is inserted in it and another paragraph style "Y" is applied, all local formating is lost. This should never happen, and it certainly does not happen in InDesign, which is presumably used as a model when implementing these features. In InDesign, local character formatting is lost in change of paragraph style only if all text of the paragraph is overridden (in which case it is no longer seen as "local"), OR, if the local formatting is deliberately wished to be cleared by using a specific command that forces another style.

They way paragraph formatting is implemented now would be a total catastrophe for anyone making a move from InDesign to Affinity Publisher. If e.g. changing paragraph formatting from "Body" to "Footnote" would lose complex and carefully applied local formatting, e.g. italicized book names, person names made deliberately bold, etc., you can easily cause massive non-recoverable damage to the text, resulting in hours of tedious work in re-importing text, or restoring the formatting manually. Have I just misunderstood something, or is this really intended behavior?

See attached an .afpub file for different basic formatting situations.

Remove_styles.afpub

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1 hour ago, Lagarto said:

But I noticed another thing, which is far more serious, and which I consider a major blunder: if text is formatted with paragraph style "X", and contains local formatting, e.g. bold and/or italicized parts, and the text cursor is inserted in it and another paragraph style "Y" is applied, all local formating is lost. This should never happen, and it certainly does not happen in InDesign, which is presumably used as a model when implementing these features. In InDesign, local character formatting is lost in change of paragraph style only if all text of the paragraph is overridden (in which case it is no longer seen as "local"), OR, if the local formatting is deliberately wished to be cleared by using a specific command that forces another style.

Right. In InDesign, you need to hold down Option while clicking on a style in order to clear any overrides.

1 hour ago, Lagarto said:

They way paragraph formatting is implemented now would be a total catastrophe for anyone making a move from InDesign to Affinity Publisher. If e.g. changing paragraph formatting from "Body" to "Footnote" would lose complex and carefully applied local formatting, e.g. italicized book names, person names made deliberately bold, etc., you can easily cause massive non-recoverable damage to the text, resulting in hours of tedious work in re-importing text, or restoring the formatting manually.

As a long-time InDesign user, I can confirm that it's an uncomfortable adjustment… but not for the reason you gave. I can't speak for the workflow of others, but one of the very first things I do with any sizeable document is to convert meaningful character formatting (italics for publication names, emphasis, etc) into character styles for two good reasons:

  1. To lock them in and avoid losing them. This isn't just about accidental removal—it's about removing all other nasty artefacts from the client's text, while not losing the important stuff!
  2. For consistency and the ability to change formatting later if required—basically the same reasons you use any text styles.

So in practice, it's actually pretty rare that I want to apply a style and NOT remove overrides.

It's also pretty rare that I want to remove all the character styles (once they're applied), and the main reason I find myself wanting to do it in Publisher is because Publisher is applying these sodding "Heading 1 + Heading 1" duplicate paragraph-cum-character styles all over the place!

1 hour ago, Lagarto said:

… in InDesign, which is presumably used as a model when implementing these features.

I think I'm starting to confuse myself even as I try to understand and work with Publisher. So I agree with you here… InDesign really does get text styles right… from separate panels for paragraph and character styles, to the much simpler way they work. I think Affinity would have been far better served to keep it simpler and just imitate the behaviour of InDesign in this regard.

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34 minutes ago, Kal said:

 into character styles for two good reasons

This is of course the safest way, and certainly recommendable if local formatting is important. But personally I quite often skip this and just rely on local formatting that comes from the original. This also depends on how you import your text. I typically use my own scripts to assign already created paragraph styles to paragraphs that have been tagged with equivalent style names in Word so when the script is run, text formatting is basically done, and I typically use character styles only for stuff like needing to use specific bold type for bold (e.g.. if Ctrl-Shift-B produces Semi-Bold and you want to use Bold), for styling footnote markers, making figures a bit smaller etc. etc. But making regular bold and italics as character styles in the first place allows naturally more control.

My point was mainly to note the difference to the way InDesign does this, and possible problems that this might cause.

But now that I examined this more closely, I realized that losing the local formatting ONLY happens with default styles, e.g. Body, which is based on "Base" style, which is defined as one crazy negating style that says no to everything possible. If you create your own styles without basing them on any other style, or detach the default "Body" from the "Base" style, you would not lose the local formatting.

So understanding this, I think that this works just fine.

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7 hours ago, Lagarto said:

I think that as for "Apply 'style name' to Paragraphs and Clear Character Styles" command, it actually does "Clear All"

This is not just a display issue. It really does have both a paragraph and a character style applied, and it does have implications that are different than just having a paragraph style with all character styles cleared.

Consider this example (and I have provided a sample file where you can follow along if you wish). Heading 1 is defined as center aligned with all caps; Heading 2 is defined as left aligned with normal caps. Each heading has had its paragraph style applied in the way we have been discussing: “Apply to Paragraphs and Clear Character Styles,” which, of course, results in the “Heading 1 + Heading 1” issue.

By merely applying Heading 2 (the default action by just clicking on the style in the Text Style studio) to the text with “Heading 1 + Heading 1,” you now see it is Heading 2 + Heading 1 + Align paragraph: Left. It has kept the all caps, which is part of the Heading 1 definition (not part of Heading 2), and it has also gained a Left paragraph alignment setting out of nowhere, even though Heading 2 is left aligned by definition. Presumably the center alignment of Heading 1 is affecting it, but this should not be so, because in this case Heading 1 is now applied as a character style, and paragraph alignement is not a character attribute. 

paragraph_and_character_styles_test.afpub

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2 hours ago, garrettm30 said:

This is not just a display issue. It really does have both a paragraph and a character style applied, and it does have implications that are different than just having a paragraph style with all character styles cleared.

Yes, I can see implications of it, but isn't this still a problem of failing to update the status of the formatting of all characters to [No Style], after this operation has factually been applied?

I mean that if you select all characters of the affected paragraph and manually apply  [No Style] character "style" then the duplicate styling disappears [e.g. "Heading 1 + Heading 1" becomes "Heading 1"). It does not seem that applying [No Style] actually changes anything else than the status flag, so "Apply 'Paragraph Style' and Clear Character Styles" seems to clear all character formatting, both local and character style based, even if it fails to set the character style [No style] state. 

See attached an example of how using "Apply 'Heading 1' and Clear Character Styles" for the oddly formatted heading clears both the local and character style based formatting. The result is "by design", I think, but the command is poorly named, and formatting status not correctly set. Or who knows, my brain already hurts...

paragraph_and_character_styles_test_edited.afpub

EDIT: I forgot the effect of based on "Base", so actually what the command says to do is what it actually does: it applies the paragraph style (which may or may not remove all local character formatting, depending on how the style is defined), and removes character styles. But this is not too intuitive. But this can be seen if you detach all styles from the "Base" style. After that, using "Apply 'Heading 1' and Clear Character Styles" does not remove italic local formatting from the heading but just returns its point size and capital formatting as dictated by the paragraph style. Complex... Anyway, the actual problem with this feature is that it does not correctly set the [No Style] character style formatting status.

The question is, is "Apply 'Paragraph Style', Clear All" then actually a different operation and worth a separate command? This seems too complicated, already!

EDIT 2: ...and answering myself: no it is not. Italic formatting is defined differently in Affinity Publisher, but if Italic is turned off or on (rather than left in indeterminate state) in the paragraph style, this command does basically what the InDesign command does: applies the paragraph style and clears local overrides and character styles, that is, "Apply Paragraph Style, Clear All". It may of course be a bit redundant to say "Clear All" (assuming that applying of a paragraph style already implies clearing of local overrides, and therefore mentioning just about clearing of character styles), but at least it is more intuitive and user-friendly.

 

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On 10/17/2019 at 1:05 AM, garrettm30 said:

Thanks for the bump in this thread, because I have still been confused about this…

 

18 hours ago, Kal said:

I think I'm starting to confuse myself even as I try to understand and work with Publisher.

 

10 hours ago, Lagarto said:

Or who knows, my brain already hurts...

 

And therein lies the problem. Text styles in Publisher are confusing to understand and cumbersome to use—and much of that seems to stem from this totally unnecessary feature that allows you to use a paragraph style as a character style.

Granted, Publisher does some things better than InDesign. For example, the 'Sum space before and after' option is easy to overlook, but it's such an inspired feature! It's like collapsable margins in CSS—something I'd wished I could have in InDesign CS6. But when it comes to simply managing and applying these styles, Publisher gets funky at the expense of usability. The fact that we're having such a long discussion on this, which is now delving into the nuances of 'Base' style inheritance, tells me something is very wrong. We shouldn't have to wrap our heads around this stuff. We should be able to apply a paragraph style, choosing to either keep or strip character-level overrides, and the app should do exactly that.

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33 minutes ago, Kal said:

...Granted, Publisher does some things better than InDesign. For example, the 'Sum space before and after' option is easy to overlook, but it's such an inspired feature! ...

ID & QXP both have this feature these days.

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7 minutes ago, MikeW said:

ID & QXP both have this feature these days.

Okay I didn't realise. I never moved off CS6—refused the subscription-only ransomware.

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1 hour ago, Kal said:

Okay I didn't realise. I never moved off CS6—refused the subscription-only ransomware.

I use CS6 daily. I will rent when I get a job that requires it. Happens a couple times a year. 

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37 minutes ago, MikeW said:

I use CS6 daily. I will rent when I get a job that requires it. Happens a couple times a year. 

I'm going to have to do the same if my commercial Hyperlinker script needs any future updates or bug fixes, as CS6 will die with macOS Catalina. I don't do big typesetting jobs these days, so Publisher hopefully meets my needs now (usability frustrations aside).

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Having spent some more time with this, I must say I have not become any wiser, and I am now totally confused on how formatting is applied in Publisher. When I tested this with a set of styles I had created myself, the "based on" mechanism seemed to be the trigger for making locally formatted bold and italics getting lost when changing the paragraph style, but now that I have played with this for a while, it does not seem to be so.

I still do not understand the logic behind the Publisher way of doing this, but it certainly deviates from InDesign and from QuarkXpress, and the way it works now in Publisher would be a catastrophe for the kind of workflow I typically have, not anchoring local formatting with character styles but trusting that local formatting always stays no matter what paragraph style I apply to it, unless I deliberately force the applied style to reset overrides. Not so in Affinity Publisher. instead, at least apparently more or less randomly local overrides sometimes seem to be retained and sometimes lost. It is probably related to "based on" style property, but I have not managed to find out how exactly, and have not managed to get the mechanism work consistently and reliably.

I have tested this by exporting finished, perfectly styled layouts in RTF format from InDesign and importing them in Word, QuarkXPress and Affinity Publisher, and the result is that Word and QuarkXPress keep all local formatting similarly as InDesign while Publisher messes it all up. I am not sure if this is something that is now broken but has previously worked as expected, as when I have previously tried simulating the workflow I typically have (applying beforehand created paragraph formatting by using tags), I did not notice that local formatting would have been lost in the process. But as said, it seems to happen a bit randomly, so who knows.

As it is now, it is more or less an obligatory step to freeze local formatting by using character styles.

EDIT: In case it is not clear from the context, what is said above is related to simple change of paragraph styles by using Text Styles palette, not using any of the special commands in the context menu.

 

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You know, right-clicking a text style allows you to choose a lot of applying options like "preserve local formatting" and "preserve character formatting". (...what the difference between might be...?)

That said, I much prefer InDesign way where preserve is default and clear is forced with extra mod key (or right select as well).

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1 hour ago, Fixx said:

(...what the difference between might be...?)

That's an excellent question, Fixx, especially as the Help for the Character Panel says

Quote

The Character panel allows you to apply local formatting to individual letters, words, sentences and paragraphs as well as entire stories.

 


-- Walt

Windows 10 Home, version 1903 (18362.356), 16GB memory, Intel Core i7-6700K @ 4.00Gz, GeForce GTX 970
Affinity Photo 1.7.3.481 and 1.8.0.486 Beta   / Affinity Designer 1.7.3.481 and 1.8.0.486 Beta  / Affinity Publisher 1.7.3.481 and 1.8.0.502 Beta

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6 hours ago, Fixx said:

That said, I much prefer InDesign way where preserve is default and clear is forced with extra mod key (or right select as well).

One aspect here is also what happens when you find and replce with styles? I do not think that there are options for preserving local formatting, or all those special cases that exist in context menus, when doing find/replace so if finding and replacing with styles means that local formatting can potentially be lost in the process (that is, if it behaves simiilarly as when performed by command, local formatting sometimes being lost and other times retained, on grounds that are not obvious), then it is better to never use the feature for paragraph styling. 

EDIT: That is, unless your local styles are first anchored with character styles...

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After having spent quite a time with this feature, I must say that I cannot answer to the question of this post. There are situations where the command seems to operate similarly as InDesign's "Apply Paragraph Style, Clear All", and other situations where the only way to get rid of the local overrides is doing manual formatting.

In InDesign and QuarkXPress local formatting is something that is not easily lost accidentally (e.g., it does not happen when you change the paragraph style), not even in situations when there is no equivalent styling in changed conditions (e.g., the font of the new style does not have italic style, but instead oblique). On the other hand, when deviating styles are wanted to be cleared, it is straight forward to reset all local overrides and character style based formatting, either separately, or both at the same time. 

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