Using Character Styles

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Character styles allow you to customize the following features:

  • Font, color, and font size
  • Font effects: relief, underlining, strikthrough, small capitals, etc.
  • Position, rotation and spacing
  • Background color


[edit] How to create a character style

In order to create a character style you have to open the Styles and Formatting (by pressing Ctrl-F11 or choosing the Format menu then clicking the Styles and Formatting sub-menu. Then you will be able to create a characters style using one of the following methods:

1. The first method consists of configuring the features of the character you want in the Character dialogue (to open it select the Format menu then the Character... sub-menu). You can also open the Character window by right clicking or Ctrl + click then selecting Character... in the contextual menu that appears. Once the customization is done, select the characters group and open the Styles and Formatting window, be sure that the styles that appear in the list are the character styles (click the second icon from the left), then click the icon that shows a sheet with a green cross. Choose New Style from Selection. In the dialogue that opens, you can give the new style a name. Type the name then click OK. The style is created from what you defined first.

2. The second method consists of directly opening the Styles and Formatting window. Be sure that the characters list is visible (the second icon from the left); put the cursor in any location in the list and right click or Ctrl-click. In the contextual menu that appears, choose the New... option. In the dialogue, click on the formatting tabs to define the characteristics you wish. Remember to give the style a name in the Organizer tab. Then click OK.

Keep in mind that these character styles only apply to the document you are editing. If you want to use them in other documents, you have to either create a template or import the style (see below).

[edit] How to modify character styles

Once a character style has been created, you can always modify its characteristics as you like. You have just to put the cursor on the name of the character style in the Styles and Formatting window and right click or Ctrl-click. In the contextual menu which appears, choose Modify... and enter the modifications in the window that opens. Then click OK and the modifications are saved.

The changes will immediately apply to the pages of your document in which this style is used.

[edit] How to apply a style to characters

You have just to select the group of words or characters to which you want to apply the created style then open the Styles and Formatting. Select the style you wish and double-click on it.

NB: Sometimes the character style modification can cause changes in the following paragraphs or following words. To avoid that, check the styles related to the characters style you are using, select the style name and right click or Ctrl-click. Choose Modify... and in the Organizer tab, check the style that appears in the Link with option. Be sure that the character style you wish to use for the following paragraphs of the document you are editing appears here.

[edit] How to import a character style

You can import a character style created in an older document to use it in the document you are editing. Follow the steps below:

  • Open the Styles and Formatting window, select the type of style you want to import (Footnote Characters, Endnote Characters, etc.), then click the icon that shows a sheet with a green cross at the left end and select Load Styles....
  • In the window that opens, select the Text option and click the From a File... button.
  • Choose the document whose you want to import the style then click Open.

The imported style will be in the Custom Styles list. You will be able to apply it to any characters of your documents as described above.

[edit] Some advice

  • Given that sometimes the list of the character (or paragraph) styles can be quite long (especially when the original document has been created with MS Word and when you have created your list of customized styles), it's a good thing to display the list of the styles groups of the Styles and Formatting window (at the bottom of the window) and to choose Custom Styles. So you will see only the list of the styles you have customized.
  • To modify the spacing between characters, it's not enough to choose the Expanded or Condensed option of the Spacing menu, you also have to indicate the number of points (pt). The arrow indicates more extension (or condensation) of spacing starting from 0.0 pt. If you want to set decimal values, you have to type them directly.

[edit] Related Articles

Editing Default Styles and Using Templates

How to Add Page Numbers

Using Page Styles

Using Paragraph Styles

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