View Full Version : Nested Styles

11-26-2008, 08:33 AM
What are nested styles and how can we create, access and use them in InDesign CS4? Thanks!


Howard Allen
11-26-2008, 09:15 AM
Nested styles are used to create paragraph styles that have more than one character style in predictable arrangements. For example, say you want all your figure captions to have the first two words in Helvetica bold 10 point, then the rest of the caption to be in Minion regular 9 point.

You set up Nested Styles in the Paragraph Styles pane, under the "Drop Caps and Nested Styles" item. First thing you do is to create a mockup of the paragraph you want to use as a guide, apply whatever styles you want, and create a Character Style for each style ("Helvetica bold 10", "Minion regular 9"). Then, create a new Paragraph Style in the Paragraph Styles pane. When the dialog opens, name the paragraph style (say, "Figure caption"), then click the "Drop Caps and Nested Styles" item on the left. In the resulting dialog, click the "New Nested Style" button. Here you are presented with a bunch of popup lists and text entry fields, where you tell InDesign how you want to set up the nested styles; for example, "Helvetica bold 10", "through", "2", "Words" (the balance, "Minion regular 9" would be applied to the rest by default, as the base style for the paragraph). There are various ways of specifying how you want the character styles applied within the nest style. You can choose to have the first character style applied "through", or "up to" x number of "Words", "Sentences", "Letters", "Digits", and a whole slew of other options, including a special "End Nested Style Character" which you can insert anywhere in the paragraph, using the Type/Insert Special Character/Other/ menu item.

My explanation is probably pretty murky, but it's easy once you get the hang of it. It takes a little while to get your head around the idea. The best thing is to practice on some examples until you feel comfortable.

11-27-2008, 07:37 AM
Thanks, Howard.