When a little plus sign appears next to an entry on the Paragraph Style palette, designers want to clear that plus sign. Doing so, however, wipes away desired local text formatting as well as undesired. That is, unless you apply italics, bold, and other formatting the smart way.
Recently I wrote for InDesignSecrets.com an article about InDesign CS3′s ability to Find/Change object formatting attributes. That post sparked a discussion that included other new features of Find/Change, whether CS3 would be able to co-exist with installations of CS and CS2, and how to clear style overrides in both InDesign CS2 and CS3. It’s this last topic I want to talk about in this article.
On that site, reader Ed F. asked:
What Iâ€™m looking for is [an automated] way to find text that is styled with a specified Paragraph Style and then over-ridden (possibly due to an import error), and revert it to the desired Paragraph Style. Neither Find Font nor the new Find/Change appear to be able to do this directly.
The inimitable Anne-Marie Concepcion answered with:
Clear Overrides can fix the problem once itâ€™s found. But Ed wants Find/Change to find them, and Find Format doesnâ€™t have that option. (â€Find Format: Body Style plus extra manual formatting of any type.â€) He might want to use Find/Change because he wants to take care of all instances of local overrides in a style in a big document â€¦ but Clear Overrides can only work a spread at a time, at most.
Ed, you can do what youâ€™re asking already, in CS2.
Find/Change has a â€œfeaturenotabugâ€ in that it automatically clears overrides (which some people donâ€™t like, but works great in your situation) whenever you specify a Paragraph Style in the Change Format area. So say text styled with â€œBody Copyâ€ paragraph style is all wonky throughout your doc because of various kinds of local formatting. To fix, go to Find/Change and set it to run through the Document. Leave the Find/Change fields empty but click the More Options button to open the Format fields. In Find Format, set it to find Paragraph Style: Body Copy. In Change Format, set it to find the same thing, Paragraph Style: Body copy. Then click Change All–voila, all local formatting is stripped from paragraphs styled with Body Copy.
If there is some local formatting you want to keep, be sure to use Character Styles for those…the Find/Change thing wonâ€™t clear out Character Style formatting without a bit of extra work.
Sagacious advice, particularly the caveat in the last paragraph, which is where I want to pick up the discussion.
Local Text Overrides
Any time you clear overrides on a paragraph style, all formating options not specifically described in the paragraph style, a character style, or in a style on which either is based, disappear. If you’ve italicized, emboldened, underlined, or
struckthrough any words or phrases, those all revert to unadorned Roman/regular text when you clear overrides.