contents   index   previous   next

Marking Type Specs


When editing on paper, you probably mark type specs by writing A, B, or C next to headings, writing “Block” next to block quotations, and so on. You can do the same thing in an electronic manuscript by using styles. For example, you can mark a main heading level by applying the style Heading 1.

Of course, styles do more than just mark levels of type. They also apply formatting to those levels. Applying Heading 1, for example, might format a heading with 24-point Arial. I’ve heard people ask, “Why not just mark each heading as 24-point Arial? Why bother with styles?” If this is a question you might ask, you’re about to increase your productivity. The beauty of styles is that they allow you to change your mind. Let’s say you’ve marked all of your main headings—102 of them, to be exact—as 24-point Arial, but your client thinks they should be bigger—32 points instead of 24. You now have the painful task of selecting and reformatting every single one of those 102 headings—unless, of course, you’ve used styles, in which case you can change the heading style with a few clicks of the mouse, automatically changing all 102 headings.

Using styles provides some other advantages, too:

1. You can easily find one style and replace it with another, using Microsoft Word’s find and replace feature. This is much simpler than having to search for directly applied formatting, such as 24-point Arial bold no indent.

2. If you’ve used Word’s built-in heading styles (Heading 1 through Heading 9), you can see and change the structure of your document in Word’s Outline view. These headings can be applied from the styles window or the headings buttons (1, 2, 3, and so on) on the Editor’s ToolKit 3 toolbar but also from the keyboard by holding down Ctrl + Shift and pressing one of the number keys (1 through 9). (Incidentally, Ctrl + Shift + N applies the Normal style.) I generally use Heading 1 for part titles, Heading 2 for chapter titles, and Heading 3 for subheads in a chapter.

3. Styles can be retained when importing a document into QuarkXPress, picking up the formatting specified for those styles in the QuarkXPress style sheets. This also makes it possible to quickly and easily change formatting globally in QuarkXPress just by changing the style sheets. If you’re a typesetter and you’re not using style sheets, you’re spending a lot more time on formatting than you need to, and you’re missing much of the power of QuarkXPress.