So far - so good:
In case of a character tag override: "An asterisk displays next to the character tag name in the status bar." (Matt Sullivan's 'Working with Content'). But no asterisk appears in my status bar:
Who is wrong? Adobe, the book, or me?
I don't have Matt's book so I can't see exactly what he wrote, but I'd say it's FrameMaker. In theory, the asterisk should appear in that situation because it is an override. I played with it in both 2017 and 2015 and a type size change did not cause the asterisk to appear. Italics and/or underline were more likely to generate the asterisk but not always. If I pulled the character tag and changed the size of the entire paragraph, it appeared reliably.
The conclusion I draw from this experience is that I need to continue to rely on my eyes to locate overrides, as well as always use the Update Style button—which will identify overrides in the file, and give the the opportunity to remove them. My personal rule—and the one I drill into my FrameMaker students—is that the Apply button is great to preview formatting before committing, but to always follow up with the Update Style button, and remove overrides. This is the only way to ensure consistency in formatting very long FrameMaker documents. There are exceptions to every rule in FrameMaker—as in life—but I follow this one as closely as I possibly can.
After some more testing, it seems to me, there are two kinds of character tag overrides:
#1: Manually apply a new value to a property, that is defined in a character tag.
#2: Manually apply a new value to a property, that is not defined in a character tag. The previous value of the property was 'As Is'.
In the 1st case, there is an asterisk in the status bar (indicating an override).
And you can remove the override by reapplying the character tag.
In the 2nd case, there is no asterisk in the status bar.
And you can not remove the override by reapplying the character tag.
But the 2nd case definitely is an override, too - whatever FM (or the developers) may think.
Try to mark an override (with the mouse or the keyboard) from left to right: No asterisk in the status, or from right to left: Asterisk in the status! Someone out there, to explain me this crazy behavior?
Someone out there, to explain me this crazy behavior?