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I'm setting up a couple of books and I thought if there is a better way to automate the page at the start of a chapter?
A have a couple of paragraph styles added:
- Chapter Titel
- Text divider
- Body Text
- Body text with indentation
Right now I'm using find and change to find every "Chapter" text and adding that paragraph style, and then manually finding every place and adding next styles. But is there a better way of doing it?
The books are with over 100 chapters, så it would be awesome to be able to automate it, either with a function in InDesign or a script.
Within the General tab of each Paragraph Style is an option called Next Style where you can set the next Paragraph Style that is to be used. Next, select a block of text. Right mouse click on the first Paragraph Style that is to be applied within Paragraph Styles panel and choose Apply "#####" then Next Style.
I'm not sure this will do exactly what you want but it's an awesome option that might get you most of the way there 😉
Honestly, in my opinion, this all should have been done in the manuscript document. But I hear your pain. Out here in the real world authors seldom seem to have any grasp of the proper use of paragraph and character styles. This pretty much means you get to decide where you are going to spend a lot of time fixing improperly styled text -- the manuscript or the layout.
About all I can suggest (and what I've had to do) is to design your styles scheme carefully, define the styles used for chapter numbers, titles, headings (or whatever common patterns you may have) and first paragraphs with cascading "next style" attributes so you can select all of the beginning content at once for each chapter, then right click the name of the style to apply to the first paragraph and choose apply style and next style to do them all at once. It seems like it would be nice if applying a style to one paragraph in a block of text automatically applied the next style to the next paragraph (so you could use Find/Change to look for "Chapter" heading text , but it would cause more problems than it would solve.
I'm not a scripter, but I suspect this could easily be scripted using GREP to find the chapter starts, then selecting the required number of paragraphs and applying the styles.
I don't know how long your 100 chapter book is, but I suspect it is probably unwieldy as a single document, and it almost certainly would benefit from being broken up, if not into separate files for each chapter (and Using InDesign's Book feature to combine them), at least a separate story for each, or maybe I'm making a bad assumption based on partial information in your post and you already have done this.
In any case, you have my sympathy and I hope one of the scripters will step in.
You could do it with my (not free) add-on: https://www.id-extras.com/products/change-consecutive-paragraphs/
It comes with a batch editor, so if you're doing a lot of such books, you can save the settings for future volumes.
You'd still need to apply the Chapter style to the first paragraph throughout the 100 chapters (and there probably is some find/change you can do to help with that), but once you've got those down, and presuming that the pattern is strictly as you describe, you could just chain together a bunch of replacements using the add-on.
Alternatively, if you go the manual route, I think my (this time free) add-on "Quick Apply with Next Style" would be very useful, as it makes it much easier to use InDesign's "next style" feature: https://www.id-extras.com/indesign-quick-apply-with-next-style/