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When deleting a paragraph style that another paragraph style is "based on" it looses some formatting

Community Beginner ,
Oct 20, 2023 Oct 20, 2023

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Ok, so I think I know the answer, but was wondering if any of you more advanced InDesign peeps can help. We've decided to create a "master" style template that we can then base many other documents on using the "book" function. Then we can synchronize all the styles assuming we've set it up properly.

The question I have revolves around setting the style something is "based on." So we have an H1, H2, H3, H4. I've set the H2 to be based on the H1 and the H3 on the H2, etc. I've altered font size and/or spacing or whatnot. However...I like clean docs so I usually remove extra styles at the end that aren't being used. If I delete the H1/H2, etc. then some of the formatting based on the original is gone. 

Is there no way to have it auto-apply the styles it was previous based on so that you can delete unused styles?

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Community Expert , Oct 20, 2023 Oct 20, 2023

Well, I don't personally love the idea of opening up someone else's well-styled document and wondering why there was H1, H2, H4, and H5 but no H3. But, that being said, I think what you'd do is, upon deletion of an unused style, you'd Replace it with "No Paragraph Style" and "Preserve formatting." 

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Community Expert ,
Oct 20, 2023 Oct 20, 2023

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No. The top level style has all of the formatting spelled out. This information is carried down to the child styles: they start with the top level style formatting instructions and then list what is unique to them.

 

A H2 definition might be
H1 + [Next Same Style] + size: 20 pt

 

If you delete the top level style(s) the child styles will remember what is unique to them (+ size: 20 pt), but will no longer have access to the base definition for H1 so it will revert to whatever you mapped them to: [Basic Paragraph] or another style you selected from the list. 

 

At this point, H2s definition might be

[Basic Paragraph] + [Next Same Style] + size: 20 pt

 

I like clean documents, too, so I use style groups to organize my styles. This way you can just close up a folder, and just not see the extra styles that aren't being used. Another alternative might be to use a folder just to hold the styles that aren't being used in this particular document. This may not work well with your intent to synchronize files in a book, however. In that case, I'd just leave them there, in folders or not.

 

~Barb

 

2023-10-20_14-57-45 (1).gif

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Community Expert ,
Oct 20, 2023 Oct 20, 2023

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Well, I don't personally love the idea of opening up someone else's well-styled document and wondering why there was H1, H2, H4, and H5 but no H3. But, that being said, I think what you'd do is, upon deletion of an unused style, you'd Replace it with "No Paragraph Style" and "Preserve formatting." 

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Community Expert ,
Oct 20, 2023 Oct 20, 2023

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Hi Joel:

 

Isn't Preserve Formatting only available when removing Character Styles?

 

~Barb

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Community Expert ,
Oct 20, 2023 Oct 20, 2023

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When deleting a paragrpah style, that checkbox only appears when you choose "No Paragraph Style."  

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Community Expert ,
Oct 20, 2023 Oct 20, 2023

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That is the answer, Joel!

 

~Barb

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Community Expert ,
Oct 20, 2023 Oct 20, 2023

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If you can remember to never alter the Basic Paragraph style, never use the Basic Paragraph style, and never base any other styles on Basic Paragraph you should be fine. When you delete a parent style its child styles will retain the parent style's formatting. Things get a bit whonky if you use Basic Paragraph, edit it, then share text between documents with different Basic Paragraph definitions. The style should never have been added to the program. My number one feature request is to remove the style from all new documents and make it deletable in existing documents.

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