Reset paragraph style to base without losing formatting

New Here ,
Mar 01, 2021 Mar 01, 2021

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Hi all.

Firstly, I have no idea what terms to use in a search to find what I need. So if this has been answered before, please just point me in the right direction.

I am working on a 200 page file that was not set up by me. The paragraph style sheets were set individually (ie. the 'Based on' function was not used). The document is technical and has many instances of scientific plant names. I have generated a list of these names that I have manually added as a GREP style to each paragraph style. But the list keeps growing. So I am constantly updating the paragrpah styles – there are 40 of them!

Is there a way that I can apply the 'Based on' function retrospectively, without losing the formating that has already been applied?

I hope this makes sense. Thanks in advance.

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Adobe Community Professional , Mar 01, 2021 Mar 01, 2021
Not knowing ultimately what you're trying to accomplish, or the underlying attributes you want to keep and/or discard, this is kind of a difficult question to answer. I would try this experiment and see if this works for you: Open the file. Save a copy of the file for your experimentation. Now pick a paragraph in the copied file that uses one of your less-desired unique styles. Note its type attributes and applied style, because if things go awry, you're going to want to get back to the b...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 01, 2021 Mar 01, 2021

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If you add a GREP style on a paragraph style that will become the “basis” and then base the others on this style, you will get the GREP style in all paragraphs without loosing any formatting.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 01, 2021 Mar 01, 2021

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Not knowing ultimately what you're trying to accomplish, or the underlying attributes you want to keep and/or discard, this is kind of a difficult question to answer.

 

I would try this experiment and see if this works for you:

 

  1. Open the file. Save a copy of the file for your experimentation.
  2. Now pick a paragraph in the copied file that uses one of your less-desired unique styles. Note its type attributes and applied style, because if things go awry, you're going to want to get back to the baseline. Alternately, if things go badly, you can revert and try another experiment if need be.
  3. Get your Text tool and quadruple-click — quickly, one-two-three-four — to highlight the entire paragraph.
  4. Open the Paragraph Styles panel. Click on the Create new style icon, the box with a + sign in it, and you'll create a new style called Paragraph Style 1.
  5. Double-click on that style in the Paragraph Styles panel, away from the type on that line, to open the Paragraph Styles Options dialog box. Rename the style Test in the Style Name: edit box and in the Based On: options box and change it to [No Paragraph Style] if it isn't that already. You should see all the type attributes for that paragraph listed in the Style Settings: box in the dialog. Then click the OK button.
  6. Confirm that the type for the paragraph hasn't changed. Though it probably hasn't, you wnat to be sure there are no surprised dialed in before the next step.
  7. Now, go back to the Paragraph Styles panel and double-click on the Test style line, away from the type. If you double-click on the type, InDesign will assume that you want to change the style name. Clicking elsewhere on that line tells InDesign you want to change the style itself.
  8. When the Paragraph Style Options dialog opens again, change the Based On: options box from [No Paragraph Style] to the style you want the style to be based on. Then then select the Preview check box at the lower-left of the dialog. By my experience, the type attributes pretty much remain unchanged but paragraph alignment options may need to adjusted to fit. Make it the way you want, then click the OK button.

 

This changes the style to be Based On your existing style. But it often won't apply changes you alter the style it's based on. Because anything that's an exception from the based style — font/size/leading-tracking/tabs/etc. — will not be altered because InDesign assumes (correctly, generally) that you made those changes from the based style for a good reason and will leave those exceptions alone. Which may or may not work for you.

 

It sucks, but if you want the widest range of functionality you'd be better served by creating then applying/changing old styles to new ones, with the attributes you want Based On the existing style and all the differences you want too.

 

Hope this helps,

 

Randy

 

 

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