Working With Text Styles in CC Libraries

Using the power of CC Libraries is the easiest way to share text styles across InDesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator. Create a style in InDesign and have it immediately available for you to use in Illustrator: No copy and paste required. The newer versions of the CC apps allow for both paragraph and character styling, which is an improvement over the ambiguous “text style” in previous versions of CC Libraries. More on how to overcome this limitation later, but first let’s discuss the good stuff!

See also: Getting Started with CC Libraries

First, we need to open our Libraries panel. In Photoshop and Illustrator, choose Libraries from the Window menu. In InDesign, you’ll need to select CC Libraries from the Window menu. Either choose an existing library from the pull-down menu, or select Create New Library.

When working with text in Illustrator or InDesign, you can easily add paragraph or character styles to a CC Library, even if you haven’t created a style in the app yet. Just because you don’t have to doesn’t mean you shouldn’t, and creating styles is always a good thing. In Photoshop, you’re limited to creating and using character styles only. Once you have text with styling that you’d like—in any of the three apps—select some of the styled text. In Photoshop, choose Add Character Style from the bottom of the Libraries panel. In Illustrator or InDesign, choose to add as either a character style or a paragraph style.

NOTE: If you’re going to be using the style in Photoshop, save it as a character style, as paragraph styles are not available for use.

Select some text, then add to a CC Library as either a paragraph or a character style.

Select some text, then add to a CC Library as either a paragraph or a character style.

Paragraph and Character styles in CC Library.

Paragraph and Character styles in CC Library.

Now you’re ready to use your newly-minted styles in a new document or in one of the other apps.

In Illustrator or InDesign, with no text or text frames selected, right-click or control-click on a style name in the library and choose Add to Paragraph (or Character) Styles. If you have text—or a text frame—selected, you can choose Apply Paragraph (or Character) Style, which of course adds it to your document’s styles as well as applying it.

In Illustrator, if you have a frame or text selected, you can double-click on a style name to quickly apply and add that style to the document. InDesign makes it even easier: Shift-select all the styles you want to add, then right-click or control-click and choose Add to Paragraph Styles.

In Photoshop, select text to style, then right- or control-click the character style from the Libraries panel, and choose Apply Character Style. While it applies the text styling, it doesn’t actually add anything to the Character Styles panel. If you start with no text selected, you can choose Use in Document from a style’s name, which adds a new text layer with styled text on it. You’ll have to create paragraph or character styles from this styled text.

Selecting a text frame lets you add a style to your Illustrator file without assigning it to text.

Selecting a text frame lets you add a style to your Illustrator file without assigning it to text.

Photoshop can only work with character styles within a CC Library.

Photoshop can only work with character styles within a CC Library.

NOTE: If you’ve created a style in Photoshop or an older version of CC Libraries, you can only save as a character style or the generic “text” styles, respectively. Once in InDesign or Illustrator, you can select text styled with that character/text style, then create a new paragraph style from that styled text. Remember to remove the now unnecessary character style from the text and Character Style panel.

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Posted on: January 26, 2016

Erica Gamet

Erica Gamet has been involved in the graphics industry for over 25 years. She is a speaker, writer, and trainer, focusing on Adobe InDesign and Illustrator, Apple Keynote and iBooks Author, and other print- and production-related topics. She is a regular contributor to InDesign Magazine, tech edited How To Do Everything with Adobe InDesign CS4, and served as leader of the Denver InDesign User Group. After living as a nomad for almost a year, she recently put down roots in El Paso, Texas, where she hikes and bikes every chance she gets. Check out ericagamet.com to see all of Erica's upcoming events, tips and tricks, and workbooks.

4 Comments on Working With Text Styles in CC Libraries

  1. Awesome helpful info…THANKS!!!

  2. Hi Erica,

    When working on digital designs on Photoshop, is there a way to make these Adobe CC Library character styles dynamic? I mean, if I ever edit one character style in the Adobe CC Library, it will apply the changes on all the layers with that style applied.

    Thanks in advance!

  3. Hello there

    I really miss in the CC Libraries a way to ad a shortcut like you can do in the Alinea Style Panel or Character Style Panel. Also for the Library Panel in Indesign you have the possibility to ad a shortcut button, or am I missing something?

  4. caran copeland

    April 3, 2017 at 10:29 am

    Hi there, Is there a way to add exisiting styles to a library other than creating a new one?

    Thanks

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