Blog / Creative Pro

InDesign: Keyboard Shortcuts to Clear Overrides and Apply Paragraph Style

Over on the Facebook InDesign Group member Peter D. asked:

How can I setup a keyboard shortcut to ‘Apply , Clear Overrides.’ Reaching for the mouse all the time for this is throwing me off!Peter D., Facebook InDesign Group

While there isn’t a way to apply a paragraph style and clear overrides in a single keyboard shortcut (without scripting), you can easily assign and use two shortcuts–one for Clear Overrides and one to apply a specific style.

Assign a Keyboard Shortcut to Clear Overrides

Assigning a keyboard shortcut to Clear Overrides in InDesign is easy.

  1. Go to Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts.
  2. In the Keyboard Shortcuts dialog, set the Product Area dropdown to Panel Menus.
  3. Scroll down through the Commands list until you find Paragraph Styles: Clear Overrides. Highlight it.
  4. In the New Shortcut field at the bottom, press your desired keyboard shortcut and then the Assign button.
Assigning a keyboard shortcut to the Clear Overrides command in InDesign.

Assigning a keyboard shortcut to the Clear Overrides command in InDesign.

If your desired keyboard shortcut is already in use, InDesign will ask whether you want to assign it to Clear Overrides, removing it from whatever command already carried the shortcut, or if you’d like to find a different keyboard shortcut.

If you’re using the Default keyboard shortcut set, which you can see in the Set field at the top of the dialog, you’ll also be prompted to save a new set when you assign a keyboard shortcut.

Assign a Keyboard Shortcut to a Paragraph Style

This one is even easier. Individual style shortcuts can be added on the General pane of the Paragraph Style Options dialog.

  1. Edit the paragraph style to which you’d like to assign a keyboard shortcut.
  2. On the General pane, click inside the Shortcut field and press your keyboard shortcut. Note that it has to be a numeric keypad number and one or more modifier keys such as CTRL, ALT, and Shift on Windows or Command, OPT, ALT, and Shift on macOS.
  3. Click OK to commit the keyboard shortcut assignment.
Assigning a keyboard shortcut to a paragraph style in InDesign.

Assigning a keyboard shortcut to a paragraph style in InDesign.

Armed with these shortcuts, all you have to do is highlight text with the Type tool or even the entire frame with the black arrow Selection tool, press the keyboard shortcuts sequentially, and you’ll either clear all overrides and apply the paragraph style or apply the paragraph style and then clear overrides.

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2 Responses

  1. WKB says:

    But if you have a laptop and don’t have a number pad, how can you use the keyboard shortcuts to apply a style?

  2. Alas, you can’t without a numeric key pad. I’ve always found that very short-sighted on Adobe’s part.

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