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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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