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Here’s a light InDesign tip for any designers finding themselves cranking out the occasional old-school direct mail letter. You can easily create a “yellow highlighter” character style with InDesign’s Custom Underline feature.

While the effect itself is a bit cheesy, the technique does let us demonstrate a few shortcuts using InDesign’s character styles.

Step 1: Create a Custom Underline.

Let’s use a few tricks to build this style quickly. First, select some type you wish to highlight, and Option-Click (Mac) or Alt-Click (Win) on the Underline icon in InDesign’s Control palette.

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Which brings up InDesign’s Underline Options dialog.

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Give your underline stroke a weight that is several points larger than your current type size, and use a negative offset to move the underline up to center around your type. You’ll need to experiment a bit with these settings to get the look just right.

Step 2: Save it as a Character Style.

YellowHighlightNewStyle.pngOnce you’ve got your highlight effect tweaked properly, save it as a character style.

Option-Click (Mac) or Alt-Click (Win) on the New Character Style button in the Character Styles palette, then give it a name and click OK.

You may now highlight text to your heart’s content.

Source: This topic partially inspired by this week’s upcoming 90-minute mini-workshop in Seattle covering InDesign: Style Sheets. The actual tip comes from David Blatner on the always excellent InDesignSecrets blog.

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