Whether you are creating a document for DPS or ePub, the importance of using text styles exclusively cannot be overemphasized.
But styles are not just for DPS and ePub, if you are concerned with style consistency, accuracy, and saving time in the long run, then styles should be number one on your list. Oh, but I can hear the cry from those of you who pick fonts, size, justification, etc. from the control panel. Yes, you know who you are, and I know your complaint: “It’s so much bother to set up styles.”
Setting up styles should not be a problem. Here’s a tip. The next time you put together one of those documents that requires a “kazillion” styles, think seriously about reusability.
And yes, you did notice that I put an underscore between the words used to name a style. You don’t want to put spaces in your style names. When you export to HTML or EPUB, all those spaces are represented as “%20” which hinders readability. Also, if you do any work with XML, you need to strip out spaces and any special characters.
This may seem like a lot of work. But, there is a reward. Save a copy of the document as a stylesheet.
Remove content from the copy of your document that will beef up the file size. Keep only one page with some examples of text using the styles just for reference. Give the document a meaningful name and save it in a protected folder. One place often used for saving styles is inside the the application’s “Presets” folder. You might think in terms of having a folder for generic styles (named “Styles”), one for styles used for DPS documents (“DPSStyles”), and one for ePubStyles (“ePubStyles”).
When you create a new document, load the styles from one of your stylesheets. Because you based all of your sans styles on a generic “Sans” style, all you need to do is change its font (and maybe style), and all other styles based on follow suit.
To make the process of loading styles even easier, use a script to start your document. Your script might provide a custom dialog for selecting a document preset and a stylesheet. It could also provide a means for determining the styles to import (all text styles, all object styles, and so forth.) Because you are taking advantage of using InDesign’s secret power (scripting), you are in control.