Using Text Styles in Lectora and Lectora Online

Lectora® e-Learning software’s text styles offer a unique feature that allows you to take advantage of design consistency along with the timesaving ability to make global updates to text in your course. (Wait, you wanted those in green, not aquamarine?!)

If you’re not already using Lectora’s text styles, read on for the “What, Why, When and Where?” answers you need to get started.

What is a text style?

A text style is a group of defined text attributes that can be applied to selected text: font, font style, size and color. Rather than setting each one of these attributes individually for a given set of text, when you select a Text Style, the text is automatically updated to match the group of attributes you’ve already defined.

By default, Lectora provides three predefined text styles for you to use: Title, Subtitle and Body Text. Body Text is set to use Arial, size 10 in Black. Lectora sets the default text for your title on the Design ribbon. As a result, when you add text or paste text unformatted onto a page, it will use the Body Text. If you need different text attributes, you can modify the existing text styles, or you can create and customize your own. Then select the one you want to act as the default text style for your title.

To change an existing text style:

  • From the Design ribbon, select the Text Style drop-down.
  • Select Manage Styles. The Manage Text Styles window will open.
  • Select the text style you want to update. Click Edit. The Text Style window will open.
  • Change the font attributes as necessary, and click OK.

To add a new text style:

  • From the Design ribbon, select the Text Style drop-down.
  • Select Manage Styles. The Manage Text Styles window will open.
  • Click New. The Text Style window will open.
  • Enter a Style Name. Choose your desired font, font style, size and color. Click OK.
  • In the Manage Styles window, select the new style and click Select to set it as your default text style.

Remember that Lectora uses inheritance to set the properties of a chapter, section or page. For example, if you’ve chosen the Body Text as your default text style on the Design ribbon (setting it at a title level), then the rest of your title will inherit this setting. However, you can disinherit this at the chapter, section or page level. Select the Properties for a chapter, section or page, and de-select the Inherit checkbox on the Page Text Style panel. Then select a different text style to use instead.

You can also apply a text style to an individual text block to override any formatting already applied. Just select the text block, and then choose a different text style from the drop-down.

Why are text styles useful?

I mentioned earlier that when you use the Paste Unformatted option (Ctrl+Shift+V shortcut) to paste text from an external source, Lectora will apply the default text style you’ve selected. This is a huge timesaver in the development process. Regardless of the file type you’re using, you can paste text into your title without having to go back and apply any style changes. This is especially useful when pasting from a Microsoft Word document, as you’ll often run into extra characters or artifacts that Word automatically adds. Pasting unformatted will remove them for you.

Another major benefit of using text styles is that when you make a change to the text style, Lectora will update all of the text in your title that uses that text style with the necessary modifications. If you’ve ever been at the receiving end of late-changing requirements, then you can see why this will save you significant time. Imagine you’ve set all of your Page Titles to use Bold, Red text, and you’re then asked to change that text to use Blue, Italic text. If you make the update in the text style, Lectora will provide you with a notification: Do you want to change all text in the current title that has the font and color of the Body Text style to the new font and color of the style? If you select Yes, Lectora will run through all of the text in your title and update the changes you’ve applied.

When should I use text styles?

Any time you need to apply a consistent look and feel to your content, text styles are useful. You can set up a text style for your course title, page title, body text, footnotes, references, column headings, etc. The more text styles you create, the less time you’ll need later on when you are formatting and updating text. Remember to name the styles appropriately, so it’s easier to remember when and where to use them in your title later on.

Where are text styles stored?

Text styles are stored as a Lectora setting so that you can reuse them from title to title. If your organization has a set guide for course design, this will certainly come in handy.

You can also export text styles to share with colleagues and other Lectora developers. They can then import those styles to use with their version of Lectora.

You can find the Import and Export buttons on the Manage Text Styles window.

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