paragraph and character styles

The secret to typographic success

Imple­ment­ing good typog­ra­phy is often a chore and a bore. For every­one, not just for law­yers. Para­graph and char­ac­ter styles elim­i­nate most of the drudgery.

Styles are the DNA of doc­u­ment lay­out. Styles make it easy to con­trol typog­ra­phy across a sin­gle doc­u­ment. They also let you make tem­plates that can be reused across mul­ti­ple doc­u­ments. The result is bet­ter, more con­sis­tent typog­ra­phy in every doc­u­ment with less work per doc­u­ment.

I find it curi­ous that so many law­yers don’t know how to use styles. They for­mat their doc­u­ments the old-fash­ioned way: word by word and para­graph by para­graph.

Do you ver­ify your spelling by hav­ing a human being read your draft? No, you use an auto­mated spell-checker. Do you copy a doc­u­ment by putting each page on the pho­to­copier glass? No, you put the whole thing in the sheet feeder.

If you plan to have a long-term rela­tion­ship with good typog­ra­phy, I rec­om­mend you learn how to use styles too.