Building a Style Sheet 14: Managing Multiple Styles

Video transcript

This video describes the best way we’ve found to manage multiple styles in PerfectIt.

There are lots of reasons you may need more than one PerfectIt style. For example, if you’re a proposal writer, you may have different style preferences for each client; if you’re a scientific editor, you may have a different style for each group of journals you work with.

We suggest you think of your style preferences as existing in layers (each of which will get its own PerfectIt style that you can combine later):

- The root layer is a style manual or other default guidance.

- The core layer is a house style. Those preferences apply to every document you work with. They take preference over the root style.

- The branches are client-specific or project-specific preferences. They apply to a more limited set of documents. But where they apply, they take priority over both the core style and the root style.

In your case, you may need more levels of style checking, for example, for different geographic regions.

Rather than try to cram everything into one style, we suggest you create a separate PerfectIt style for each level. That cuts down on duplication and makes styles easier to manage.

So first you create your styles:

- Go to New to create a style. Then base that on Check Consistency (so you start with a blank style).

- Your root style may be one of the built-in styles so let’s skip that and create a core style.

- Then let’s make another new style. Let’s make that one branch for Department for Transport.

- And then let’s make another new style to be another branch for the Department of Employment.

Just as a demo, I’ll create a preference in each so you can see how Combine works.

- In the core style, I’ll add that policeman should be converted to police officer.

- For the first branch, I’ll add a brand that matters to that client.

- For the second branch, I’ll add a specific warning that might not apply to other styles.

Then you use the Combine feature to pull the different levels together. So you can combine your root style and your core style. Then you can combine that joint style with each branch separately.

If we open those up, we see the term police officer is preferred in both styles because that was our core style that they’re based on. However, the preferences that are specific to each client appear in those styles only.

When you’re happy with the styles you’ve created, click Export and put them somewhere colleagues can access. Then your colleagues can import those styles and your entire team can benefit from the all the different styles you create.