Create Character Styles from Local Overrides

Create Character Styles from Local Overrides for InDesign CS4 onwards


New in version 1.8 (published May 2013): Huge speed improvements! (4× faster on average.)

This script is a very flexible solution to every designer’s worst problem: catching all local overrides and converting them to character styles.

This script works with InDesign CS4 and upwards, on Mac or PC.

To download a demo, click here. To purchase this script using click on the “Buy now” button. You will be taken to Paypal, where you can make the purchase using your credit card or Paypal account.

The user has the choice of which local overrides to convert to character styles. The aim is to minimize the amount of character styles created.

So for instance, if we’re only interested in catching variations of bold, italic, semibold etc., as well as say any underlining, one would deselect everything by clicking on “Deselect All”, and then selecting the “Font style” option at the top of the first column, and the “Underline” option at the bottom of the last column.

The Create Character Styles script searches all text in the document, including tables and footnotes.

By default (since version 1.8), the script will create character styles and set the styles’ properties appropriately. So, for example, if the script generates an “Underline” character style, that style will be defined to apply underlining. The “Create blank styles” checkbox (see screenshot above), however, overrides this behavior. If selected, all character styles will be blank. For example, the above style will still be called “Underline,” but it will not have underline defined as one of its properties. This makes it easier in some cases for the designer to adjust the script-generated character styles to his or her needs.

Below is a screenshot of the character-styles panel after running the script on a 128-page publication:

A single license for this script is available at $39.00 USD. For multiple licenses, please contact us to arrange a discount.

The terms of the license permit the installation of the script on a single user’s computer. The script is copyright. It is illegal to make unauthorised copies of the script.

For just $39.00, this script is an amazing timesaver for anyone working on long documents in InDesign.

To download a demo, click here. The demo runs exactly like the full version of the script, with the limitation that it may only be run 3 times in demo mode.

To buy the unlimited version for $39.00, click on the “Buy Now” button below and you will be taken to PayPal to complete the transaction, or send us an email You will normally received your script within one working day (if not before).

6 thoughts on “Create Character Styles from Local Overrides

  1. Dear Ariel,

    is it by intent that this script sets up and applies character styles, but neither takes any options into these character styles nor eliminates the manual overrides, indicated by the plus sign after the paragraph styles’ names?

    At the moment, you’d have to manually adjust each generated character style by yourself.

    Thanks, Rudi

  2. Hi Rudi,

    Thanks for your comment. Yes, it is by intent. The intention of this script is to intervene as little as possible — it just goes through your InDesign document, creating and applying blank character styles to all local overrides. Each character style is named with the override it replaced (e.g. “Times, 15pt, language:Danish”)

    After the script has run, you can then delete all local overrides. You can also delete any character styles that you don’t need (for me there are often many: for instance, I could have “language:EnglishUK” and “language:EnglishCanadian”, neither of which I’m interested in keeping).

    With the remaining character syles, you can set their properties as needed. For instance, a script-created “italic” character style can have “oblique” as the font style. That’s why the character styles are created empty.

    That’s what I find to be most useful, but if you have another idea I’d be very happy to consider it.


  3. Hi Ariel,

    yes, that makes sense. Great script – Thanks!


  4. The latest version (1.8.0) now has this as a user-preference. By default, the script now does apply the relevant properties to each character style.

  5. feature request

    Hi Ariel,
    very useful script. Thanks.

    It would be even more useful with a file for saving a default config to be used in a batch run.


  6. Hi peppo,

    Yup – I agree. I’m just surprised that no one has mentioned it until now!

    I’ll put this on the to-do list.


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