How does it work? Open a document, run StyLighter, then assign some custom colors to the styles you need to highlight:

StyLighter dialog (script for InDesign CS4/CS5/CS6/CC)

You can selectively activate/deactivate some style highlighting while keeping your color assignments: click the eye icon button to get the selected styles highlighted, or click the crossed-out-eye icon button to remove the effect on specific styles. The global checkbox “Activate the preview mode” will turn on/off style highlighting for the active document.

Note. — Red colors are specifically used to reveal style overrides. This effect cannot be customized and is always applied when the preview mode is enabled.

What if you run StyLighter with no active document? The script then displays your global “Style Preview” preference, that is, whether you want to allow or inhibits style highlighting for any new document:

Global “Style Preview” preference for new documents

From there, you can switch between enabled (“Activate”) or disabled (“Deactivate”). Don't forget this global option! Some users who had activated the preview mode in the past no longer found a way to disable it!

Disclaimer (again)

The “Style Preview Mode” is in no way an official InDesign feature and should just be considered an “happy relic.” We cannot guarantee that the script will properly operate in all circumstances, versions, or platforms. A number of weird and counter-intuitive tricks are in use in our code to prevent known issues, but it is probably impossible to maintain those various patches beyond a reasonable hope.

StyLighter Reviews

Here are some nice StyLighter tutorials and/or reviews in various languages:

“Style Highlighting” by Mike Rankin (EN)

“StyLighter — Visualiser vos styles sur InDesign” by Franck Payen (FR)

“Farbige Formate” by Robert Kaltenbrunn (DE)

“Contrôler les styles d’un document grâce au Script Stylighter” by Sophie Laouenan (FR)

“Tutorial: InDesign Textformate via Skript farbig hervorheben” by Anke Willsch (DE)


“StyLighter et coloration stylistique sous InDesign” by Jean-Christophe Courte (FR)

Have fun!

• For technical details, see my original article: “The Hidden Way to Highlight Styles”