For example, what is the difference between using bold vs using the character style named Strong.
Here are a few of the practical advantages to using defined Character Style formatting versus Direct Formatting.
- Use in Find/Replace searches, they can be more specific
- Global updating of the character style where used
- Use in numbered Headings where you want the Heading text to appear in the Table of Contents one way, and another way in the body of the document.
- Eliminates risk of direct formatting being replaced accidentally when a template macro issues an Update All Styles command.
I have found another advantage in addition to those pointed out by Rich Michaels:
A change in Paragraph Style will kill direct formatting that applies to more than 50% of a paragraph, but will leave a Character Style unhurt, even if it applies to the whole paragraph.