Using the Eyedropper tool to copy/paste formatting
Video: Using the Eyedropper tool to copy/paste formattingInCopy CS5 is the first version of InCopy to have InDesign's Eyedropper tool. The Eyedropper tool you'll see in the Tool panel on the left is the one that looks like an eyedropper, and it's kind of the equivalent of Words Format Painter tool. I know a lot of editors have asked before is, is there any way that I can copy and paste formatting like I can in Word? You can get pretty close to that with the Eyedropper tool, but I'm going to tell you right on the onset it doesn't work exactly like the Format Painter.
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In Collaborative Workflows with InDesign and InCopy Anne-Marie Concepción shows how Adobe InCopy and InDesign work together, helping editors and designers collaborate on publications, and save time and money, with no additional hardware, software, or expensive publication management systems. This course shows how to set up for the workflow, how to address cross-platform Mac and Windows issues when working in a mixed environment, how to work with remote writers and designers, and how to integrate with Microsoft Word. Exercise files are included with the course.
- Setting up projects and users on a local network
- Using e-mail-based assignments and Dropbox to manage remote users
- Copyfitting and formatting text
- Using advanced editing tools
- Working with paragraph, character, and table styles
- Tracking changes in InCopy and InDesign
- Creating cross-references and hyperlinks
- Creating InCopy templates
- Combining InCopy with Microsoft Word
- Inserting and formatting images
- Reviewing features specific to InDesign
Using the Eyedropper tool to copy/paste formatting
InCopy CS5 is the first version of InCopy to have InDesign's Eyedropper tool. The Eyedropper tool you'll see in the Tool panel on the left is the one that looks like an eyedropper, and it's kind of the equivalent of Words Format Painter tool. I know a lot of editors have asked before is, is there any way that I can copy and paste formatting like I can in Word? You can get pretty close to that with the Eyedropper tool, but I'm going to tell you right on the onset it doesn't work exactly like the Format Painter.
You cannot apply formatting to this contiguous paragraph. Like you can't hold on the Ctrl key and select the line here and then a line two paragraphs later. That won't work at all in InDesign or InCopy. It can only do one paragraph or one-line at a timer or once selection at a time. But let's just work as it is right off the bat just to give you an idea of how it works. So, what you do is you select the Eyedropper tool. This only works by the way in Layout view. It will be dimmed in Story and Gallery mode. What it's asking you to do is click on the source format.
So, let's say that here we have a little description all formatted correctly and here we have a plaintext description. Instead of using the Paragraph and Character Styles panels we are going to pick up and apply the formatting to it. So, first let's pick up the formatting of the name of the item. Now, what happened? Well, my cursor was blinking in that paragraph text below the heading, and this is actually a feature of the Eyedropper tool. The fact that wherever your cursor is blinking as soon as you click on source text, the text surrounding your cursor will be formatted to match.
That's a feature, not a bug, and it drives me crazy. So, that's the lesson number one in using the Eyedropper tool is, be careful where your cursor is before you click with the Eyedropper tool. I'm going to undo by pressing Command+ Z or Ctrl+Z, and this time I want to go back to the Type tool. I am just going to click in the same paragraph that I'm going to pull the source from. Another safe place to stash your Type tool would be in a story that is not part of the workflow. So there's absolutely no danger in changing the formatting right down here.
All right, so let's go back up here, and we'll try again with the Eyedropper tool. We'll click here as the source. Now the Eyedropper is loaded as you can see sort of like the ink, and we'll click down here to apply that same style. So, all we needed to do is click once and it automatically applied the correct paragraph style. Let's do this again. We wanted to pick up this formatting of this description and apply it here. Now, if I click here you know what's going to happen.
It's going to apply the name style to this description. We don't want that. So, to clear out the Eyedropper you could choose another tool and then choose the Eyedropper again or here's the tip. Just hold down the Alt or the Option key and that gives you a clean eyedropper. Now, we are going to pick up the formatting here. I am going to hold down the Alt or Option key and click and then release the Alt or Option key. Now, come down here and click on this one. Perfect! Now, there is another way to use the Eyedropper tool.
I'm going to undo with Ctrl+Z a couple of times. Double-click the Eyedropper tool and you'll see this very large and intimidating dialog box appear called Eyedropper Options. What this says is this is the amount of thought that went into this tool about what kind of things should be eyedropper pickup and apply. This code is coming directly from InDesign. So, in InDesign you could also apply things like Stroke Settings, Fill Settings, and Object Settings. But we don't have the ability to change those kinds of elements in InCopy.
So, the only things that are turned on are Character Settings and Paragraph Settings, but within each one of these look at all these different things that you can choose whether it applies or doesn't apply. So, I would say that the one time that I ever use this would be is if I don't want it to pick up anything having to do with the paragraph. What if I just wanted it to pick up the typeface? Like this typeface and apply it to this one word. If you have Paragraph turned on, it's automatically going to apply things from the actual paragraph.
So, I am just going to turn this off. We'll try this again. Now, I'm going to click in this paragraph. It's picked up the formatting, all character and paragraph formatting, and then down here if I click, it's not going to do anything, because it's not going apply anything paragraph wide. It will only apply things to characters that I select. So, I can drag-- just notice the little I-beam cursor on this thing. I can drag on this word, and it's applying the same character formatting to the word, or I can just double- click and it will apply that.
So, you do have that level of control with the Eyedropper tool. It definitely takes some time getting used to, but if you happen on a routine of clicking on the source and clicking on the destination, then it works great, because now I can actually do this throughout the entire document. I've applied that same format to all the different stories and even different documents. It's still going to remember what I picked up as a source. So in that way it's very useful and very powerful.
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