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Adobe InDesign styles let you format content in your layouts easily, accurately, and consistently. In this workshop, expert trainer Chad Chelius teaches how to use every kind of style: character styles, paragraph styles, nested styles, object styles, and table styles. Learn about style overrides, the Next Style feature, importing styles from Word, sharing styles between documents, and much more. If you create content that requires consistent formatting, this workshop can help you work faster and more efficiently.
Object Styles allow you to format the appearance of objects in a consistent manner, quickly and easily. In this video, we'll be creating object styles for both Graphic Frames and Text Frames to demonstrate both methods. To begin, I'm going to zoom in on this photo at the bottom of my layout. I'm simply using the Cmd+Space Bar on Mac or the Ctrl+Space Bar on Windows. And I'm going to click on this photo to select it because I'd like to actually apply a drop shadow to this object. So to do that, I'm going to go to the Window menu and I'm going to choose Effects from the list.
And I'm just going to dock my Effects panel in my panel dock. Now, with this object selected, I'm going to open that Effects panel. And I'm going to click on the Effects button at the bottom of the panel and I'm simply going to choose Drop Shadow. Now, if you turn your Preview on, we can see what this Drop Shadow is going to look like in our document. So, I'm going to leave my Settings set to their defaults and I'm going to click OK. Now, to create an object style of this appearance, we can go to the Objects Style panel. Once again, if you don't have this open, simply go to the Window menu and choose Styles > Object Styles.
And I'm going to hold down the Option key on Mac, or the Alt key on Windows. And I'm going to click on the Create New Style button. I'm going to name this style Photo Shadow. And I'm going to apply the style to the selection. And just to take a minute here, you can see all of the properties that you could possibly apply to an object within an object style. So, there's a lot of things that you can do here to really streamline, and really control the appearance of an object style.
I'm going to go ahead and click OK. And now, the Photo Shadow style has been applied to this object. Now, if I press Cmd+0 on Mac or Ctrl+ 0 on Windows, I'm now going to select this photo up here at the top. And if I simply click on the Photo Shadow style, you can see that we now have that object style applied to both elements. Now, looking at this, I kind of feel that the shadow is a little bit too strong. With either of these objects selected, we can go to our Effects panel. And we can double-click on this FX button to change the properties. I'm going to reduce the Opacity to about 45%.
And you can see that when I do that, the shadow gets lighter. Now, I'm going to click OK to show you something. Just like with our Text Styles, if we open up our Object Styles panel, we can see that our Photo Shadow has a Plus sign or an override. And if you hover your cursor over it, we can see that the tooltip is telling us that we changed the opacity of the Drop Shadow. Well, I kind of like that shadow. So, what I'm going to do is I'm going to right-click on that style with the override, and I'm going to choose Redefine Style. When I do, notice that the other photo updates automatically. That's a great feature of Object Styles is that you can change and modify them, either by redefining the style or modifying the properties of the style itself.
Let's take a look at another example of how we can utilize an object style. We're going to change this sidebar that we've created over here. And we did a little bit of this formatting already for the bulleted items. I'm going to click on this text frame with my Selection tool. And in my Control panel, I'm going to come up here and choose Rounded for the Corner options. I'm then going to make sure that the size of that corner is set to a quarter inch, so I'll type .25.
Press Enter, and you'll see that that now adjusts the Corner Radius of this Sidebar. Now in addition, I'm going to go ahead and make sure in my Swatches panel, that this light blue color is selected. I'm then going to change over to my Stroke Properties. And I'm going to chose Paper from the Swatches panel. And then, if I go to the Stroke panel, I'm going to increase the weight to 2 points. I'm going to go back to the Fill Color. I'm going to go to my Effects panel.
I'm just going to reduce the Opacity to 95% so we can just slightly start to see these snowflakes peeking through the Sidebar. That looks good for our object itself. But now, I'd like to format some of the content within the Sidebar. I'm going to zoom in on the top of this Sidebar, and we're going to make one additional change here. You'll notice that my text is right against the edge of my text frame. So, with the Text Frame selected with my Selection tool, I'm going to go to the Object menu and choose Text Frame options.
And I'm just going to increase the Inset of that frame to a quarter inch. If I turn my Preview on, we can see that that bumps all of my text in from the edge, giving it a little bit more breathing room. I'm going tp click OK. And now using my Type tool, I'm going to highlight this text in the heading of this Text Frame. And I'm going to change the font to Myriad Pro, and I'll pick the Bold phase for that. I'm going to change the Size to 24, the Leading to 26. I'm then going to change the Fill Color in my Swatches panel to dark blue. If I come up here to my Paragraph Formatting in the Space After field, I'm going to type P9.
That looks good. And one other thing, when I use a Headline in here, I'd like it to be a little bit more balanced. So with this text selected, I'm going to come up here to my panel menu in the Control panel, and I'm going to choose Balance Ragged Lines. That'll help my lines to balance themselves out. I don't want my heading to ever break, so I'm going to uncheck the Hyphenate button in the Paragraph Formatting options. Now, with that text selected, we're going to create a new paragraph style by going to our Paragraph Styles panel.
Option or Alt clicking on the Create New Style button, and I'm going to call this Sidebar Heading. Click OK, and you can see that my selection, my style is now applied to the selection. I'm going to highlight the body portion of the sidebar, and we're going to change this to Myriad Pro Regular. So, in my Character Formatting, I'm going to choose Myriad Pro Regular. I'm going to set the Font Size to 14, the Leading to 16. Up here in my Control panel, I can change the Fill Color of my text to this dark blue color.
And if I go to my Paragraph Formatting, I'm going to change the Space After to 0.2083. I can click inside of that text to see how it looks. That looks pretty good. So now, I'm going to go to my Paragraph Styles panel and I'm going to Option-click to create a new style called Sidebar Body. Apply the style to the selection, and I'm going to click OK. Now, before we make our object style, there's one other thing that I'd like to do.
I'm going to right-click on Sidebar Heading and choose Edit Sidebar Heading. And I'm going to tell the next style to be Sidebar Body. Click OK. Then I'm going to right-click on Sidebar Body. I'm going to edit Sidebar Body and tell the next style to be Sidebar Bullets. Click OK, and that sets up our next style for the text that appears in this sidebar. I'm going to press Cmd+0 on Mac or Ctrl + 0 on Windows, and now it's time to create our object style for this sidebar. So, I'm going to select this sidebar with my Selection tool and I'm going to come over here to my Object Styles panel.
And I'm going to Option-click on Mac or Alt-click on Windows to create a new style. And I'm going to call this Object Style Sidebar. Now, before I click OK, I'm going to come over here, and you can see that we have a Paragraph Styles category. I'm going to click on it to make it active. And I'm going to tell the first paragraph style in this frame to be Sidebar Heading. Then I'm going to click on the Apply Next Style checkbox so that when it applies formatting to text inside of any frame that this object style is applied to, it'll also initiate the Next Style option.
I'm going to click OK, and now we have this Object Style applied. Now, what I'm going to do to show you how this works is with this frame selected with my Selection tool. In the Object Styles panel, I'm going to click on Basic Text Frame. You can see it retains its basic appearance. Now, I'm going to double-click inside of that frame and type Cmd+A on Mac or Ctrl+A on Windows to select all of that text. Then I'll come over to Paragraph styles and click on Basic Paragraph.
Now, we can switch back to our Selection tool and we can see that this is just raw text that has been flowed into this frame. If I just have flown in new content, I can select the frame, come over here to Object styles, and click on the Sidebar Object Style. And you can see how the entire frame gets formatted automatically. If you want to balance this out a little bit, we can shorten the height of this frame. And now, you can see how the Object Style can be applied to both a Text Frame and a Graphic Frame. As you've seen in this video, Object Styles can range from very basic to quite complex in nature.
When you have several elements in a layout with a similar appearance, use Object Styles to speed up the process of both formatting those elements and updating them as well.
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