Join Michael Murphy for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating, applying, and modifying object styles, part of InDesign Styles in Depth.
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In most ways, creating an Object Style is just like creating a Paragraph Style, except you're dealing with a lot more than text formatting. And there are a few behaviors that are unique to objects styles. Let's take a look at how much work an object style can save you. In this layout, I am working on a brochure and because I'm a designer who can't let things go, I have spent a tremendous amount of time formatting this particular text frame on this page. I am going to hit the Z key to get my Zoom tool and zoom in for a closer look on what I've been spending my time on.
I will hit the V key to select the object. And what we are looking at here is a text frame. But when you think about a text frame, think about all the things you can attach to it. This text frame also has some transparency effects on it so what I have got is a fill with transparency, a stroke that also has transparency. I have got a drop shadow on that stroke you can faintly see that in the background here. The fill and the stroke both have a gradient feather applied to them. The text frame itself has a text inset and the stroke has this customize corner option on it.
Inside that, I've got a Paragraph Style for the heading and another Paragraph Style for the text. This is a fair amount of work, a lot of experimentation, a lot of playing around and not work that I want to do again. I like the way it looks but I am done. It's time to commit this to an object style so I can apply it to other items in this project. I am in the Advanced Workspace, so I can open up the Objects Styles panel right from here, or I could go to Window, Styles and choose Object Styles.
From the Objects Styles panel menu, I will choose New Object Style and I will call this Fancy Box. And just like a Paragraph Style, this Object Style that I am creating is picking up the attribute of the selected object. When I look at the Fill, there is my Fill color. my Stroke, my Stroke & Corner Options, including this little mitered corner here. My Paragraph Styles are shut off and we will deal with that in a minute but the remainder of the settings down here my Text Frame General Options, Baseline Option, Story Options, these are all separate panels and dialogs in InDesign that are consolidated here, so you can apply all of their settings and build them into an Object Style.
The two options that are off by default in an Object Style are Frame Fitting Options and Paragraph Styles. But I want to incorporate the Paragraph Styles being used in this text frame, into this Object Style. I can do that by clicking it which turns on a check mark. And at first, the result is not quite what I want. It detected my Caption Title Paragraph Style as the first style being used in this frame. But it applied it to all of the text in the frame. My Caption Title actually has a next style setting of caption description and an object style will honor that next style setting, if you check this box.
So let me check that here and now I've got all of my text formatting in this Object Style capitalizing on the settings I applied in my Paragraph Style. I will click OK to save this and I am going to zoom out by hitting Command+Option+0, Ctrl+Alt+0 on Windows. I am going to go to the next page in this spread by clicking the Next Spread arrow down here and I have a text frame, I will zoom in on that. And I want that same formatting all the work I did to be applied to this frame. And all I have to do is click the Fancy Box style name in the Objects Styles panel and all the work is done.
I will zoom back out to the Spread, close that panel and there is my box looking exactly the way I want, feeding into the mysterious San Francisco fog. Object Styles offer a vast amount of centralized control over many, many attributes and allow dozens of settings to be applied with the single click.
- Setting up a style-centric workspace
- Creating relationships between paragraph styles
- Using Quick Apply to apply styles
- Using GREP styles to automate text formatting
- Connecting paragraphs with Keep Options
- Creating, applying, and modifying object styles
- Maintaining links between styled tables and external data
- Applying styles with Find/Change
- Working with text variables
- Resolving missing font problems in styles
- Mapping Word styles to InDesign styles
- Export tagging styles for EPUB, HTML, and PDF