Join David Blatner for an in-depth discussion in this video Use object styles, part of InDesign CC 2018 Essential Training.
- [Instructor] Now that you're familiar with character styles and paragraph styles, it's time to talk about object styles. Yes, that's right. You can define an object style, that with a single click will apply all sorts of object formatting, such as fill and stroke, transparency effects, and more. So, let's make an object style in this document from the exercise files folder. I'm going to jump to the previous spread by pressing Option + Page Up, or Alt + Page Up on Windows. Then, I'm going to zoom in on this part of the page. Now, I'll select one of these images and I'm going to apply some formatting to it as an example.
Like, let's start by applying a stroke. I'm going to apply this light gray stroke to it. Let's make this thicker, about four points. Looks pretty good. Then I'll come over here and apply drop shadow from the Effects pop up menu. Let's turn on the preview check box so we can see what we're doing. That's a little bit too dark, so let's go ahead and bring down the opacity to, say, 50%. Also, I'll Tab over to the Distance field and I'll make this smaller, like, three points. And I'll just Tab through here and make my size three points as well.
That looks good, so I'll click OK. Alright, I like that. Let's make an object style based on that. So, while it's selected, I'm going to open the Object Styles panel. It's over here in the dock. Or, you can find it by going to the Window menu, choosing Styles, and then choosing Object Styles. Now, you can see that I've already made some object styles in this file. That's okay. We're going to make a new one based on the object that we just formatted. To do that, go to the Object Styles panel menu in the upper right corner, and choose New Object Style, up at the top.
Then, give it a name. I'll call this "My Cool Image Style." You can call it anything you want, of course. Now, it's hard to tell at first, but all the formatting that I had applied to that object is pulled up here into this dialog box because I had it selected on the page. For example, I'll click on Stroke over here on the left, and you can see that that gray four point stroke is here inside the object style. Down here, if I scroll this up a little bit, you can see that the drop shadow checkbox is turned on. That means this object style will apply the drop shadow too.
Now, you can add even more cool additional features inside this dialog box. For example, I want to make sure that every image I apply this to is exactly the same size. So, I'll click Size and Position Options. Then, I'm going to change the Adjust pop up menu to Height and Width. I'm going to leave this set to the way it is, because that reflects the size of this particular object. Great, now I'll click OK. And I want to make sure that my object style is selected. That means it's applied to this object on my page. Now, the next time I want to apply that object style, I simply select a new frame, come over to the Object Styles panel, and click once on my new style.
So, there you go. Did you see that it even changed the size so that it matches exactly? Let's go ahead and do this one too. Perfect. Now, of course, just like paragraph and character styles, it's really easy to edit these styles. Now, in this case, I want to edit the style, and it's currently selected inside the Object Styles panel, so I can just double-click on it. Otherwise, if it weren't selected, then I'd want to right-click and choose Edit out of the Context menu. Now I can make some changes. For example, let's go ahead and remove that stroke.
I'll choose Stroke and set it to None. I'll turn off my drop shadow as well. And instead, I'm going to scroll down here and turn on Basic Feather. Now, when I click OK, you'll see that the change was reflected in all the frames that had that object style applied to them. Object styles are one of the most powerful but most underused features in InDesign. You can use InDesign without using styles, but you'll never be truly efficient unless you do.
- Creating a new layout
- Inserting pages
- Adding text
- Inserting graphics
- Applying color and transparency
- Drawing and editing frames and paths
- Formatting objects
- Formatting text
- Creating styles for uniform formatting
- Building tables
- Adding links and interactivity
- Printing and exporting InDesign documents