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Power Up With Object Styles

This article appeared in Issue 133 of InDesign Magazine.

Take charge of your layouts with one of the most powerful—and underused—features in InDesign

If I could create “styles” for all the repetitive tasks in my daily life, I’d welcome the tiny bit of extra work up front that would end up saving me an enormous amount of time in the long run. Who wouldn’t love to click a single button to have dinner on the table, the office cleaned up, or a newsletter written and formatted? Object styles are one of the most powerful features in all of InDesign, allowing us to save a complex set of formatting attributes and apply it to page objects with a single click.

An object style can include such things as the stroke and fill of a frame, text frame options, frame size, position, and a plethora of other attributes that you can apply to frames, lines, or groups. Importantly, object styles can even apply paragraph styles to the text within a frame.

The reason to use object styles is, at minimum, two-fold. First, they help you to apply attributes to text or objects quickly and consistently. Second, when an attribute needs to be altered, you simply edit the style, and all of your objects that use that style will immediately update to the new look. I use object styles in all of my InDesign documents, big and small, and they have saved me a lot of time and frustration.

So, are you ready to learn all about object styles? I’ll show you how to set them up, apply them, edit them, and most importantly, find new and useful ways to put them to work in your documents!

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