Beware Basic Styles
We’ve mentioned this a few times before, but it’s worth repeating: You need to be careful with your Basic Styles, and you’re almost certainly using these “basic” styles even when you don’t know it. For example, whenever you draw out a text frame with the Type tool, InDesign automatically applies the Basic Text Frame object style to it. (However, strangely, if you using Place or Paste to create a new text frame, it doesn’t get any object style applied to it.)
Okay, let’s say you edit the Basic Text Frame object style so that it has a fill or stroke color, or has a text inset or vertical alignment or text wrap or something. For example, here’s a frame set to the Basic Text Frame object style (which, obviously, as been redefined):
Now what happens when you cut or copy this object from your document and paste it into a new document? This:
Why? Because the definition of the Basic Text Frame object style in the new document is very different than in your original. This would be a problem with any two documents that have same-named-but-differently-defined styles, but the problem appears the most with “Basic” styles because that’s what so many people use by default.
The problem appears with the Basic Paragraph Style, too, of course. I don’t like using Basic Paragraph Style one bit.
So, what to do? My feeling is avoid “Basic” when you can, and create your own styles, especially when you have an urge to redefine something called Basic. Of course, it would also be great if Adobe gave us an alert that says, “Hey, you’re pasting in some text/object that has a style name I’m already using; what do you want to do about it?”
But how can you avoid the Basic Text Frame style or Basic Graphic Frame style if you want to change the default formatting of these kinds of frames? No problem: First make a new object style, then drag the little “T” icon that is usually next to the “[Basic Text Frame]” down to your new style. Now your new style is the default!