Tip of the Week: Using More Than One Object Style to Format an Object
This InDesign tip on using more than one object style to format an object was sent to Tip of the Week email subscribers on January 25, 2018.
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One of the coolest things about using styles to format objects in your layout is how you can set up those style to work together to give you more flexibility, and make it easier to adapt to requested changes.
The key to this is the ability to ignore certain formatting in a style, and then applying multiple styles (in the correct order) to the same object.
Here’s a simple example. You have set of boxes that repeat throughout a long document, with some variation. The boxes always have the same stroke, but may have several different fill colors.
You can set up separate object styles for each fill color, plus one style for the stroke. Make sure the style for the stroke ignores fills, and vice versa.
Apply the fill object style to all boxes.
Then apply the object style with the stroke you want in each instance. The object can only be officially formatted with the last style you applied, but any formatting that is ignored in the style will remain untouched.
Then if you need to change the formatting of the stroke, you can edit just the one object style that applies it, and the change will be reflected in all variations of the object.
Just remember that the order in which you apply the styles is key. Only changes made to the current style applied to an object will be applied to objects in the layout.
Use this à la carte, kind of style setup not just for strokes and fills, but any attributes controlled by object styles, including size and position (in CC 2018), paragraph styles, text wrap, anchoring, frame fitting, alt text, FX, and more.