Creating and using object styles in InDesign can be just as important as using paragraph and character styles to achieve a more cohesive workflow and design. Object styles can include settings for stroke, color, transparency, drop shadows, paragraph styles, text wrap, and more. The large number of potential settings that go into an object style can make re-creating it very cumbersome, and who wants to do it twice? There are several ways to get existing object styles into other documents. Saving the object style in a template and creating a new document based on that template is the most straightforward option. You can also copy and paste an object with the style applied into a new document, and it will be added to the object style list. Last, you can import object styles

Note: InDesign imports any swatches, custom strokes, character styles, or paragraph styles that are used in the object styles.

    1. Select Load Object Styles from the Object Styles panel menu.
    2. Select the file from which you want to import object styles, and click Open. The Load Styles dialog box will open.
    3. Put a check mark next to the styles you want to import.
    4. If styles already exist in the document, style name conflicts can be resolved by choosing one of the following options under Conflict With Existing Style:
      • Use Incoming Style Definition Overwrites the existing style with the loaded style.
      • Auto-Rename Renames the loaded style.
      • Click OK, and the selected object styles appear in the Object Styles panel.



For more information about object styles, see Using Object Styles on Adobe’s InDesign Help page.

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Posted by: Monica Murphy

Monica Murphy has worked in the publishing industry for over 30 years supporting publishing operations of various sizes. In her role as Technical Product Manager for Technology for Publishing, she shares her publishing application expertise supporting a broad range of publishing clients in InDesign best practices, cross-platform content workflows, and InDesign Template strategies. Her weekly tip and blog posts have a committed following in the InDesign community, and as a long-time participant in the InDesign pre-release community, she regularly analyzes and provides feedback for upcoming features. Monica manages the authoring and publication of Technology for Publishing’s handbooks on InDesign, InCopy, and other associated titles.