InDesign tip : #07

tip #04 showed how to use libraries to easily store text and object styles and add them to other files. here are a couple of other ways to copy styles from one file (source) to another (destination).

the standard way is to open your destination file, open the paragraph styles panel and select ‘load all styles’ from the panel’s dropdown menu :

screen grab showing paragraph styles panel dropdown list

you’ll be asked to locate the source file, then you’ll be presented with a window similar to this :

screen grab showing load all styles window

paragraph styles are marked ‘¶’, character styles are marked ‘A’. check the boxes next to the styles you want to import. any style conflicts are highlighted at right and you can choose how to deal with these. you can select a style to see the specs for the incoming and original versions at the bottom of the window. you can also do a similar thing from the object styles and table styles panels.

but you probably already knew that. here’s a trick to copy styles into multiple destination files …

NOTE: in the case of style conflicts, this method WILL use the source file’s versions and override all destination versions without warning. that’s the beauty of this method — it makes the styling in all documents identical.

open a new book file (file menu > new > book…). BEFORE importing any documents make sure you turn off the automatic pagination option for the book — otherwise all your documents will have their pages renumbered :

screen grab of book dropdown list showing book numbering options
screen grab showing auto numbering unchecked

then click the ‘+’ button to import all your files, including the source file. click the box next to the file you want to be the source. then set your synchronise options to suit your needs :

screen grab of book dropdown showing synchronise options
screen grab of synchronise options

as you can see, the synchronise book feature copies more than just styles to other files. now select the files you want to synchronise to the source (or deselect all files to synchronise the entire book). and go for it :

screen grab showing how to synchronise from dropdown menu

once you’re done you can trash your book file — it’s served its purpose.

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