What are Object Styles in InDesign?

Object styles, similar to paragraph and character styles, are powerful design tools that streamline workflows and maintain consistency in InDesign documents. These styles allow designers to define and apply a set of formatting attributes, including stroke, color, transparency, drop shadows, paragraph styles, and text wrap, to multiple objects simultaneously. By leveraging object styles, designers can save time, maintain visual consistency, and enhance the overall quality of their work.

Benefits of Object Styles

Object styles offer a multitude of advantages that make them indispensable for professional InDesign design:

  1. Consistency: Consistent formatting across multiple objects ensures a cohesive and visually unified design. This uniformity is crucial for maintaining brand identity and creating a professional look.
  2. Efficiency: Applying object styles rather than manually formatting each object saves a significant amount of time, especially when working with numerous objects or repetitive elements.
  3. Ease of Maintenance: Modifying an object style instantly updates all objects using that style, ensuring seamless and consistent formatting across the document. This centralized control simplifies maintenance and minimizes the risk of inconsistencies.
  4. Reusable Schemes: Designers can create and store reusable object styles, allowing them to apply consistent formatting across different documents or sections of a single document. This consistency maintains brand identity and enhances the overall visual experience.
  5. Streamlined Collaboration: Object styles facilitate collaboration by ensuring that all contributors adhere to the same formatting guidelines. This consistency ensures that the final document maintains a unified and professional appearance.

Creating and Applying Object Styles

Creating and applying object styles is straightforward:

  1. Select the Object: Select the object to which you want to apply the style.
  2. Object Styles Panel: Open the Object Styles panel (Window > Object & Layout > Object Styles).
  3. Create New Style: Click the “Create New Style” button in the Object Styles panel and enter a descriptive name for the style.
  4. Define Style Attributes: In the Object Styles panel, select the newly created style and adjust the desired formatting attributes, such as stroke, color, transparency, drop shadows, paragraph styles, and text wrap.
  5. Apply the Style: To apply the style to another object, simply select the object and click the style name in the Object Styles panel.

Using Object Styles Effectively

To effectively utilize object styles, consider these tips:

  1. Group Related Styles: Create groups in the Object Styles panel to organize styles based on their function or purpose.
  2. Apply to Master Pages for Global Styles: Apply object styles to master pages to ensure consistent formatting across multiple pages.
  3. Create Custom Style Sets: Save groups of styles as preset sets for quick access and consistency.
  4. Paste Style: Utilize the Paste Style feature when importing or copying objects from other documents or sources to maintain consistent formatting.

Examples of Object Styles

Object styles can be applied to a wide range of objects in InDesign, including:

  • Rectangles, squares, circles, and polygons: Define styles for different shapes, including fill color, stroke, and transparency.
  • Lines and paths: Set styles for line styles, colors, weights, and arrowheads.
  • Images and graphics: Define styles for image sizes, crops, and adjustments.
  • Text boxes: Set styles for text fonts, sizes, leading, paragraph alignment, and drop shadows.


Object styles are valuable tools that enhance the efficiency and consistency of Adobe InDesign design workflows. By understanding and effectively utilizing object styles, designers can save time, maintain visual harmony, and create aesthetically appealing and professional-looking documents.