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Styling text using InDesign object styles when placing articles with Smart Connection

Styling text using InDesign object styles when placing articles with Smart Connection

Info: This feature requires the following versions of Smart Connection:

  • Smart Connection for Adobe CC 2014 (version 10.0.0). This version contains the basic functionality but without the additional options to finely control placement: 'Apply during create and place', 'Re-apply when updating content' and 'Don't Apply'.
  • Smart Connection for Adobe CC 2014 (version 10.2.1). This version introduces the additional functionality of finely controlling placement by using the options 'Apply during create and place', 'Re-apply when updating content' and 'Don't Apply'.

InDesign's object styles can be used to quickly style the text of an article:

  1. Create an object style and assign a paragraph style to it.
  2. Assign the object style to a frame.
  3. Place an article in the frame. The text of the article is now styled based on the paragraph style of the object style, thereby overruling the original styling of the text in the article.

By using this method, you let the layout control how the text in the article is formatted. As a result, placing the same article in frames with different object styles assigned (typically on different layouts) will have different results.

See this demonstrated in this short video:

Use with Layout templates or InDesign Articles

Using object styles for styling text this way is best used by assigning the object styles to frames on a layout template or to InDesign Articles stored as a Library item.

Example: An article is used in a print publication as well as in an Adobe DPS publication. The design of each publication is different. When placing the article in a frame on a layout for the print publication therefore, the content of the article will be styled differently than when placing the same article in a frame on a layout for the DPS publication.

Advantages of using this method

  • The user does not have to worry about (correctly) styling the article.
  • The article is automatically styled according to the style of the publication in which it is used.
  • When placing a complete article it will be automatically styled to the local styling .

Styling on the layout versus styling in the article

Info: This section describes the functionality of Smart Connection for Adobe CC 2014 (version 10.0.0) and the functionality of Smart Connection for Adobe CC 2014 (version 10.2.1) when using the option 'Reapply when updating content'. For a description of each possible placing scenario when using Smart Connection for Adobe CC 2014 (version 10.2.1), see Styling options.

As mentioned above, as soon as an article is placed in the frame it is styled by the paragraph style that is part of the object style.

This can be seen as a local override: the styling that is used in the article is ignored. However, the original styling is still maintained in the article. It is only on the layout that this change is visible. This is because at the time of placing, the article is still checked-in and is therefore not modified.

However, as soon as the article is checked-out, modified and saved to Enterprise again (through a Check-in or Save Version action), the paragraph style of the object style is applied to the text in the original article as well.

This does not affect placements of the text in frames with an object style applied, but it does affect placements of which the styling is not overruled by an object style.

The following table shows this process in action:

# Action Result Comments
1 An article is created with a paragraph style assigned to it containing character color 'blue'. The text in the article in Enterprise is blue.
2 The article is placed in a frame with an object style which has a paragraph style assigned to it with character color 'red'.

The text in the frame is red.

The text in the article in Enterprise is blue.

The application of the red color should be seen as a local override. After placing, the article is still checked-in. The original article has not changed.
3 The layout is checked-in or a version is saved.

The text in the frame is red.

The text in the article in Enterprise is blue.

4 The article is checked-out in InDesign or InCopy.

The text in the frame is red.

The text in the article in Enterprise is blue.

5 The article is edited and checked-in.

The text in the frame is red.

The text in the article in Enterprise is red.

The paragraph style settings of the object style are now leading and therefore stored in Enterprise.

Styling options

Info: This feature requires Smart Connection for Adobe CC 2014 (version 10.2.1) or higher.

The scenario described above works in most situations. There are however scenarios possible where more control over the styling is needed:

  • You may want to always apply the object style and to always overrule any styling that is present in the article.
  • You may want to apply the object style when creating or placing the article, but not when updating the content of the article.
  • You may want to completely turn off the feature to automatically apply the object style.

Always apply the object style

In this scenario the object style is always applied and any styling in the article itself is always ignored. To use this, do one of the following:

  • Right-click the frame and choose Object Style > Reapply when Updating Content.
  • Select the frame and choose Object > Object Style > Reapply when Updating Content.
  • Set this behavior as a preference by opening the Smart Connection Preferences and choosing Options > Object Style > Reapply when updating content.

Only apply the object style when creating or placing the article, not when updating it

In this scenario the object style is applied when the article is created or placed, but not when the content of the article is updated. This allows you to use any changes that were made to the styling in the article itself.

Note: This is the default option.

To use this, do one of the following:

  • Right-click the frame and choose Object Style > Apply During Create and Place.
  • Select the frame and choose Object > Object Style > Apply During Create and Place.
  • Set this behavior as a preference by opening the Smart Connection Preferences and choosing Options > Object Style > Apply during create and place.

Never apply the object style

When you do not want to automatically have an object style applied you can turn if off completely or per individual frame.

To turn it off completely, open the Smart Connection Preferences and choose Options > Object Style >Don't apply.

To turn it off for an individual frame, do one of the following:

  • Right-click the frame and choose Object Style > Don't Apply.
  • Select the frame and choose Object > Object Style > Don't Apply.
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