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Seamlessly style text with the Auto Style feature in Adobe InDesign

Updated: Dec 11, 2023

We've seen Artificial Intelligence work its way into Adobe products over the last couple of years, mainly in Photoshop and Illustrator. However, there's a game-changing tool in Adobe InDesign that will allow you to format and style text seamlessly with just a few clicks of the mouse.

Unveiled in the latest version of InDesign (19.0), Auto Style reads your text using AI to apply styles to multiple frames based on selections from a Style Pack. These styles can be beneficial when working on larger to medium sized documents such as magazines, brochures, catalogs and much more!

Follow along in this tutorial and learn how to convert Style Groups into Style Packs that can be quickly applied to multiple frames throughout a layout.

Click the link below to download the exercise files and follow along step-by-step in this tutorial.

Auto Style - Lesson Files
Download ZIP • 16.67MB

In the exercise files folder, open the InDesign document saved as Auto Style.indd – a two-page spread for a fictional automotive magazine. For this tutorial, you'll need to open the Paragraph Styles window, which can be accessed by going to Window > Styles > Paragraph Styles.

Here, you will also see two Style Groups: one called Strong Style and the other Classic Style. Previously, the only way to toggle between style groups was to select each frame or text element in a layout and style individually. With Auto Style, which reads text based on Style Packs, frames can be selected and styled simultaneously.

The first step is creating Style Packs from the existing Style Groups. Let's start with the Strong Style group first.

Copying Styles to Style Pack

  • Collapse down the Strong Style group folder to see the Paragraph Styles content.

  • Ensure nothing on the page is selected and then click the first Paragraph Style, which is Body Copy - White.

  • While holding Shift on your keyboard, click on the last Paragraph Style in the group, which is Body Text - Bullets.

  • Right-click the selected Paragraph Styles and then choose Copy to New Style Pack.

  • Name the Style Pack Strong Style - Final.

  • In the New Style Pack window, the style group will be mapped the Paragraph Style settings in the layout. However, you can still make any adjustments by clicking the category drop-downs to choose the Paragraph Style.

  • Repeat the same process for the Classic style group, however name this Style Pack Classic Style - Final.

Here's a closer look like this the steps as explained above:

You are now able to select the text frames you'd like to style in the layout and apply the Auto Style using the Style Packs created.

The only problem is you will notice that the body copy style, the text is white. So if you apply the Auto Style to all frames in this case, it'll turn the black text into white, and obviously, we do not want that.

The good news is you can add to the existing Style Packs and the best way to handle this is by right-clicking the Paragraph style and choose Duplicate.

  • Leave the name set to Paragraph copy as changing the name to something else will disable the Auto Style.

  • Scroll down to Character Color and change from White to Black.

  • Click OK.

You're now able to select the text that was white and apply the Paragraph copy style. You will have to repeat this step for the other style that has this same situation.

Finally, test the Auto Style by selecting all the text frames you would like to style and pressing the play icon to the right of the Style Packs in the Paragraph Styles window.

Here's a preview of how it works once both Style Packs are set up.

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