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Is there another setting that includes stroke weight to a text box's size? How do I turn it off?

Participant ,
Mar 22, 2024 Mar 22, 2024

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I have some text boxs with strokes. (I'm hoping it's easier to do it this way than to fuss with centering a colored box behind the text, especially when I'm going to repeating this layout over 50+ client postcards, all with unique fonts and colors, this month.) The weight of the stroke is being added to the total size and transformation dimensions--EVEN THOUGH IT'S UNCHECKED ON THE TRANSFORMATION SETTINGS. (See screenshot.)  

 

Text box Strokes.PNG

 

Basically, even though the WxH numbers don't include the 10pt stroke, I can't scale it using the corners without the edge of the stroke counting as the edge of the box. I also can't align it to the boxes edges--only the stroke's edges. My current work-around is to remove the stroke, edit the size/shape/layout, and then reengage the stroke (which it never remembers the settings of, so I have to reset those every time). All fo this is annoying and increases work time by a few minutes per piece, which adds up when you're trying to do 50+ pieces.

 

So is there another setting that I'm missing? Where is it?

 

Working on Windows 10 with Indesign updated to v.19.3.

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Community Expert ,
Mar 23, 2024 Mar 23, 2024

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Have you considered defining a new Object Style where all such attributes can be written down and re-used conveniently and efficiently.

Also, a stroke can be set in the Stroke panel (and the Object Style panel, too) to measure from the path inwards, outwards, or centered. You might like to choose inwards from the path. That way the Transform panel numbers won't confuse you.

Mike Witherell

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Participant ,
Mar 25, 2024 Mar 25, 2024

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I have found that styles in general (text, paragraph, and object) create more problems than they solve. Because I'm repeating the content across multiple postcards (50-60 every month), all with different brand font and colors, the styles tend to cross-polute and create a layer of setting entanglement I have to sort through, which increases the time I work on each postcard.

 

I'm not confused by the transform panel numbers. I'm confused that the numbers don't match what is being transformed. For example, if I had a 2x3" text box, the transform panel should say w:2" h:3", right? But when I add a 10pt stroke to the outside of that text box, the transform panel still reads w:2" h:3" but when I go to re-shape it via the corners, it puts those controls outside the stroke and all the smart align tools treat the outside of the stroke as the outside edge of the object, even when I have the "do not include stroke" option unchecked.

 

Here's a visual:

No stroke, note the transform sizes:

ZebraJamie_1-1711383085286.png

With stroke, transform sizes stay the same, even though the outside of the stroke is treated as the outisde edge of the text box:

ZebraJamie_2-1711383152840.png

 

I don't see how an object style would correct this, or make it easier to paste this content and formatting into the next 20 mailers that need it.

 

 

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Community Expert ,
Mar 25, 2024 Mar 25, 2024

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quote

I have found that styles in general (text, paragraph, and object) create more problems than they solve. Because I'm repeating the content across multiple postcards (50-60 every month), all with different brand font and colors, the styles tend to cross-polute and create a layer of setting entanglement I have to sort through, which increases the time I work on each postcard.

[...]


By @Zebra Jamie

 

If you keep names of the Styles EXACTLY THE SAME - then when you copy something between documents - only "contents" will be copied - formatting will be used from the "destination" document.

 

quote

[...]

I'm not confused by the transform panel numbers. I'm confused that the numbers don't match what is being transformed. For example, if I had a 2x3" text box, the transform panel should say w:2" h:3", right? But when I add a 10pt stroke to the outside of that text box, the transform panel still reads w:2" h:3" but when I go to re-shape it via the corners, it puts those controls outside the stroke and all the smart align tools treat the outside of the stroke as the outside edge of the object, even when I have the "do not include stroke" option unchecked.

 

Here's a visual:

No stroke, note the transform sizes:

ZebraJamie_1-1711383085286.png

With stroke, transform sizes stay the same, even though the outside of the stroke is treated as the outisde edge of the text box:

ZebraJamie_2-1711383152840.png

 

I don't see how an object style would correct this, or make it easier to paste this content and formatting into the next 20 mailers that need it.

 

By @Zebra Jamie

 

Maybe you should create a grid?

 

Or resize boxes through the panel instead of using mouse - InDesign will do the math for you - you can use +, -, *, /.

 

And - I'm pretty sure you don't have to resize width - you can use CTRL+ALT+C and InDesign will "Fit Frame To Content" vertically.

 

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Participant ,
Mar 25, 2024 Mar 25, 2024

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quoteIf you keep names of the Styles EXACTLY THE SAME - then when you copy something between documents - only "contents" will be copied - formatting will be used from the "destination" document.

By @Robert at ID-Tasker

 

That's exactly where I've run into troubles--especially if I need to call in a co-designer to help. In past experience, the styles have overlapped and blended and reduced overall flexibility. I can delete/replace much like color swatches, but just going from Aramis to Lato or Garamond to Didot can change the spacing by several lines, so I still have to adjust font sizes, line spacing, and text box layout manually to accomodate different sized headers/footers and fonts. Why grapple with styles at the same time?

 

quote

Maybe you should create a grid?

 

Or resize boxes through the panel instead of using mouse - InDesign will do the math for you - you can use +, -, *, /.

 

And - I'm pretty sure you don't have to resize width - you can use CTRL+ALT+C and InDesign will "Fit Frame To Content" vertically.


By @Robert at ID-Tasker

 

I'm not entirely sure what you mean or how a grid would apply. One month, I might need text boxes formatted to 7" wide with two columns. The next, I need 10" with three columns. The next, 6.75" with asymetrical columns to accomodate a table. I've done my best to set up templates for all my clients to streamline this, but again every client has a different font set and header/footer size, so there's a lot of variation the content has to adapt to.

 

For example, if I have Lato in my original content and switch it to Brandon Grotesque or Andika or Monsal Gothic, it's going to change the text enough that my paragraphs may be longer or shorter. So I need to adjust it manually and make sure all the text fits in the visible text area and stays attractively laid out. Just look at how different fonts affect the same text using the same size and similar weights:

 

ZebraJamie_0-1711392182502.png

 

I just want the strokes on any object to be included or not included according to the transform setting. That way, when I grab all the text and expand it evenly, I don't end up with a bunch of boxes with slightly different widths. No one but another designer would notice, but I can't stand the idea of having columns 3.6245" and 3.6754" because the stroke on one made it scale weird. 😛 

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Community Expert ,
Mar 25, 2024 Mar 25, 2024

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quoteIf you keep names of the Styles EXACTLY THE SAME - then when you copy something between documents - only "contents" will be copied - formatting will be used from the "destination" document.

By @Robert at ID-Tasker

 

That's exactly where I've run into troubles--especially if I need to call in a co-designer to help. In past experience, the styles have overlapped and blended and reduced overall flexibility. I can delete/replace much like color swatches, but just going from Aramis to Lato or Garamond to Didot can change the spacing by several lines, so I still have to adjust font sizes, line spacing, and text box layout manually to accomodate different sized headers/footers and fonts. Why grapple with styles at the same time?

[...]


By @Zebra Jamie

 

But changes in the "occupied area" are perfectly normal - and Styles are not at fault.

And by using styles - you are changing formatting - only in ONE PLACE - Style's definition - and all instances will update automatically - you can even turn on Preview to see it live.

With separrate TextFrames - or Objects - you need to edit each one individually - even if you copy formattting from one to another - extra, unnecessary clicking...

 

And again - maybe you should think about changing your workflow - and start using scripts...

 

quote
quote

Maybe you should create a grid?

 

Or resize boxes through the panel instead of using mouse - InDesign will do the math for you - you can use +, -, *, /.

 

And - I'm pretty sure you don't have to resize width - you can use CTRL+ALT+C and InDesign will "Fit Frame To Content" vertically.

 

I'm not entirely sure what you mean or how a grid would apply. One month, I might need text boxes formatted to 7" wide with two columns. The next, I need 10" with three columns. The next, 6.75" with asymetrical columns to accomodate a table. I've done my best to set up templates for all my clients to streamline this, but again every client has a different font set and header/footer size, so there's a lot of variation the content has to adapt to.

 

Grid would help you align things - per template.

 

So you have same clients every month - using same templates - or new client every month = new template?

Still, can be automated...

 

For example, if I have Lato in my original content and switch it to Brandon Grotesque or Andika or Monsal Gothic, it's going to change the text enough that my paragraphs may be longer or shorter. So I need to adjust it manually and make sure all the text fits in the visible text area and stays attractively laid out. Just look at how different fonts affect the same text using the same size and similar weights:

 

ZebraJamie_0-1711392182502.png

 

I just want the strokes on any object to be included or not included according to the transform setting. That way, when I grab all the text and expand it evenly, I don't end up with a bunch of boxes with slightly different widths. No one but another designer would notice, but I can't stand the idea of having columns 3.6245" and 3.6754" because the stroke on one made it scale weird. 😛 


By @Zebra Jamie

 

Like I've said before - when there is more than ONE line of text - InDesign will only change height when you use CTRL+ALT+C - and even make TextFrame higher to show overset text - so really no need to use mouse to resize.

 

And I fill your pain - I can instantly see when there are even slightest inconsistencies - even on different spreads.

 

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Participant ,
Mar 25, 2024 Mar 25, 2024

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But changes in the "occupied area" are perfectly normal - and Styles are not at fault.

And by using styles - you are changing formatting - only in ONE PLACE - Style's definition - and all instances will update automatically - you can even turn on Preview to see it live.

With separrate TextFrames - or Objects - you need to edit each one individually - even if you copy formattting from one to another - extra, unnecessary clicking...

 

And again - maybe you should think about changing your workflow - and start using scripts...

 

I'm not opposed to changing the workflow, but the last time I tried using styles, I ended up with different client styles cross-polluting everything. It was an absolute nightmare, and some templates ended up with dozens of styles that weren't theirs--and the styles were linked to paragraphs that didn't even resemble the style. One postcard went out with Lato, Calibri, and Myriad Pro, and when I got my proof, I wanted to scream! (Not many would notice, but the whole thing looked totally hinky.) I've gotten the current work flow to be able to drop in and format an article in about 10-15 minutes, including all font changes, swatch swaps, and fiddling with the layout. I've just noticed a slow-down in the flow whenever I want to have colored boxes behind a paragraph.

Previously, I've been highlighting paragraphs with boxes of color behind them, but finessing them to evenly frame the text every time was a pain in the butt, so I wanted to see if I could just color one text box and add a stroke for an even frame all around. It kind of works, but the problem is that the stroke affects how the boxes scale. So if I want to take all my text boxes and widen them a smidge to catch an orphaned/widowed word that overflowed with the client's font, the stroke will cause the objects to transform unevenly.

I'm entirely self-taught, although I've been doing this graphic design thing for about 12 years now. (Bachelors in English Lit, Masters in business.) I don't get what grid thing you're suggesting. Like, I understand it in the context of laying out a page or an image sequence, but when it comes to setting up a source document to copy-paste content from to all my other InDesign templates... Would the grid be transferable? Adjustable? Automatic? How does it differ from establishing margins/headers/footers? I know how to use the grid for good fine-tuning balance in the final product, but I'm not sure how it would speed up the copy-paste process.

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Community Expert ,
Mar 25, 2024 Mar 25, 2024

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I ended up with different client styles cross-polluting everything

 

Then your styles were not named the same.

If you have the same style - e.g. HEADER - assigned to texts designed as Headers - copying text from one doc to the the otther - wouldn't "cross-pollute" your destination document - as no new style would be copied - only contents.

 

So if I want to take all my text boxes and widen them a smidge

 

As long as they are the same width - it shoudn't be a problem - but if they are different - then they will resize differently. But as you've said earlier - you want them to be exacly the same - so they will scale te same.

 

I don't get what grid thing you're suggesting.

 

There are different types of grids:

https://helpx.adobe.com/uk/indesign/using/grids.html

 

 

 

I think we have different definitions of the "template" meaning.

For me - everything is governed by set of rules - font, poit size, spacing, etc. - and there is no place for "a smidge left or right" or bigger or smaller line spacing or font size - each month.

 

Any chance you can show us your template(s) - as whole pages - and maybe exact example of the differences between the months?

Because I get differences between clients - but can't understand your problems between the months...

 

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Participant ,
Mar 25, 2024 Mar 25, 2024

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quoteThen your styles were not named the same.

If you have the same style - e.g. HEADER - assigned to texts designed as Headers - copying text from one doc to the the otther - wouldn't "cross-pollute" your destination document - as no new style would be copied - only contents.

 

I've found when copy-pasting the whole text box, the styles come with it, so I'll have multiple "header" styles, possibly autmatically renamed, but then I'll have to manually apply and clean up the list.

 

quote

There are different types of grids:

https://helpx.adobe.com/uk/indesign/using/grids.html

 

Ah. Yuck. I hate working with those. I've never found them useful.

 

quote

I think we have different definitions of the "template" meaning.

For me - everything is governed by set of rules - font, poit size, spacing, etc. - and there is no place for "a smidge left or right" or bigger or smaller line spacing or font size - each month.

 

Any chance you can show us your template(s) - as whole pages - and maybe exact example of the differences between the months?

Because I get differences between clients - but can't understand your problems between the months...

 

Ah, you're really granular with your templates. That sort of rigidity is just unsustainable for me. Maybe this will give you a better idea of what I do month-to-month. One of my client's basic templates (indt file) looks like this, unfilled and ready to be populated with copy-paste content:

ZebraJamie_2-1711405708271.png

 

And any given month, I'll add content like this:

ZebraJamie_1-1711405187035.png

 

You can see that it's the same basic layout each month for an 8.5x11" postcard, with same fonts and color palette, but the content we produce changes dramatically. Any given month, we can have 300-600+ words of content with different graphics, tables, charts, icons, images, and mark-up effects. As you would expect, these can take up a lot of time. That's why I'm always looking for little ways I can trim the time down, like with ignoring strokes when transforming boxes.

 

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Community Expert ,
Mar 25, 2024 Mar 25, 2024

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ZebraJamie_1-1711405187035.png


By @Zebra Jamie

 

That's what I was "affraid of" - by "template" you mean header and footer - with anything in between....

 

Still not a problem for my tool.

 

And looking at your screenshots - you are giving me new ideas - thanks.

 

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Community Expert ,
Mar 23, 2024 Mar 23, 2024

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Hi @Zebra Jamie , You can do this without using a stroke. Look at the Text Frame Options and apply Inset Spacing:

 

Screen Shot 13.png

 

 

Also, look at the Paragraph Shading and Span Columns features which can be set via Paragraph formatting or Paragraph styles. It would be a more advanced technique, but you wouldn’t need multiple text frames to do what you are showing. This is a single text frame:

 

Screen Shot 16.png

 

Split Columns for the body text after the intro:

 

Screen Shot 14.png

 

And Paragraph Shading for the heads and body text:

 

Screen Shot 15.png

 

 

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Participant ,
Mar 25, 2024 Mar 25, 2024

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Inset spacing and/or putting the stroke on the inside of the box to bump the text in is not really what I'm looking for. I have just one 8.5x11" page to put this content, and I need to use the space as efficiently as possible, so I want the shaded border of the alternating paragraphs to flow beyond the structure of the text boxes. Like so:

 

ZebraJamie_0-1711383395120.png

 

The reason I'm trying to make this work with strokes instead of just putting colorful boxes behind the text boxes is that I want a faster way to get an even overflow around the paragraph, instead of trying to eyeball it or repeat the style settings on 50-60 templates.

Also, these postcards have the same base every month, but the content will change, so what held 500 words last month needs to accommodate 350 words this month, meaning font sizes, paragraph/line spacing, and margins are all liable to be adjusted from month to month, in order to fit the content into the page without leaving awkward gaps.

By using the strokes, I can do a simple color swap after I paste the content into the new template. However, depending on the fonts (e.g. going from Lato to Proxima Nova or Avenir), I may need to expand or contract the text box sizes to keep everything looking even. I don't know of any automatic way to do this, so I'm trying to shave off steps to achieve the organized look I'm going for. The challenge is that the strokes are not allowing me to edit the text box sizes as a unit--including the stroke is actually deforming the final alignment. I was hopeful that i was just missing a secondary setting that would allow the text boxes to be resized while ignoring the strokes, but that doesn't seem to be the case.

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Community Expert ,
Mar 25, 2024 Mar 25, 2024

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but the content will change, so what held 500 words last month needs to accommodate 350 words this month, meaning font sizes, paragraph/line spacing, and margins are all liable to be adjusted from month to month, in order to fit the content into the page without leaving awkward gaps.

 

The Paragraph Shading feature is designed for this. The shading can be set to extend outside of the text frame, and because it is a paragraph format property, it can be set as a style sheet.

 

Screen Shot 35.png

 

The shading flows with the text, so you don’t need to size text frames—try editing the text in my attached example.

 

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Participant ,
Mar 25, 2024 Mar 25, 2024

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Ok, that does help get the effect I'm looking for, although I have to bump the after-paragraph spacing a bit, and I'm still very nervous about how this will paste into dozens of other templates, but I can try it for now. Thanks for showing me how this works.

 

I still wish the text boxes/graphic boxes/shapes would adher to the transform stroke settings a little better. 😛

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Community Expert ,
Mar 25, 2024 Mar 25, 2024

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[...] and I'm still very nervous about how this will paste into dozens of other templates, [...]


By @Zebra Jamie

 

Maybe you should change your workflow?

 

Instead of copy&pasting between templates - share contents?

 

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Community Expert ,
Mar 25, 2024 Mar 25, 2024

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and I'm still very nervous about how this will paste into dozens of other templates

 

You’ll will need to set up Paragraph Styles to do it efficiently—Space after can be included in the styles—but it should be much less work than fiddling with separate frames and strokes.

 

Screen Shot 36.png

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Participant ,
Mar 25, 2024 Mar 25, 2024

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Yeah, I can see how that will work. So this may be a good long-term addition to my workflow, but it's not perfect. Already I've run into snags with line spacing. Depending on the font, I may need anywhere between 12pt and 18pt space between lines, which I will still have to manually adjust. I don't see this as something I can pre-load within the style, because it's really dependant on the interaction between content and brand fonts. It's just a fact of copy editing that 400 words in Brandon Grotesque does not lay out the same way as 400 words in Lato or Montserrat. 😅

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Community Expert ,
Mar 25, 2024 Mar 25, 2024

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Yeah, I can see how that will work. So this may be a good long-term addition to my workflow, but it's not perfect. Already I've run into snags with line spacing. Depending on the font, I may need anywhere between 12pt and 18pt space between lines, which I will still have to manually adjust. I don't see this as something I can pre-load within the style, because it's really dependant on the interaction between content and brand fonts. It's just a fact of copy editing that 400 words in Brandon Grotesque does not lay out the same way as 400 words in Lato or Montserrat. 😅


By @Zebra Jamie

 

I'm sorry but I don't understand??

 

So you need to "fill the space with text" every month - increase spacing, point size, etc. so it will take the same area?

Or just make sure it won't take more space and will have the same spacing, point size - formatting - as month ago?

 

Both cases - perfectly doable using scripts.

 

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Participant ,
Mar 25, 2024 Mar 25, 2024

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quoteI'm sorry but I don't understand??

 

So you need to "fill the space with text" every month - increase spacing, point size, etc. so it will take the same area?

Or just make sure it won't take more space and will have the same spacing, point size - formatting - as month ago?

 

Both cases - perfectly doable using scripts.

 


By @Robert at ID-Tasker

 

Ok, let me walk you thru this and maybe we can both gain clarity. 😊

 

About this time every month, I prepare my "source" InDesign document, where I pre-format an article that will be copy-pasted onto 50-60 client templates. That way, I can select all the text boxes on the source document and copy-paste them into the client's document, thusly:

ZebraJamie_0-1711397809845.png

Then I swap out fonts using the "find font" window, replace swatches to update the colors, and fine tune the layout according to how the fonts and headers/footers lay out. So it ends up looking something like this:

ZebraJamie_1-1711397948711.png

You can see that the paragraphs aren't exactly the same size, due to different fonts in use. I had to clean up a bit of extra space hanging out at the bottom of both columns, and make sure everything is tidy so it doesn't overlap names or contact info. If I need to find more space, I may shrink the line spacing a smidge or expand the width. If I have extra space, I might increase the line spacing or font size to fill it out.

 

Then I do this several dozen more times for a different client every time. Then I do it again every month.

 

When using background boxes to get those colors behind the paragraphs, I have to adjust them individually if the paragraph height changes. If I need to expand or contract the whole article to better fit in the client's active area, I have to format the text boxes first and then the colored boxes second. I was looking for a way to do it all at once, and I thought strokes might be a way to achieve that, but strokes have their own problems. I was hoping there was another way to toggle stroke settings so I could simply keep the boxes united with the text and have the strokes do the work in the background, but apparently this isn't how anyone else achieves the look. Apparently, my brain is just weird. 😝

 

So, I can see how using a paragraph fill style is kind of going to work, but I'm wary because those styles include line spacing and paragraph spacing, which I'm going to have to adjust manually 60% of the time on account of each client's individual branding. It's not a LOT of manual adjustment. Just enough to make me question my sanity. And using any paragraph styles means I can't use the eyedropper on those areas without getting the background with the font/size/color/line hight. So that means manually adjusting the same thing 2 or 3 times in a document instead of zipping through with the eyedropper to format unruly text.

 

Previous experiences with styles have been a major time sink, thanks in no small part to how many different styles I end up using for any given client. Paragraph styles 1, 2, 3... 14, 15, and then paragraph headers 1, 2, 3... and then call to action lines, or pull-out quotes (dark and light versions), or sources, or photo captions. I think that within a year, I could easily end up with over 200 styles for every single client, and that's if I take the time to make sure I don't duplicate anything in a rush to meet deadlines. Then trying to figure out which combo of character and paragraph and object styles will make the final result look polished and complete?

 

If I'm going to end up breaking the styles every time I use them, why make them in the first place?

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Community Expert ,
Mar 25, 2024 Mar 25, 2024

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OK, I should've check this reply before answering to the previous.

 

ZebraJamie_1-1711397948711.png

 

Looks like you have pretty much "constant" layout - in terms of elements.

TextFrames located in slightly different places with the same contents between dodcuments - just formatted differently.

You could definitely use styles - even if as just a starting point and then format using local overrides - what you are doing right now.

 

Or it can be scripted - using a custom script, that would require changes every time you need to change something... or you could use my tool and have total control of the workflow and easily tweak things when needed.

 

My tool could automatically copy contents between documents and format it "roughly" as per conditions you set - 1st time saving.

Then you could switch between elements and format them one-by-one or all together - 2nd time saving.

And the best part - no mouse needed - only keyboard - in fact, you wouldn't have to switch to InDesgin at all ... InDesign would be just "rendering engine" / preview of what you are doing - 3rd time saving.

 

The 1st time saving can even cover processing all of your templates at the same time. So you would have 50-60 new files ready to "fine tune" in seconds.

You could even work on multiple documents at the same time if needed.

 

Depends on how precisely you would be able to define your requirements / conditions - this "fine tuning" can be really "fine".

 

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Community Expert ,
Mar 23, 2024 Mar 23, 2024

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@Zebra Jamie 

 

What is your ALIGN STROKE setting:

RobertTkaczyk_1-1711216092731.png

 

RobertTkaczyk_1-1711216267495.png

 

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Participant ,
Mar 25, 2024 Mar 25, 2024

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My stroke aligmnent puts the entire stroke outside the text box.

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