Embed Paragraph Styles in Object Styles, then Export to EPUB

  • Sumo

InDesign’s Object Styles contain multitudes of possibilities to streamline EPUB export.

At the InDesign Conference in Denver last week, I saw a demo that used Object Styles to automatically style unformatted text. Follow these steps:

  • In Object Style Options, choose the Paragraph Style to assign your desired style. Then select “Apply Next Style.”

Screen Shot 2015-11-25 at 1.57.49 PM

  • Here are the Paragraph Styles. Para style h1, with Next Style calling for textLeft:

Screen Shot 2015-11-25 at 1.56.59 PM

  • Then, textLeft calling for text as the Next Style:


  • You can go on and on with these Next Style callouts.

Here’s a block of text. The text container has an Object Style of None.

Screen Shot 2015-11-25 at 2.01.03 PM

  • Select the Text Object Style, and all your planning work pays off. (I assigned odd style definitions just to point out how InDesign did a good job of assigning styles.)

Screen Shot 2015-11-25 at 2.35.00 PM

And in case you missed it, that green text means that there’s a nested style in the Para style textLeft.

And if you include GREP styles? They’ll be assigned as well.

All this style sheet work is great. But what’s it mean for ebooks?

Well, when I’m working on a project that bypasses print and goes straight to EPUB, I still use InDesign as the delivery vehicle.

Using Object Styles as outlined here can make my workflow more straightforward (depending on the project, of course). There’s less need to page through a document to assign styles. And as long as I faithfully style-sheet my project – and assign export tags to every paragraph, character, and object style sheet — I’ll have a predictable export.

Screen Shot 2015-11-25 at 2.38.56 PM

One inconvenience: while you can include Alt Text in an Object Style, you can’t assign an epub:type. That needs to be assigned frame by frame using the Object Export Options dialog.

Screen Shot 2015-11-25 at 2.51.57 PM

3 Responses to “Embed Paragraph Styles in Object Styles, then Export to EPUB”

  1. Kent Johnson says:

    Neat. Does it retain italics or other local formatting when it applies the styles?

  2. Kevin says:

    Kent, as with all things InDesign, italic and other local formatting is retained as long as you use character style sheets. I either do a sweep through a document on first import to ID, assigning whatever character styles are needed, or else map styles coming from Word if style sheet work has been done there.

  3. Salim Ahmed says:

    Beautiful style i apply it. Thanks