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Use InDesign’s Eyedropper Tool to Apply Text Attributes

eyedropperDid you know that with the Eyedropper tool in InDesign  you can pick up text specifications including font face, size, tracking, color, and paragraph settings – and apply them to multiple text areas? It works much like the Format Painter  in Microsoft Word.

When applying the Eyedropper tool to text, you can either: a) highlight the text that has the appearance you want to copy and then apply the characteristics elsewhere, or b) select the text to which you want to apply new formatting, and then point to a piece of text that has the desired appearance. Each is done a little differently. Here’s how you do it:

To copy and paste the formatting from one area to another:

  1. Click the Eyedropper tool.
  2. Click or press and drag the text that is formatted with the attributes you want to copy.

    When “loaded” with attributes, the Eyedropper reverses direction and has a black tip. When you move this loaded cursor over any text, you will see an I-beam text cursor appear alongside the loaded Eyedropper.

  3. Press and drag to highlight the text you want to change.

    The text changes. If you have set the options to alter the whole paragraph, it will do so. (See important things to know, below.) Note that as long as they eyedropper tool is loaded, you can continue to select more text and apply the formatting.

Note: With this method, you can copy and paste type attributes from one document to another.

To paste formatting onto selected text:

  1. Click either the Type tool or the Path Type tool.
  2. Select the text to which you want to apply new formatting.
  3. Click the Eyedropper tool.
  4. With the Eyedropper tool, click text that has the formatting which you want to apply.

The selected text takes on the attributes of the text you just clicked. If you have set the options to alter the whole paragraph, it will do so. (See important things to know, below.)

Important things to know:

— To choose which character or paragraph attributes the Eyedropper tool uses, double-click the Eyedropper tool.
— To clear formatting attributes from the Eyedropper tool, Alt (Opt) – click a non-textual area of your InDesign document.

2 Responses to "Use InDesign’s Eyedropper Tool to Apply Text Attributes"

  1. The Legals (or, you don’t have to use spaces!) | JunOgle Designs Says:

    […] Use the eyedropper to copy and apply formats. Often throughout the legals, some of the text will have to be set in […]

  2. Carol Says:

    Thank you so much for this! I’m a self-taught ID user and have been frustrated that I couldn’t find an easy “format painter” kind of tool. Your tips are much appreciated!

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