Applying Styles within Expression Design

Expression Design Properties

When I first started using ED, it wasn't immediately clear to me how to save a style and then apply it later. What I mean by this is let's say I have an object, a circle, among a whole page of circles that I've set my stroke width, color and a gradient fill with custom parameters. This is all well and good and that one circle looks great, but now I want to apply this same style to a dozen other circles on the page. Sure, I can copy and paste my original circle, but let's say all of the circles I want to apply this style to are different sizes and shapes (yes I know that no longer makes them circles, just work with me here). There is no option for copying then choosing Paste Style, or Paste Special, Style. On the appearance panel there is no option to save the style, either. You can use the attribute dropper if you don't mind clicking and dragging from a source object to a target object. But there is another way to - is an easier albeit odd way of accomplishing a "style paste" within ED and here's how to do it.

With my original object selected, the one I made all of the nice custom strokes, gradient fills, etc, I want to go to the Appearance panel and select the drop down arrow that has tooltip text that reads "More swatches". If you've never done this before, I would suggest creating a new swatch library called "Styles" by clicking the gear icon at the bottom left and then click "New Swatch Library". You can name it anything you want, though for organizations sake I called mine "Styles". Now select the header area around the word "Styles" (or whatever you called your new swatch library) and click the little icon at the bottom right that looks like a sheet of paper with the corner curled up - the tooltip text will read "Add Swatch to Library". The swatch of your style is added to your library. Now it's as easy as doing a CTRL+Left Click to select the objects you want to apply the style to and clicking the style in your Style library.

I'd like to see this made easier in the next version or two, though there are no guarantees of course. I'll talk about the attribute dropper on the next blog.