How to Synchronize Styles in a Book Document using InDesign [Solved]

How to Synchronize Styles in a Book Document using InDesign

Adobe Indesign LogoThe Synchronize feature in InDesign CS3 synchronizes the styles in each chapter of a book document with those in the style source. This feature ensures consistency in paragraph styles, character styles, table styles, cell styles, object styles, trap presets, TOC styles, master pages, and color swatches. Be sure to choose the correct chapter as the standard because its settings will override the settings in the other chapters.

The Book panel includes a Synchronize iconic button, as well as a Synchronize Selected Documents or Synchronize Book menu item in the flyout menu. Before you synchronize, make sure that you’re happy with the styles, master pages, and other settings you’ve established in the style source and then follow these steps to synchronize:

1. Be sure that all chapters are available for editing.

2. Choose the style source by clicking the box to the left of the source chapter so that the style-source icon appears.

3. Choose Synchronize Options from the Book panel’s flyout menu, which opens a dialog box.

Make sure that every type of item you want to synchronize is checked, including Object Styles, TOC Style, Character Styles, Paragraph Styles, Table Styles, Cell Styles, Master Pages, Numbered Lists, Text Variables, Trap Presets, and Swatches.

InDesign CS3 adds the ability to synchronize master pages across book chapters, as well as the new table styles, cell styles, numbered lists, and text variables.

4. Select the chapters you want to synchronize and either click the Synchronize button or choose Synchronize Selected Documents from the flyout menu.

If no chapters are selected, InDesign assumes you want to synchronize all chapters; the menu option Synchronize Book will appear in the flyout menu rather than Synchronize Selected Documents in that case.

5. Compare the styles (character, paragraph, object, table, cell, and TOC), swatches (color, tint, and gradient), text variables, numbered lists, master pages, and trap presets, in the style source to those in each chapter.

If anything is different, the information in each chapter will be updated to match the style source.

If someone changed the typeface in a style sheet in a chapter, it will revert to the typeface specified in the style source.

If anything is missing from a chapter — for example, if you just added a swatch to the style source but not to other chapters — that information is added to each chapter.

If a chapter uses its own style or swatch not defined in the source style, that unique style or swatch is not changed or removed — these local additions are retained.


By using the synchronize feature, you give each chapter the same basic set of styles and swatches as the style source, although you can still add more of these specifications to individual chapters. Keep in mind that synchronizing doesn’t repair the formatting fiascos that can happen when multiple users work on the same book. Be sure everyone who needs to know the standards for the design has access, ahead of time, to that information.