Reader Brian recently asked if there is a way to modify a Graphic Style in Adobe Illustrator once it’s already been created and applied to objects on the artboard, without creating a new style and relinking all your objects to the new style. The answer is yes, you can edit the attributes of a Graphic Style once it’s been applied to objects. In fact, it’s quite easy.
Selecting the Style
The first thing you need to do is click the style you wish to edit the attributes of in the Graphic Styles panel. Note: You’ll find it helpful to have both the Graphic Styles and the Appearance panels open at the same time. Now take a look at the Appearance panel. You will see the attributes listed of the Graphic Style you just selected, including fills, strokes, effects, etc. (see image at the right)
Now for the adjustments
Adjust the attributes of the style in the Appearance panel to your liking. For example, I’m going to change the green color of a Graphic Style I’ve applied to some objects to a blue color. As you can see in the image below, editing the Appearance of a Graphic Style is simple. Just select the attribute from the Appearance panel list and edit away. In this case, I clicked on the green fill icon which pops up the Color Picker. I then selected a blue color. As you can see in the image below, the preview of the Style at the top of the Appearance panel has updated to reflect the new fill color. At this point, we’re ready to apply the newly edited attributes to the existing Graphic Style. All you have to do is hold the Option key down and drag that little preview icon at the top of the Appearance panel to the preview icon of the style in the Graphic Styles panel and drop it on top of the style, in this case, the green style I had selected earlier. Note: It’s important that you hold the Option key down while you drop the icon. If you don’t, you’ll simply be creating a new Graphic Style, not updating the existing one. That’s it. All the objects on the page that had the original green Graphic Style applied to them should automatically update with the new blue colored Graphic Style we adjusted.