InDesign FX: How to simulate a ripped background

Published by | Thursday, May 17th, 2012

In this week’s free InDesign FX video, I demonstrate how to simulate a hole or rip in the background of a design. It’s a quick, fun effect that opens up creative possibilities as you imagine what might lurk beneath the page.

Simulating a ripped page in InDesign.

Similating a ripped text page in InDesign.

The three key ingredients of the rip effect are the Pencil tool, Inner Shadow, and Paste Into. The first step is to draw a jagged shape with the Pencil tool (and drawing jagged shapes are the Pencil tool’s forte). Next, apply an inner shadow to make the shape seem like it’s under, rather than over, the other objects in your design. Finally, paste a photo or another text frame into the jagged shape, and, Voila, a rip!

InDesign technique that simulates a rip with text showing through.

For members, I also have another new video this week in the library called Creating a Breakthrough Effect. In that video, I show you how to take the rip effect one step further by adding an element that looks like it’s coming through the hole in the page.

Creating an InDesign rip effect with an object coming through the rip.

Watch out, those tusks are sharp!

See you here again in two weeks with another InDesign effect!

Interested in more?
• The complete InDesign FX course
• All InDesign courses on
• All courses by Mike Rankin on

 Suggested courses to watch next:
• InDesign Secrets
InDesign CS5 Essential Training
InDesign CS5 New Features
Deke’s Techniques

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