InDesign FX: How to use Type on a Path to skew text

Published by | Thursday, January 17th, 2013

In this week’s InDesign FX video, I show you how to use one of the Type on a Path options in Adobe InDesign to skew text to match other elements in your page compositions.

Add text to your image.

In this case, I wanted to skew type to match the perspective in a background photograph to emphasize the height of some very tall trees. There are no official 3D perspective tools in InDesign, but for type there is a very handy substitute: the Type on a Path option called Gravity.

Type on a Path Options

When text is placed on a path and the Gravity option is applied, the letter shapes are skewed along an axis that goes from the baseline of the text through the center of the frame.

Letter shapes are skewed when the Gravity option is applied

There are two practical effects of this behavior. First, you can use the Gravity option to simulate one point perspective applied to text. Second, you can adjust the amount of skewing (and thus perspective) by changing the height or width of the frame.

In the video, I place a rectangular frame over the background photo, and use the Type on a Path tool to place the text on the edge of the frame. With the text at the bottom of the frame (and the Gravity option applied) I drag the top of the frame to change its height until the angle of the skewing matches the perspective of the trees in the photo.

I also have a member-exclusive video in the lynda.com library this week called Creating and revealing a hidden object. In it, I show how to use the animation tools in InDesign to make one object look like it is revolving around another.

How to create the effect of revealing a hidden object.

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

Interested in more?
• The entire InDesign FX biweekly series
• Courses by Mike Rankin on lynda.com
• All InDesign courses on lynda.com

Suggested courses to watch next:
InDesign Secrets
InDesign CS6 Essential Training
• InDesign CS6 New Features

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