What happens when you want to print a spot varnish or apply an effect over a small area of your document like a logo or an image? In this week’s free InDesign Secrets video, David Blatner shows you how to convert a vector clipping path into a frame that can be filled with a spot color or effect of your choice.
Watch the video above and use the companion text below to help with each step.
In this week’s InDesign FX video, I show how to create the effect of letters cut out of paper.
The key elements to achieving this look include a combination of two transparency effects (Drop Shadow and Inner Shadow), a bit of vector masking courtesy of the Paste Into command, and your own creativity in scattering the letter shapes for some carefully composed “randomness.”
The cutout effect begins with a simple line of text.
The text is then converted to outlines and filled with a photo to simulate a surface beneath the paper. In this case, I chose a wood-grain texture. A small Inner Shadow applied to the letter shapes creates the effect of looking through the cutout letter shapes.
A second copy of the text outline is filled with a light black tint and given a small drop shadow. Then everything is placed atop a large frame filled with the same black tint to simulate a sheet of paper.
The final step of this effect is where you get to exercise the most creativity—scattering the letters by moving and rotating them.
Another nice thing about this technique: you can use it with any vector shapes you have or bring into Adobe InDesign from another application (like Adobe Illustrator).
I also have a member-exclusive movie in the lynda.com library this week called Applying multiple strokes with layers. In this video I show two variations on how to create multilayered text by applying combinations of varying strokes and shadows.
See you here again in two weeks with another InDesign effect!
In this week’s InDesign FX video, I show how to create the effect of an image printed on a set of ceramic tiles.
The key element of this effect is a set of frames that are identically sized and equally spaced.
There are a few different ways you could go about creating these frames. You could use the Step and Repeat feature. You could hold Option/Alt and drag an existing frame. You could even use a script that comes with Adobe InDesign called Make Grid. But by far the quickest and easiest way to make this set of frames is to use the Gridify feature. You simply start drawing a rectangle by clicking and dragging with the Rectangle tool, and before you release your mouse button, tap your keyboard arrow keys to split the rectangle into multiple copies. Tapping the up/down arrow keys adds or removes rows of frames.
Tapping the right/left arrow keys adds or removes columns of frames.
You can adjust the spacing between the frames by holding the Command/Ctrl key while tapping your arrow keys. You can also hold Shift while you release your mouse button to create a set of perfect squares. If that all sounds like a lot of complicated keyboarding, I suggest you just try it out. It’s actually quite intuitive.
Of course, the frames are just the start of this effect. After you have created them, you then need to make them act as a single object before you can place a photo into them. This is a perfect use for the Compound Path feature. Then you’re ready to place a photo into the compound path so a small portion of the image appears in each tile.
Finally, a few finishing touches are needed to create the look of ceramic tile. First, I like to round the corners a bit, using the Corner Options in the Control panel. Then I add some transparency effects like Bevel and Emboss and Drop Shadow to finish the look of the tile.
If you want to take the effect even further, you can create a texture that looks like grout holding the tiles in place. For that, I use a frame filled with gray, enhanced with a large Inner Glow. The key for creating the texture is to add a lot of noise to the Inner Glow.
I also have a member-exclusive movie in the lynda.com library this week called Simulating chalk. In it, I show how to make live text or any object you create in InDesign look like it was written on a chalkboard.
See you here again in two weeks with another InDesign effect!
In this week’s free InDesign Secrets episode, David Blatner reveals how to use the Gravity setting for Type on a Path in order to simulate perspective. The key is to create a handle-like arm of your path that you can use to manipulate the center of the path, because it’s the center that determines the faux perspective of the type.
Moving the end point of the angled line shifts the perspective of the type. Given that Adobe InDesign doesn’t have a true perspective ability like Illustrator, this is a pretty cool workaround if you need something quickly and InDesign native.
In this week’s InDesign Secrets video, David Blatner explains how you place one InDesign file inside another and, perhaps more importantly, provides some reasons why you might want to exploit this feature.
Placing an InDesign file inside of another InDesign file works much like adding any other type of file, such as a PDF. Once you use the standard File>Place command, choose your desired InDesign file and position it where you want it to appear in the layout of your original InDesign document. Just like any other placed file, the new file will appear in the Links panel, and any edits made externally to the placed InDesign file will automatically update. Accordingly, changes made will also appear with the same warnings and update ability that any placed link would display in the Links panel.
Initially, the new InDesign file behaves just like a static, uneditable PDF or picture, but you can use the Edit Original command to open the linked file in InDesign. David also has a tip in the video for downloading a free plugin that allows you to convert the placed file into its constituent objects. That way, you can change the layout and other features just like you would any other page in your document.
For members of lynda.com, David’s partner in InDesign secrecy, Anne-Marie Concepción, also has an exclusive video in our library called Creating bookmarks for PDFs, in which she explains how to create bookmarks in InDesign that will appear when your document becomes a PDF.
Anne-Marie and David will be back in two weeks with more InDesign Secrets.
In this week’s InDesign Secrets episode, Anne-Marie Concepción addresses the dreaded lost image phenomenon, which occurs when Adobe InDesign can’t find your linked images and lets you know with glaring red question marks (circled in pink below to make them extra glaring):
The presence of glaring red question marks in your actual layout (and not just your Links panel) is courtesy of InDesign CS6, but the lost images phenomenon is familiar to users of earlier versions of InDesign as well.
Anne-Marie’s solution is simple: embed your images. That way they can’t get lost if you move the image folder or send the document off to a client without a separate file full of graphics. An embedded Photoshop file even retains its layers.
The first step is to find the original image and relink it (you’ll have to solve that challenge on your own). Then right-click on the image in the Links panel and choose Embed Link:
Your image is now permanently part of your file.
As easy as this is, you should be aware of two potential disadvantages to embedding your file. First, when you embed your images you no longer have the benefit of automatically updating links, but if your graphic is stable and not going to change (like a logo), then it’s really not a an issue. Second, embedding images makes your InDesign file significantly larger. But as Anne-Marie notes, it’s not 1993, and while you may not want to embed hundreds of images, the increased file size you’ll see from embedding a handful of images for an in-house document is not the obstacle it used to be.
One other note: you can’t embed a video file or another InDesign file.
What I find particularly fascinating is if you embed a graphic file within your InDesign document, the encompassing InDesign file behaves in some ways like a zipped archive. If you wish to unembed the graphic later, you can create a new “original” right from InDesign. For certain scenarios, this is an elegantly simple solution to the lost image syndrome.
In this week’s free InDesign Secrets episode, David Blatner reveals the secrets of using Adobe Illustrator to tweak your InDesign shapes. This technique is really a matter of allowing each application in the Creative Suite to do what it does best: InDesign is great for page layout, but when it comes to high-powered vector manipulation Illustrator is the stronger choice.
For instance, let’s say I had this InDesign document with a ho-hum six-point star and some surrounding text:
By copying the star shape from InDesign and pasting it into Illustrator I can easily leverage dynamic, transforming effects. In this case, I used the Zig Zag effect in Illustrator to quickly and efficiently change my star into a snowflake by adjusting two simple numerical settings:
After the shape is modified so it’s looking how I want it, it’s just a matter of copying the new shape in Illustrator and pasting it into InDesign where it becomes a fully editable path outline:
While Illustrator and InDesign are meant to work together, and using Illustrator to dynamically transform shapes is much more efficient than trying to make transformations in InDesign with the Pen tool or other workarounds, you should be aware of some tricks and traps along the way. In the video above, David shows you how to exploit and avoid these tricks and traps.
In this week’s free InDesign Secrets episode, Anne-Marie Concepción shows you how to wrap your text around the contours of an image object. In Anne-Marie’s example, she creates a custom text wrap by instructing Adobe InDesign to wrap around the object shape, which in her case is defined by a mask that’s part of a placed image. Once you’ve established the text wrap boundary, you can actually manipulate it as you would any vector shape: add anchor points with the Pen tool, move the control handles, and generally follow the lines of your graphic element as closely as you want.
The technique that Anne-Marie demonstrates can be used for any placed graphic. For instance, let’s say I had the text below placed next to this stylized lightbulb:
As Anne-Marie demonstrates, using the Text Wrap option called Wrap Around Object Shape, I can create a boundary for the wrapping effect that’s independent from the graphic’s bounding box. Because my lightbulb is sitting on a transparent background, InDesign can see the contours and I can reshape the green text wrap boundary so the words wrap around the curves of the lightbulb exactly as I wish:
Here’s the final result:
Check out the video above or on lynda.com to learn more about the details and nuances of using the Wrap Around Object Shape feature.