In this week’s InDesign FX video, we’re headed to the movies as I show how to create lettering that resembles a theater marquee.
This effect highlights one of the ideas I keep coming back to in the InDesign FX series: in order to make a realistic-looking effect, you have to start with a real-life reference. So before I did anything in Adobe InDesign, I searched the web for photos of theater signs. I found many examples with thick translucent red plastic letters, hung from two rails stretching across the signs horizontally.
Adobe InDesign includes a Cross-References feature that allows you to link to other paragraphs and headings in your document and automatically update page numbering as your document grows.
In this week’s free InDesign Secrets video, Anne-Marie Concepción shares her tips for getting the most from cross-references. For example, you can perform text formatting at the same time you create a cross-reference, which makes cross-references doubly useful.
For more tips on getting the most out of cross-references, watch the video and follow along with the tips outlined below.
In this week’s InDesign FX video, I show you how to use Adobe InDesign to divide an image into several pieces that fit together like a puzzle. This would be a pretty tedious chore to manually create all these separate frames and then position the images correctly inside them.
Fortunately, there is an easier way to create this effect.
It’s time to get excited about an oft-neglected dialog box in Adobe InDesign, which can actually save you a lot of time when you’re proofing your documents. In this week’s free InDesign Secrets video, Anne-Marie Concepción shows you how to use the Find/Change dialog box to find and fix mistakes in a busy layout, whether it’s reducing stroke width, adding drop shadows, or modifying any other object attributes.
Watch the video and use the companion text below to help with each step.
1. Press Cmd+F (Mac) or Ctrl+F (Windows) to open the Find/Change dialog box. Choose the Object tab.
2. Change the Search dropdown to Document to make sure you’re searching the entire layout. However, to narrow down your results, change the Type. For example, if you’re looking to format text, you would choose Text Frames.
3. Click the icon next to the Find Object Format pane to define some search criteria. When the dialog box appears, make your selections from the Basic Attributes, Effects, Stroke, and Gap Color menus. In this example, we’re looking for a Stroke with a Weight of 1 pt.
4. Back in the Find/Change dialog, perform the same steps for Change Object Format, entering the new values you want.
5. Now click Change All if you’re sure you want to commit your edits. Sometimes it’s easier to click the Find button and commit your changes frame by frame.
The Find/Change dialog box also presents an excellent opportunity to apply styles to graphic frames without affecting any of their other properties, such as text wrapping behavior. Simply create an object style and disable all the other attributes except for the one you want to change, such as a 1 pt stroke for image frames. Then select the style from the Style Options in the Change Object Format Options dialog.
And voilà! An easy way to make small, consistent changes to objects throughout a document.
In this week’s InDesign FX video, I show you how to add fancy ornamental frames to placed images in Adobe InDesign.
More than any clever technique, this effect highlights the idea of using the resources you already have handy to create unique and interesting graphics, so you don’t have to draw them. Specifically, the fancy frames are made from a simple solid stroke embellished with a series of characters from the Adobe Wood Type Ornaments font.
In the video, I start by making a copy of the frame containing the photo. This way I can place the ornaments in the duplicate frame and know they will be positioned precisely where I want them over the photo.
Then it’s time to find a suitable ornament. Here, you can think of the Glyphs panel like a library of clip art. You probably already have several dingbat, symbol, or ornamental fonts at your fingertips, each containing hundreds of interesting shapes.
After selecting a single interesting glyph, you can scale and duplicate it to make a series of ornaments, and then use a frame as a vector mask to crop the glyphs and show just the parts you want for the picture frame.
Use a frame that contains your favorite glyph as a vector mask.
With that basic set of steps you open up a million other possibilities by incorporating different fonts, glyphs, scaling, and so on.
Use the InDesign Character panel to adjust the settings for each glyph you use.
Another example of using a frame as a vector mask for your selected font.
The final effect, created entirely in InDesign.
I also have a member-exclusive video in the lynda.com library this week called Framing photos in letters. It shows you how to use merged letter shapes as photo frames.
In this week’s free InDesign Secrets video, David Blatner reveals another use for the Table of Contents feature in Adobe InDesign: namely, that it’s not just a TOC creation tool, but it can also create a list from text tagged with a specific paragraph style throughout your document.
In this example, David shows you how to create a list of people included in your layout’s photographs by using a layer of hidden text.
1. First create captions for all your photographs.
2. Isolate the captions on a single layer in your document, assign the same unique paragraph style to all of them, and hide the visibility of the layer.
3. Choose Layout > Table of Contents to open the Table of Contents dialog.
4. Select the paragraph style you applied to your hidden text.
5. Check Include Text on Hidden Layers option and click OK.
This video is a great example of the TOC feature’s uses, but you could create a list of anything, such as a list of advertisers in a layout for a magazine or yearbook.
Looking for more InDesign insights? Join Anne-Marie Concepción in a lynda.com member-exclusive video called Threading a bunch of frames together quickly (and unthreading too).
And as always, David and Anne-Marie will be back in two weeks with more InDesign Secrets.
In this week’s free InDesign Secrets video, Anne-Marie Concepción introduces one of the more interesting features included with Adobe InDesign CS6: the Content Collector tools, or more specifically, the Content Collector, Content Placer, and Content Conveyor. The Content Collector tools function like a permanent clipboard, allowing you to grab and place content in documents, copying and repurposing it in any way you need while your original InDesign document is open. You can grab text, images, animations, captions, groups of objects, and even entire pages.
Activate the Content Collector tool from the main toolbar (or press B) to open the Content Conveyor panel. To toggle between Content Collector and Content Placer modes, simply press B again. Click one or more pieces of content to place the items on the conveyor “belt.”
In the video, Anne-Marie gives you an insight into sets, which allows you to marquee-select a group of objects and retain the same size and relationships between the objects. Discover how to drill down through a set to find the exact item you need. She also shows how to load, preview, and place sets; grab items from alternate layouts; and create sets from unrelated items.
Overall, the Content Collector tools are a powerful new feature for repurposing layouts, artwork, and text in a precise and visual manner. Looking for more InDesign insights? Join Anne-Marie’s partner in InDesign exploration, David Blatner, in a member-exclusive video called Running text along the top and the bottom of a circle.
As always, David and Anne-Marie will be back in two weeks with more InDesign Secrets.