Many word processors can mimic the look of highlighters—the florescent pens used to call attention to certain passages of text. InDesign doesn’t have this effect built in, but in this week’s InDesign Secrets, David Blatner shows you how to work around it. The key is creating a custom underline effect with a large, offset line weight. Watch the video below to learn the exact steps to highlighting text and building a highlighter character style so you can use the effect over and over again.
In order to keep the original type intact, Deke begins by making a copy of the type layer to work on. After converting that copy to outlines, he also makes a copy of the outlines layer to work on. This way, the original type isn’t destroyed in the design process. Safety observed, Deke then removes the black fill and adds a 4-point white stroke, setting the stroke to align to the outside of the letters.
After converting the stroke to outlined fills, the type is ready for 3D extrusion. From the Effects menu, choose 3D>Extrude & Bevel, and set the Z value to 0 degrees, and the X and Y values to 4 degrees.
The next step involves some careful expansion, selection, grouping, and the creation of a compound path to prepare the edges of the letters for a white fill and the extruded edges for a red fill. And by careful, I mean follow Deke’s instructions carefully here and you won’t go wrong. Cavalierly ignore certain aspects of the instruction in this section, as I may have done, and you may go astray—as I may have done.
After some housekeeping in the Layers panel (using the Reverse Order command to put the letters g-o-o-d in the right order), it’s time to do a little straightening of the letters themselves. The application of the 3D effect tends to misalign the letters and their edges a bit, so switching to the Outline mode (Command/Ctrl+Y) allows you to drag the paths back into alignment.