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InDesign FX is a collection of self-contained effects projects designed to be completed in ten minutes or less. Taught by expert Mike Rankin, the series explores every aspect of InDesign's graphic effects capabilities through real-world examples, all without relying on Photoshop or Illustrator. The intent is to reveal the quick, practical, and sometimes surprising application of InDesign effects to creative projects.
It's not possible to apply multiple strokes to a single object in InDesign. We've already seen one method of overcoming this limitation, custom stroke styles. Another perhaps less elegant but no less effective method is to simply create multiple copies of an object stacked directly on top of one another and then apply different strokes to each one. Let's take a look. So here I have an image I've placed of some flowers and I wanted to make it look like it was a postage stamp. So I created a large white stroke on the outside and then I had to create an effect where I cut out the little circular shapes that make it look like a stamp.
Let see how I did that. So here's the placed photo with the plain solid paper stroke and actually the stroke isn't paper. It's a very light tinted black. I like to use that instead of plain white. It makes it look a little more realistic, but our job now is to make those little circular shapes to cut out of the solid frame. So what I'm going to do is copy this, I'll choose Edit > Paste In Place, or Command+Shift+Option+V, Ctrl+Shift+Alt +V, to put a copy right on top of the other one, and then I'll hover over the image, click on the Content Grabber, and press Delete to get rid of the extra place photo.
I don't need that anymore. I just need the outer frame and the stroke. I'll select it and than I'll change the stroke width from 30 points down to 10 points and I'll change the style of the stroke from Solid to Dotted. I like Japanese Dots. They're little closer together than the normal dots. Now I need to change the color of the stroke from this tint of black to Paper. In the Effects panel, I'll target this object and change the blending mode from Normal to Multiply. This makes those dots disappear.
When I multiply with white, it makes an object disappear and that's what I want, because I'm going to cut these circular shapes out of the other stroke. Now I'll go to my Stroke panel, I'll be sure to align the stroke to the center of the frame, and now I'll group all the stuff together. One more trip to the Effects panel, target the group, and click on Knockout Group, and that knocks those circular shapes from the top frame out of the lower frame and creates the stamp effect.
So by using two different stroke styles, I've accomplished this stamp look. Let's try another variation. Here I wanted this placed photo to look like a coupon from a store circular. I used two different stroke styles, a solid thick stroke and a thinner dash stroke to show where you should cut out the coupon. Let's check that out. There is the placed photo. I'll click on it and apply the large thick green stroke, say 30 points. In the Swatches panel, I'll change it from 50% black to 50% of this green color, and in the Stroke panel, I'll align it to the inside of the frame, then I'll copy it, Paste It In Place, click on the Content Grabber, and press Delete to get rid of that extra copy of the photo.
Then I'll click on my new copy. Change the stroke width up in the Control panel down to 10 points. I'll change the stroke Style from Solid to Dashed. Maybe Dashed (3 and 2) would look good. And in the Swatches panel, I'll Tint from 50% to 100%. And there, I have my coupon. You may not be able to apply multiple strokes to one object, but there's nothing stopping you from quickly creating copies of that object and applying different strokes to each one.
It may not be a stroke of genius, but it works.
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