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In this series, David Blatner and Anne-Marie Concepción, co-hosts of the web's top resource for InDesign tips and tricks, InDesignSecrets.com, share some hidden and sometimes surprising workflow tips that will make working in InDesign more efficient and more fun. The course covers built-in timesaving features such as Quick Apply and auto-expanding text, but also little-known tricks, such as using the eyedropper to copy and paste character and paragraph text attributes and making accurate selections by selecting through or even into objects.
New techniques will be added to the collection every other week, so check back early and often. Find more tips and tricks at indesignsecrets.com.
Anne-Marie Concepcion: I think everybody who uses InDesign knows how to make a stroke. I made this one with the Pen tool just by dragging up and down and making pretty little curve and of course you can also just go to the Line tool and actually any frame that you create is surrounded with the stroke. Now the thing is that you may know how to put text on a stroke, but you may not realize that you can also put images on a stroke. So to put text on a stroke, like let's say we want the text to follow this path right here, you would go to the Type tool and choose Type on a Path and click an insertion point and then you could add text.
You could also take a stroke and you can make it a little bit more graphic by going to the Strokes panel and choosing a different type of stroke. So you could choose one of these guys and let's actually make this larger so we can see it better. You can change the Gap Color, the Start and the End Color, but you can't really put a graphic along the stroke. We have the ability to add text on a stroke and to make the stroke itself in our graphic, but how can we have a graphic on a stroke? Well, if you know how to actually anchor a graphic in the text flow that also works with Text in the Path.
If you had a text frame, let's move up a bit, and you've filled it with some placeholder text and then we grabbed a graphic like let's say one of these guys and we select it and copy it to the clipboard and click an insertion point and paste, then it comes in as graphic in the text flow. And now it acts like a graphic in that you can select it with the Selection tool and do things like resize it or replace it with a different picture, but it also acts like a character.
You can select it with the Type tool and change its baseline for example. Move it up and down the baseline. So let's to the same thing, except that we will add these images to the path. So let's say this one right here. Let's get rid of these guys and move this one up and let's make this fish swim along here. So we are going to first deselect it and then click on it with the Type on a Path tool to accept something along the path. So first you have to sort of like activate the path and then you need to get your graphic in there.
So you can cut and paste it in there or if you're using CS5.5, you can actually use this little guy, this blue square. Just hold down the Shift key and drag-and-drop them right onto the path. That makes it into an in-line graphic. Now it's just one, but all we need to do is double-click and select it, copy it, click, oh yeah the space, and then paste. I am just pressing Command+V or Ctrl+V over and over again. Now we have our fishes swimming on the path.
So with all these graphics on the path, we can still select it all with our Type tool and do things like kern it out and kern it in. I am pressing Option+Right Arrow or Alt +Right Arrow to space them out, space them in and so on, and if you wanted replace this graphic with another graphic, we don't have symbols unfortunately, but of course you could always go to the Links panel and replace the fish with something else and then automatically all these graphics would update. Let's look at another example. Here we have the picture of David, our friend David, my partner in InDesign Secrets.
I got his picture inside of a frame that's circular and what we want to do is surround David with little Davids on the outside. So I am going to Option+drag a copy of that and make it smaller by scaling it down and then remember every frame edge is a path or stroke. We are going to make the circle be able to accept this picture. First we have to select it and then click it with the Type on a Path tool. Let me see the Plus symbol and that means it's ready to go and then we will -- let's zoom in a bit so we can see a little bit better what we are doing here.
We are going to Shift+drag this guy right onto here, there he is, anchored, and I am double-clicking to switch the Type tool, select it, it looks a little scary that way, and then paste, paste, paste, paste, paste. David's surrounded by multiple Davids, even overset Davids, and then I am going to select them all by clicking insider here and pressing Command+A or Ctrl+A and let's bring them tighter together so we can fit more of the little Davids, there we go. Or we can-- I am holding down Option+Right Arrow or Alt+Right Arrow to kern them out.
He looks a little evil, doesn't he, the evil Davids surrounding the good David? Now this is Type on a Path still, even though they are images, so you can still select this and then go to Type > Type on a Path and go to Options and with Preview turned on we can say let's flip them. I knew that was going to be bad. I just want to do that on purpose. Okay, so I'll turn off Flip so it doesn't flip. You can change the alignment. Right now he's aligned on the baseline, but if we said align on the Descender, it didn't do much right there. Let's try Center. Well because these are -- there you go.
So the center of the graphic is aligned and the spacing just moves it up or down, but actually what I prefer for spacing is to let's select all these and then go to the Baseline Shift and shift them up. You know this reminds me of like those overhead views of synchronized swimming. So that's how you put graphics on a path in InDesign. It's not something you need to switch to an illustration program for. Just combine the two features of Type on a Path and anchored graphics and you can have lots of fun.
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