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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.
If you ever wanted to create a design element with multiple concentric shapes, there are two different ways you can approach this task. One way it will give you varied spacing between the objects and another way will give you equal spacing. Let's see how they work. So here I have a few circles in my document and I'd like to create some concentric shapes based on these circles. So I'll select the first one and I'll use scaling for this case. I'll set the Reference Point to the center and double-click my Scale tool and I'll scale 90% in both height and width and I'll create a copy.
Then I'll press my keyboard shortcut Command+Option+4 or Ctrl+Alt+4 to repeat the transformation. And you can see, as I keep making smaller circles, the stroke width gets smaller and the spacing in between get smaller as well. Now if you want a sort of a tunneled effect, this works really well, but what if you wanted equal spacing between the circles? Well, you can use a different method. I'll select this circle and for this method we're going to use a keyboard shortcut that works in the Control panel and it works really well when we use centimeters as our unit of measure.
So if you're going to use centimeters, you can right-click in the top left corner of your window and change your unit of measure to using something else besides centimeters. So with the circle selected I can see it's 10 cm wide and 10 cm high. I'll click the chain to constrain those dimensions. I'll click the W to highlight the width value, and then I'm going to hold down Option or Alt and press the Down Arrow key on my keyboard. This is going to decrease the width to 9 centimeters and holding Option or Alt will make a copy.
Now I have another circle that's 9 centimeters wide. I'll keep holding Option or Alt and tap the Down Arrow key again, all the way till I run out of space. If I go too far InDesign says I'm not in a legal dimension anymore. OK, InDesign. So there I have created 10 equally spaced concentric circles, but I don't have to have them be concentric. I can change the reference point. So I'll click the bottom center reference point and I'll click on the Width again and do the same thing. Hold Option or Alt and press the Down Arrow key.
Now they're not concentric anymore, but it's still a cool effect. Now let's see what happens if we don't constrain width and height. I'll select the last circle, click on the chain icon to not constrain width and height, and I'll set my Reference Point back to the center. Select the Width and Option+Click or Alt+ Click on the down arrow key in my keyboard. That's pretty cool. I can also take these shapes and rotate them. So I'll select this group of shapes, I'll hold Option or Alt, and I'll click on the Rotate 90 degrees button.
And there, look at that. In five seconds I've created this interesting shape looks sort of like a disco ball or a globe. So when you want to create concentric shapes, you have a couple of different options. You can scale which will decrease the space between the objects and the stroke as you go progressively smaller, or you can keep the distance between the objects the same by using a keyboard shortcut and your Control panel.
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