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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.
Hi! I'm Mike Rankin and welcome to this week's InDesign effect. The objects you can draw in InDesign are always going to be flat two-dimensional things. That's just their nature, but you can often make them look more visually engaging by adding some curves to make them look like they're twisting around in space. Let's see how. Here I have a few examples of some curved arrows that look like they're coming out from behind these purple rectangles and curving nicely. Let's go to the next page of the document, and make one of these. So here I just have the purple rectangle, and I'm going to start by making the curved arrow by pressing the L key on my keyboard to get my Ellipse tool, and I'm going to draw the curve.
So I'm going to hold Option or Alt on my keyboard to start drawing from the center and I'll draw out a little ellipse right on the left side of the purple rectangle, just about like that. Then I'm going to press Shift+X on my keyboard to exchange the Stroke and Fill, and I'll go to my Swatches panel and I'll fill it with this orange color. I'm going to copy it, then I'm going to choose Edit > Paste in Place, and I'm going to go to the Object menu and choose Convert Shape > Rectangle. So now I have a rectangle in the exact same size and dimensions as the Ellipse.
I'll take my Selection tool, I'll Shift+ Drag over, and what I want to do is align the left edge of this rectangle with the center of the Ellipse. I'll Shift+Click to select both of them, and then I'll choose Object > Pathfinder > Add to add those two shapes together, so now they are one object. I'll copy it to my clipboard and then I'll choose Object > Arrange > Send to Back, so now it's behind the rectangle, and then I'm going to lock this one just by choosing Object > Lock or pressing Command+L or Ctrl+L on my keyboard.
Now remember I have another copy of this object on my clipboard right now. So I'm going to paste that in place by pressing Command+Shift+Option+V or Ctrl+Shift+Alt+V on the PC. I'm going to take my Direct Selection tool, I'm going to click and drag and just select these bottom two control points; this one here and that one there, and I'm going to press the Delete key on my keyboard. So now I just have this top curve right here. I'll press V to switch to my Selection tool, hold down Option or Alt on my keyboard and Shift+Drag up, and this is going to be the curve of the arrow.
I'll deselect, press A on my keyboard to get my Direct Selection tool again, click and drag over the left side, and now I have just these two control points. Now I'll go to the Pathfinder panel and choose Paths > Join Path and it joins those two points together. Now I need to add the arrowhead. For that, I'm going to take my Polygon tool, click and drag, and right now I have five sides on my polygon, so I'm going to press the spacebar on my keyboard, and tap the down-arrow key a couple of times until I get a three-sided object.
I can drag to make it as big as I want to, release my mouse button, I'll press Shift+X again to exchange the Stroke and Fill, take my Selection tool, and click and drag to rotate this. I'll position it in place, I'll Shift+ Click to select my curved part of my arrow, and in the Pathfinder panel, I'll click Add. Now I'll go to my Swatches panel, I'll change the Fill from black to my arrow gradient here, and deselect. And if I want to, I can also adjust the arrowhead shape.
I'll take my Direct Selection tool, I'll click on this point here, and tap the right-arrow key on my keyboard a few times, and do the same for this point here. So by combining paths with the Pathfinder and using a few other drawing tricks, we were able to create an arrow that looks like it's wrapping around another object on the page. I'm Mike Rankin and I'll be back in two weeks. Thanks for watching!
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