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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 am Mike Rankin and welcome to InDesign FX. In this week's effect we'll take a look at alternatives to the standard drop shadow. In fact, we won't use the Drop Shadow effect at all. Instead we can create shadow effects by making a copy of objects or text, and then pasting other shapes into those outlines to create looks like these, let's see how it's done. So I'll go to the next page in my document, I'll take my Type tool and I'll click and drag to create a really large text frame. I'll change the font to Myriad Pro, Black, I'll make it really large, 150 points, and I'll type in the word Alt Shadows.
I'm also going to select all that and I'm going to track it back a little bit to about -50, just to compress it a little bit. I'm going to press Command+Shift+Option+O or Ctrl+Shift+Alt+O on the PC to convert this type to outlines and also copy it at the same time. So if I drag the new copy out of the way you can see that I still have the original text plus this outlined copy. I'm going to undo to place that back where it was. Now I'm going to take the Line tool and click and drag while I hold Shift right at the left edge of my page here to draw a line that's taller than the text.
With my Selection tool I'll choose Edit > Step and Repeat, and I'm going to use these values. I'll repeat a 110 times, Vertical Offset of 0 and Horizontal Offset of 9 pixels just to space out these lines a little bit, and so you can see it goes the entire width of the text here, plus a little extra. I'll click OK, and now I'm going to group all these lines, I'll cut them, I'll select my outline text, and I'll choose Edit > Paste Into. In the Control panel I'll change the fill from Black to None, and now I can use my arrow keys to nudge these outline shapes down into the right, and if I zoom in I can see these lines.
Now I want to control if look a little bit here, I want to change the stroke style that's on these lines. So up in the Control panel, I'll click on the Select content button, so now I've selected that group of 110 vertical lines and I'm going to change the stroke style from Solid to Triple, I'll increase the stroke width until I fill in all those spaces, maybe take it down to 7 points. I'll zoom out and see what I have here. So that's an interesting effect, let's change it a little bit here. Again I'll select those outlines, I'll select the content and I'll change the stroke style instead of Triple I'll go to the Straight Hash, I'll increase the Width and that'll fill in those little gaps.
Now I have horizontal lines for my alternative shadows. I can even choose Wavy if I wanted to, if I wanted a sort of zebra effect here. All right, let's zoom back in and try a couple of more things. Again I'll select the outlines, select the content, I'll go back to my Triple Lines and this time I'm going to apply some shearing. I'll select the shear value and hold down the Shift key on my keyboard and tap the up arrow until I get to about 30 degrees. I can even try other stroke styles too. If I wanted to I could use diamonds as well for a different effect.
You can really use any of these custom stroke styles you want to for the alternative shadows. So you can see there is no need to settle for the regular humdrum drop shadow that you've seen a million times before. Not when it's easy enough to create a fun alternative with the Paste Into command. I am Mike Rankin and I'll be back in two weeks. Thanks for watching!
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