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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.
InDesign lets you transform text and objects in a variety of ways including scaling, rotating, and skewing them, but there's no way to apply the effect of perspective to an object, like making this text appear like it's on a plane extending into the distance. And Illustrator can do it, but not InDesign, but InDesign does offer a way that you can kind of fake it, especially if you want to affect text. Let me show you. To apply a fake perspective effect, I need to put my text on a path.
So I am going to grab my Pen tool and I'm going to click, then Shift+Click and then, this is the weird part, click again. So I get kind of a pseudo- triangle effect going on here. Now I will select my Type tool, grab all that text with a Command+A or Ctrl+A, cut it, switch to the type on a Path tool and click on my path. Finally, I'll paste with a Command+V or Ctrl+V. It's the same text but it's on a path now, and that allows me to apply a pseudo-perspective effect.
To get the perspective, I will switch back to my Selection tool, go to my Type menu and choose from the Type on a Path menu, Options. There's nothing in here that says perspective. Instead, you need to remember to choose Gravity. Gravity is the effect that gives you the look of perspective, and I'll click OK and you can see that the text is now looking like it's on a plane that's going off with perspective. But how do you control that perspective? Well, that's what this line out here is all about.
I am going to switch back to my Direct Selection tool and click on a place where there is no object so I can deselect everything, because that makes it very easy for me to hover on top of the end point and click and drag, and when I click and drag you'll see that the perspective changes. Click and drag down and you get this really intense effect, or click and drag up and you get less perspective. What's going on? Well it all has to do with this center point. The gravity effect means point all the text, skew it toward that center point.
Wherever the center point is that's where the text is going to be aiming. So by moving this point, up or down, I actually move the center point. If I move it way over here to the left, you can see that the text kind of perspectives off to the left. If I move it to the right, I get the opposite effect. The key is, don't pay attention to the side handle, just pay attention to that middle point. Now of course when I have the effect the way I want it, I want to get rid of this black line.
I don't want the path itself to have a thick line on it, so I'll change the Color to None. There we go. As I mentioned, this effect works because each character in the text is skewed or scaled slightly differently toward that middle point, but that means that if you only have a couple of characters it's not going to work so well. This works best when you have a bunch of text on a path, and by the way, I do want to thank Rufus Deuchler for discovering this trick some years ago. While it has some significant limitations, it really can come in handy sometimes.
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