Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

2. PatternMaker

From: InDesign CS4: 10 Free Must-Have Plug-ins

Video: 2. PatternMaker

My stepmother was a graphic designer. When I was a kid, she would give me her old Letraset and format books. Did you ever see those? They are like pages and pages of really cool patterns, but the problem is, you couldn't tweak them. You couldn't go in there and change the patterns, because, of course, they were on paper or on plastic. So that wasn't so good. But years later when I started computer programming, I started writing my own patterns. That was fun because my patterns were infinitely customizable. So flash-forward about 20 years and I'm talking with this plug-in developer, a guy from TeacupSoftware.com, and TeacupSoftware guy, Lawrence, makes my patterns into an InDesign plug-in. So now you can get all these infinitely customizable patterns in InDesign. Let me show you how it works.

2. PatternMaker

My stepmother was a graphic designer. When I was a kid, she would give me her old Letraset and format books. Did you ever see those? They are like pages and pages of really cool patterns, but the problem is, you couldn't tweak them. You couldn't go in there and change the patterns, because, of course, they were on paper or on plastic. So that wasn't so good. But years later when I started computer programming, I started writing my own patterns. That was fun because my patterns were infinitely customizable. So flash-forward about 20 years and I'm talking with this plug-in developer, a guy from TeacupSoftware.com, and TeacupSoftware guy, Lawrence, makes my patterns into an InDesign plug-in. So now you can get all these infinitely customizable patterns in InDesign. Let me show you how it works.

After you download and install the PatternMaker plug-in, you can restart InDesign and then go to the Window menu and choose PatternMaker. The PatternMaker panel is a floating panel just like any other panel in InDesign, so you could dock it off to the side if you want to. I'm going to leave it out here on my screen. Now here is the deal. When you download the PatternMaker plug-in, it says it's a demo. But it's not really a demo. It's a fully functional plug-in with three basic patterns. It will keep working with those three patterns as long as you want. You can also download two other things called a PatternPack and a BarcodeMaker. Those add more functionality to the PatternMaker as you are going to see in a minute. But those are actual commercial add-ons. Teacup Software hopes you will like them and gets you hooked on them so you will actually go buy them. But you could use those for up to 20 days if you want to. But I'm going to focus on the three free patterns that come with the basic PatternMaker plug-in.

To add a background pattern on this page, I'm going to select this Background Frame, then choose a pattern from the list of patterns here. You can see that I have got a lot of patterns listed. These are the commercial ones that are installed here. Again the free ones that come with it are Crosses, Lines and Scallops. Those three are the free ones that come with the basic one that they call a demo but it's not a demo. So I'm going to start with Crosses right now. To fill this frame with those patterns, I'm going to Click Apply Pattern. There they are. I get lots of axes throughout the entire frame. I also get a bunch of ways to change these crosses. If I don't like the look of them, I can change them.

For example, I could change the angle of each one of these patterns. Right now it's set to 0, but if I change it to, let's say, 15 degrees and then Click any place else or I'll just hit Tab, you will see that each one of those exes changed very slightly. So you have total control over how those patterns appear on the page. I can also come up here to the Cross Size field and make these bigger. How about 4 picas? And I'll hit Tab. You can see with one change I have radically changed the tone of this pattern. Let's make the gap between each of those exes larger. How about 2 picas 1? There you go and now I have got kind of a parquet floor feel, of course, I could always go in here and change the color to any of my color swatches and change the Stroke Weight I if wanted to.

So you can see that Crosses starts off looking like crosses but very quickly can look like all kinds of cool patterns. Let's change to one of the other free patterns. How about Scallops? Scallops is sort of a Japanese flavored fish motif. I don't know what that is, but kind of a fishy kind of thing. Let's change this to a different color maybe Cyan and we can make this larger. How about 2 picas? Change the angle to something like 30 degrees. You can see that very quickly you get a really different feel. You can also say, do you want 1, 2 or 3 scallops inside this pattern. I'll also change the Stroke Weight percentage so that the inside strokes are actually larger than the outside stroke.

The third pattern that comes free with PatternMaker is Lines. Lines gives you lines. You can do all kinds of cool things with lines, either dashed or solid lines. I'm going to leave this set to dashed, but I'll change the color to something little more interesting, like this dark red. Now we could change the distance between the lines if we want to, we can change the number of iteration, so rotating them around. For example, I could, say, change it to 3 iterations. Then I could even change the dash length.

I'll make this longer. So those are the three free patterns that come with the PatternMaker plug-in. Like I said, there are a lot of other cool shapes that you can do, dots and concentric circles and spirals and all kinds of interesting things. I'll leave that for you to check out. Again, you can download that and use it for 20 days for free. So don't stress it. In the meantime, you can keep using those three free ones forever. I do want to mention those barcodes though, because the barcodes are really amazing. The ability to come in here and add a barcode quickly without having to paste them in later or have the printer do it, is a big help. All you do is draw out a frame, choose a barcode that you want, let's say, UPC-E, and then click Apply Pattern and you get a barcode. Change to a different barcode style and you will get a different kind of barcode. Change the code number and that changes on the page. It's all very interactive.

Even if you just stick with those three free patterns, if you like patterns as much as I do, I think you are going to really enjoy sprucing up your designs and unleashing your creativity with that PatternMaker plug-in.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for InDesign CS4: 10 Free Must-Have Plug-ins
InDesign CS4: 10 Free Must-Have Plug-ins

12 video lessons · 10179 viewers

David Blatner
Author

 

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ .

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now Already a member? Log in

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed InDesign CS4: 10 Free Must-Have Plug-ins.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member ?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferences from the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Your file was successfully uploaded.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.