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InDesign CS5 Essential Training
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Adding drop shadows


From:

InDesign CS5 Essential Training

with David Blatner

Video: Adding drop shadows

If you look carefully, in your InDesign User License it says somewhere around paragraph 28(c) that every InDesign, no matter how large or small, must contain at least one Drop Shadow. No, I am just kidding of course. But sometimes the way people use Drop Shadows, it does seem like it's in the contract. Everyone loves Drop Shadows because they give a sense of depth to a page. They make things pop. So let's see how you can add a Drop Shadow in InDesign. I am going to apply a Drop Shadow to this text right here. There are several ways you can do that, but the easiest way is to simply click on the Drop Shadow button in the Control panel.
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  1. 5m 50s
    1. Welcome
      1m 33s
    2. What is InDesign CS5?
      2m 26s
    3. Using the exercise files
      1m 51s
  2. 54m 49s
    1. Understanding the Application window
      6m 0s
    2. Navigating pages
      6m 39s
    3. Zooming and magnifying
      6m 57s
    4. Managing more than one document window
      3m 36s
    5. Setting rulers and measurements
      2m 9s
    6. Positioning panels correctly
      6m 28s
    7. Saving time by making workspaces
      3m 24s
    8. Setting the view quality of artwork
      4m 9s
    9. Adjusting View and Preview settings
      4m 56s
    10. Rotating pages and spreads
      3m 2s
    11. Displaying a new view with the New Window feature
      3m 29s
    12. Setting application and document preferences
      4m 0s
  3. 21m 31s
    1. Using the Tool panel
      8m 1s
    2. Learning and editing keyboard shortcuts
      6m 24s
    3. Working with spring-loaded tool shortcuts
      1m 17s
    4. Using contextual menus
      2m 51s
    5. Choosing menu items with Quick Apply
      2m 58s
  4. 45m 25s
    1. Creating new documents
      7m 28s
    2. Saving and reverting documents
      3m 41s
    3. Using multiple Undo and Revert
      4m 28s
    4. Setting margin and column guides
      5m 16s
    5. Using ruler guides
      8m 10s
    6. Bleeding colors or images off the side of the page
      4m 29s
    7. Saving objects in libraries
      4m 49s
    8. Exporting and importing page snippets
      4m 29s
    9. Saving for CS4 with IDML
      2m 35s
  5. 31m 18s
    1. Inserting, deleting, and moving pages
      7m 23s
    2. Changing page size
      6m 14s
    3. Adding page numbering
      3m 43s
    4. Changing page numbering with sections
      5m 58s
    5. Creating and applying master pages
      5m 20s
    6. Overriding master page items
      2m 40s
  6. 1h 21m
    1. Understanding text frames
      4m 6s
    2. Typing and editing text
      4m 36s
    3. Filling with placeholder text
      2m 38s
    4. Inserting special characters
      4m 43s
    5. Importing text
      7m 49s
    6. Threading text frames
      4m 1s
    7. Setting text frame columns and insets
      6m 32s
    8. Setting vertical justification and first baseline position
      6m 9s
    9. Putting text on a path
      6m 51s
    10. Using the Story Editor
      8m 43s
    11. Checking spelling
      7m 42s
    12. Using Find/Change
      9m 25s
    13. Tracking text changes
      8m 1s
  7. 49m 50s
    1. Importing graphics
      8m 11s
    2. Importing from Mini Bridge
      5m 27s
    3. Using the Links panel
      6m 34s
    4. Embedding links
      2m 37s
    5. Editing graphics in their original app
      3m 14s
    6. Fitting graphics to a frame
      6m 12s
    7. Taking advantage of image transparency and clipping paths
      4m 53s
    8. Adding live captions
      5m 56s
    9. Colorizing images
      2m 1s
    10. Turning image layers on and off
      4m 45s
  8. 46m 15s
    1. Selecting objects
      5m 32s
    2. Applying basic strokes and fills
      8m 18s
    3. Using advanced strokes
      3m 28s
    4. Adjusting transparency
      4m 38s
    5. Adding drop shadows
      6m 41s
    6. Applying feathering
      4m 25s
    7. Copying formatting with the Eyedropper tool
      4m 35s
    8. Finding and changing object formatting
      4m 50s
    9. Making polygons and starbursts
      3m 48s
  9. 22m 56s
    1. Making interactive documents
      2m 6s
    2. Adding hyperlinks
      5m 52s
    3. Building bookmarks
      3m 38s
    4. Creating buttons
      8m 57s
    5. Animating an object
      2m 23s
  10. 23m 29s
    1. Creating color swatches
      5m 52s
    2. The danger and power of unnamed colors
      4m 47s
    3. Building tint swatches
      2m 18s
    4. Creating gradient swatches
      3m 56s
    5. Applying gradients
      6m 36s
  11. 50m 0s
    1. Positioning objects with the Page Gap tool
      2m 53s
    2. Stacking objects
      2m 13s
    3. Creating and controlling layers
      3m 53s
    4. Managing objects in the Layers panel
      3m 37s
    5. Nesting objects
      2m 46s
    6. Editing frame and path shapes
      4m 6s
    7. Adding rounded corners and other corner options
      3m 57s
    8. Grouping objects
      3m 14s
    9. Locking objects
      2m 39s
    10. Aligning and distributing
      5m 43s
    11. Understanding text wrap
      8m 13s
    12. Using anchored objects
      6m 46s
  12. 18m 49s
    1. Duplicating objects
      5m 39s
    2. Rotating objects
      3m 3s
    3. Scaling objects
      3m 57s
    4. Mirroring objects
      3m 46s
    5. Using the Transform Again feature
      2m 24s
  13. 25m 52s
    1. Applying basic character styling
      7m 8s
    2. Applying advanced character formatting
      4m 54s
    3. Changing case
      2m 51s
    4. Understanding OpenType features
      3m 19s
    5. Using Find/Change for text formatting
      3m 18s
    6. Using Find Font
      4m 22s
  14. 45m 27s
    1. Applying formatting to a paragraph
      4m 14s
    2. Spanning a paragraph across multiple columns
      3m 5s
    3. Splitting a paragraph into multiple columns
      2m 1s
    4. Using drop caps
      3m 16s
    5. Adjusting text hyphenation
      3m 21s
    6. Fine-tuning justified text
      4m 19s
    7. Setting tabs
      5m 54s
    8. Aligning to a baseline grid
      4m 24s
    9. Controlling orphans and widows with Keep Options
      2m 39s
    10. Adding rules (lines) above or below a paragraph
      3m 14s
    11. Adding automatic bullets
      4m 39s
    12. Working with numbered lists
      4m 21s
  15. 31m 3s
    1. Creating and applying paragraph styles
      6m 34s
    2. Using character styles
      5m 43s
    3. Applying styles automatically with Nested Styles
      7m 19s
    4. Using object styles
      3m 27s
    5. Using Quick Apply with styles
      2m 49s
    6. Cleaning up a local formatting mess
      5m 11s
  16. 37m 0s
    1. Creating a table
      5m 54s
    2. Adjusting rows and columns
      6m 35s
    3. Formatting a table
      8m 5s
    4. Adding headers and footers
      1m 58s
    5. Applying table styles
      5m 32s
    6. Adding Microsoft Word and Excel tables
      8m 56s
  17. 10m 26s
    1. Checking your document with the Preflight panel
      2m 54s
    2. Creating a custom preflight profile
      4m 45s
    3. Checking color with the Separations Preview
      2m 47s
  18. 31m 7s
    1. Packaging for output
      4m 13s
    2. Using the Print dialog box
      10m 22s
    3. Exporting a PDF
      8m 47s
    4. Exporting an interactive PDF
      3m 59s
    5. Exporting text
      1m 36s
    6. Exporting SWF files
      2m 10s
  19. 1m 32s
    1. Finding more information and help
      1m 12s
    2. Goodbye
      20s

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InDesign CS5 Essential Training
10h 33m Beginner Apr 30, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Author David Blatner provides in-depth training on InDesign CS5, the print and interactive page layout application from Adobe, in InDesign CS5 Essential Training. The course shows how to create new documents with strong and flexible master pages, precisely position text and graphics, prepare documents for print, and export designs as interactive PDF or Flash SWF files. Exercise files are included with the course.

Topics include:
  • Navigating and customizing the workspace
  • Managing documents and pages
  • Rotating pages and spreads
  • Adjusting and mixing page sizes
  • Overriding master page items
  • Putting text on a path
  • Threading text frames
  • Applying strokes, fills, and other formatting effects
  • Nesting, grouping, and locking objects
  • Formatting: character-level and paragraph-level
  • Packaging, printing, and exporting
Subjects:
Design Page Layout
Software:
InDesign
Author:
David Blatner

Adding drop shadows

If you look carefully, in your InDesign User License it says somewhere around paragraph 28(c) that every InDesign, no matter how large or small, must contain at least one Drop Shadow. No, I am just kidding of course. But sometimes the way people use Drop Shadows, it does seem like it's in the contract. Everyone loves Drop Shadows because they give a sense of depth to a page. They make things pop. So let's see how you can add a Drop Shadow in InDesign. I am going to apply a Drop Shadow to this text right here. There are several ways you can do that, but the easiest way is to simply click on the Drop Shadow button in the Control panel.

The problem with doing that is the Drop Shadow almost always looks terrible. It's too strong. It's too far away. I don't like that at all. So I am going to unclick that and instead you can Option+Click on it, or let me show you the other trick. Go to the Effects panel, choose what you want to apply the Drop Shadow to, either the whole object or some aspect of the object, and then click on the Effects icon here, which gives you a number of different options for which you can change your Transparency. In this case I am going to choose a Drop Shadow. That opens the Effects panel.

This Effects panel lets me control the Drop Shadow. I am going to turn the Preview checkbox on so I can see what I am doing while I am working. I have a Drop Shadow applied to the object and I can set all kinds of options for this Drop Shadow. Its color, its opacity. I have got to make this a little not quite as strong, and change it down to 60%. That sort of brings it back a little bit, more realistic. I can change its Position. For example, its distance from the thing that's supposed to be casting the shadow. That's going to be a little bit too big, maybe I will change this down to like 3 points, something like that.

And I can also change the Angle. Watch what happens as I drag or click on this little Angle icon here. I could type a number in here or just click over here and now it looks that the light is coming from the lower left corner and casting the shadow up into the right. This lets me change the Size of that Drop Shadow. In other words, how blurry it's going to be. If I make a very small number, like 2 points, then it becomes a very strong shadow. If I make it really large, like a 9 point size, it makes it very blurry.

That's how you control sort of the focus of it. I am going to make this smaller, again, maybe 3 points. Spread lets me control how strong the Drop Shadow is in a different way. Technically, Spread controls how far from the object out should the maximum opacity be and then it's going to fade off gently to nothing, right? Well, Spread lets me control how far out it should be at that maximum 60% opacity. So if I change this to something like 100% and I hit Tab, then it's at the maximum opacity, 60%, all the way out to the very edge.

The entire size of the Drop Shadow. If I change it to 50% opacity, then it's going to be at 60%, all the way out to about halfway, and then it's going to drop off to 0. So that's how you can control the strength of your Drop Shadow in another way. And I almost always set it to 0, unless I am creating some kind of special effect. The last option I am going to choose here is Noise. Noise is a very, very important feature in Drop Shadows. Highly underrated. Almost everyone leaves it set to 0, and that's a mistake.

Because 0% Noise means a very artificial looking Drop Shadow. You want to add a little bit of Noise, also called dithering, to your Drop Shadows. Just maybe 3 or 4%. That's all you need to break it up a little bit and make it more natural looking. If you are going to have a lot of different objects on your page that have the same Drop Shadow, it's a good idea to turn on the Use Global Light feature. That way you can synchronize all your Drop Shadows, so that if the Angle changes in one, it will change in all the other ones as well.

I am going to drag this back down to where I had it, more or less. And it tells me that changing this value will reset it throughout the entire document. Be sure you want to have it set that way, and in this case we do, I will click OK, and click OK, and you can see that I have got the Drop Shadow here. Let's go ahead and apply Drop Shadows to some other objects on my page. Perhaps this object up here and this there and this there. Let's go ahead and apply the Drop Shadow to some other objects on the page, these three frames up here. Now, do I need to go through that same dialog box over and over again? No, if I want to copy an effect, like a Drop Shadow, from this object onto one of these, I simply select the object.

In this case the text frame that I just made the Drop Shadow, go over to the Effects panel and see that little fx icon there. It's not just an icon that says hey, there's an effect applied here. It also lets me drag that icon around. For example, I can drag that icon on top of another object here and you can see that it applies a Drop Shadow. I will go ahead and apply it to this one as well, and this one over here, and this one over here. There we go. So I have applied that same Drop Shadow to multiple frames very quickly, just by dragging the Effects icon around.

Now I want to change the Drop Shadow to something else. How do I edit a Drop Shadow? Just double click on the Effects icon, up comes the Effects panel and I can change it to -- in this case why don't I change the Global Angle for this. It's warning me that, yes, it's going to effect the entire document. That's fine. So I click OK, click OK, and you can see that the Drop Shadows change, not just here, but throughout the whole document. All these images change as well. The last thing I want to point out about Drop Shadows is that you have to be careful what you are applying them to.

I will select this text frame here and apply a Drop Shadow. I will just go ahead and leave this set to the default values, and you can see that the Drop Shadow was applied to all the text inside. That's not what I wanted. That looks really ugly. So instead I wanted to apply it to the frame, not the text. The reason it's applying it to the text and not the frame is that I have no fill here. I look up in the Control panel and I can see the fill is set to None. But as soon as I choose any sort of opaque fill, like a Paper color, now it's going to apply the Drop Shadow to the whole object, to the fill and the stroke, not the text.

The problem here is that I actually have some Transparency on the fill, so I can see the Drop Shadow through it. Well, I am going to have to fix that. I will go select the fill in the Effects panel and change the opacity back up to 100%. There we go. That's looking much better now. We have a fully opaque white frame and the Drop Shadow behind it. So Drop Shadows are cool, but there is no doubt that they can be overused and end up making your document look, well, a little hackneyed, so proceed with caution.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about InDesign CS5 Essential Training.


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Q: In the “Exporting to PDF” video, the author states "The flattener, and how to control it, is an advanced topic that I cover in a later title."
Is this “later title” available on lynda.com yet?
A: Unfortunately that title is still in development. However, the features are exactly the same in CS4, so please see Chapter 11 in InDesign CS4 Beyond the Basics.
Q: Can an image be placed into a cell in InDesign?
A: Yes,  but only as an anchored (inline) object. Cut the frame with the Selection tool, switch to the Type tool, click in the cell, and Paste.
Q: Is it possible to load or import pages from one document to another in InDesign CS5?
A: Pages cannot be “loaded”, but they can be "pushed" from one document to another by choosing Layout > Pages > Move Pages.
Q: When I place an image, it is distorted or pixilated to the point of not being able to use it. I can place or open those same images in Photoshop or Illustrator and they are fine.
A: You are likely seeing the low-resolution preview. To see high resolution or vector artwork, choose View > Display Performance > High Quality.
Q: When I place an image, it is distorted or pixilated to the point of not being able to use it. I can place or open those same images in Photoshop or Illustrator and they are fine.
A: You are likely seeing the low-resolution preview. To see high resolution or vector artwork, choose View > Display Performance > High Quality.
Q: I'm looking for a tutorial that will allow me to use InDesign to create files that can be emailed. I guess they have to be converted to HTML first? Is that possible?
A: If you are trying to make an HTML email, then InDesign really isn't the tool for you. It's HTML abilities are extremely limited. Look toward Dreamweaver for that. Alternatively, you could create a layout in InDesign, then export the page as a JPEG image and put that in the email.
Q: Since I upgraded to the new version of InDesign, when I click the "edit original" button in the Links panel, the pictures open in Preview instead of Photoshop
A: "Here are two articles about this problem: 
Q: I cannot see files on the desktop when in InDesign.
A: If you are using the Mac OS, you may need to turn off Window > Application Frame in order to see files behind InDesign (such as those on the Finder Desktop). If you are on Windows, you are seeing a difference between Mac and Windows. In Windows, the application is always living inside the application frame. If you un-maximize the windows frame, you can drag it smaller so you see the desktop and drag to or from it.
Q: I am currently working on an InDesign document originally created in Spanish. I am translating it to English and I need to change the language preference to be able to use the spell check in English. I have changed it in Preferences, but when I go to do the spell check on the document it is still in Spanish. How can I change the spell check to English?
A: Changing the language in preferences does not change the document or text language. You need to change the langauge in the paragraph style or the character style or in the Character panel or the Control panel (select the text first).
Q: In the movie, "Inserting, deleting, and moving pages" the author claims you can Shift-click text and the red overset symbol (a plus sign) will disappear. This isn't working for me.
A: Shift-clicking to make text automatically flow to the next text box or boxes only works when you place text from a loaded cursor. Shift-clicking existing text will not affect it.
 
Instead, if the overset text symbol appears in an existing text frame, choose the Selection tool and click the symbol to load the text in your cursor. Then Shift-click inside the next text frame to start it auto-flowing from there.
Q: I want to add a 2-page spread following a 1-page spread, but when I insert two new pages, InDesign creates a 3-page spread. How do I solve this?
A: If you're seeing 3-page spreads, turn on Allow Document Pages to Shuffle (and Allow Selected Spread to Shuffle) from the Pages panel menu.
Q: The keys used for navigating to the previous or next spread in a layout (Command+Page Up/Command+Page Down) don't appear on my laptop keyboard and the arrow keys don't work. What keys should I use?
A: Most laptop keyboards don't have these keys anymore. Look for a "modifier" key (such as the Alt or Fn keys) to press to access these keys. For example, on a Macbook Pro, you'd press Command and then Fn+Up Arrow to invoke Next Spread.
 
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