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Adding drop shadows

From: InDesign CS6 Essential Training

Video: Adding drop shadows

Drop Shadows, the effect that everyone hates to love. But it's true; everyone loves Drop Shadows because they give a sense of depth to a page. They make things pop. Let's see how you can make Drop Shadows in InDesign. I am going to select this image here, this photographer and I am going to put a Drop Shadow behind him. You can apply a Drop Shadow to any Object on your page; Images, Text, Lines, doesn't matter. In this case, I am going to do it to a graphic. You can apply a Drop Shadow in one click by going up to the Control panel and click on this little Drop Shadow button.

Adding drop shadows

Drop Shadows, the effect that everyone hates to love. But it's true; everyone loves Drop Shadows because they give a sense of depth to a page. They make things pop. Let's see how you can make Drop Shadows in InDesign. I am going to select this image here, this photographer and I am going to put a Drop Shadow behind him. You can apply a Drop Shadow to any Object on your page; Images, Text, Lines, doesn't matter. In this case, I am going to do it to a graphic. You can apply a Drop Shadow in one click by going up to the Control panel and click on this little Drop Shadow button.

But when you do that you almost always get a clunky, yucky shadow. I don't like do in that way. I want to have more control over my Drop Shadow. So I'm going to turn that off, and instead I am going to go over just a little bit to the fx pop-up menu. Here I can choose Drop Shadow and that's going to open a dialog box that gives me a lot of control. I can get to the same dialog box in the Effects panel down here at the bottom. There it is, same pop-up menu, Effects > Drop Shadow. Now inside the Effects dialog box, I have a lot of control over exactly where this Drop Shadow sits and how it looks.

For example, I can change what color it is and how dense it is, may be I'll make this a little bit less dense, bring it down to about 60%. Because the Preview checkbox is turned on, I can see all of these changes taking place immediately. I can also change its position. Right now, it's kind of far away from this image, I am going to make it smaller, maybe about 4 points. And I can change the Angle of the Drop Shadow that is where looks at the light is coming from by dragging this little slider around, I'll bring it back up to the top here. I am going to change the Size; the Size reflects how blurry the Drop Shadow is that is how big the Drop Shadow itself is.

I am going to make it a little bit bigger like about 8 points, just to kind of to blur it out little a bit, make a little bit more subtle. And the last I am going to do is change the Noise; I always like adding a little bit of noise, just 3 or 4%. You don't need very much but it makes it significantly more natural looking. Now I'll click OK and I can see the Drop Shadow behind this guy. Now I know that Drop Shadows there, not just because I can see a behind this guy, but because there is a fx Icon over here, in the fx panel. This fx Icon is not just an indicator that there's an effect applied to this object, it's all so usable.

I can use that, to do something. Let me show you. I can drag that little fx icon up onto another object. For example, this logo up here and when I let go over the mouse, you'll see the Drop Shadow was applied even though I didn't even have that object selected on the page. I'll like it now and zoom into 400% then you can really see it. Here the effect is too diffuse; it's too subtle. I want to make it a little bit sharper. So I could go back to the fx pop-up menu and choose Drop Shadow again or in this case, I'll just double-click on the fx icon.

That brings the dialog box up again. Now, I am just changing this object whichever object on the page is selected. I'm going to make this a little bit darker and I'm going to make the distance a little bit closer, I'm just tabbing from one field to the next, by the way, and I am going to make this Size smaller, let's say, 3 points. Now looks pretty good; actually, it's still a little bit far away. I am going to change the Distance down to maybe 1.5 points. That looks much better. I still have my Noise, click OK and I can see that looks pretty good.

Drop shadows are cool but there's no doubt that they can be overused and end up making your document look hackneyed. So proceed with caution.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for InDesign CS6 Essential Training
InDesign CS6 Essential Training

113 video lessons · 81230 viewers

David Blatner
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 23s
    1. What is InDesign?
      1m 23s
  2. 2m 38s
    1. Welcome
      1m 0s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 38s
  3. 21m 19s
    1. Getting started
      3m 33s
    2. Adding or editing text
      3m 23s
    3. Adding or replacing graphics
      4m 31s
    4. Moving objects around
      4m 55s
    5. Printing and creating a PDF
      4m 57s
  4. 26m 6s
    1. Exploring the application window
      6m 25s
    2. Navigating and magnifying pages and objects
      6m 24s
    3. Setting rulers and measurements
      2m 35s
    4. Working with panels
      3m 58s
    5. Setting the view quality of artwork
      2m 31s
    6. Adjusting view and preview settings
      4m 13s
  5. 27m 52s
    1. Creating new documents
      7m 39s
    2. Saving and reverting documents
      4m 2s
    3. Saving for CS4 and CS5 with IDML
      2m 24s
    4. Setting the margin and column guides
      4m 29s
    5. Putting ruler guides on the page
      5m 7s
    6. Bleeding colors or images off the side of the page
      4m 11s
  6. 23m 37s
    1. Inserting, deleting, and moving pages
      4m 32s
    2. Changing page size
      4m 38s
    3. Creating and applying master pages
      5m 18s
    4. Overriding master page items
      2m 43s
    5. Adding page numbering
      2m 22s
    6. Changing page numbering with sections
      4m 4s
  7. 52m 47s
    1. Understanding text frames
      3m 38s
    2. Typing and editing text
      4m 48s
    3. Inserting special characters
      4m 1s
    4. Importing text
      3m 47s
    5. Threading text frames
      3m 12s
    6. Setting text frame columns
      4m 31s
    7. Setting text inset and vertical justification options
      3m 48s
    8. Allowing text frames to grow and shrink
      4m 5s
    9. Putting text on a path
      5m 50s
    10. Using the Story Editor
      5m 10s
    11. Checking spelling
      5m 12s
    12. Using Find/Change
      4m 45s
  8. 28m 19s
    1. Importing graphics
      8m 20s
    2. Using the Links panel
      7m 17s
    3. Editing graphics in their original app
      3m 10s
    4. Fitting graphics to the frame
      5m 1s
    5. Taking advantage of image transparency and clipping paths
      4m 31s
  9. 35m 49s
    1. Selecting objects
      5m 2s
    2. Applying basic strokes and fills
      5m 6s
    3. Colorizing images
      1m 59s
    4. Adjusting transparency
      4m 4s
    5. Adding drop shadows
      3m 33s
    6. Using other transparency effects
      5m 15s
    7. Copying and formatting with the Eyedropper tool
      5m 59s
    8. Finding and changing object formatting
      4m 51s
  10. 18m 34s
    1. Creating color swatches
      4m 33s
    2. Understanding the danger and power of unnamed colors
      5m 46s
    3. Creating gradient swatches
      3m 53s
    4. Applying gradients
      4m 22s
  11. 15m 27s
    1. Editing frame and path shapes
      5m 8s
    2. Adding rounded corners and other corner options
      4m 8s
    3. Making polygons and starbursts
      1m 59s
    4. Creating text outlines
      4m 12s
  12. 37m 56s
    1. Positioning objects with the Gap tool
      3m 54s
    2. Stacking objects
      2m 5s
    3. Creating and controlling layers
      5m 27s
    4. Managing objects in the Layers panel
      3m 33s
    5. Grouping and locking objects
      3m 10s
    6. Nesting objects
      3m 23s
    7. Aligning and distributing objects
      4m 20s
    8. Understanding text wrap
      5m 51s
    9. Using anchored objects
      6m 13s
  13. 26m 16s
    1. Duplicating objects
      5m 37s
    2. Collecting, conveying, and placing content
      8m 58s
    3. Rotating objects
      2m 22s
    4. Scaling objects
      4m 21s
    5. Skewing objects
      1m 8s
    6. Mirroring objects
      3m 50s
  14. 24m 19s
    1. Applying basic character styling
      7m 31s
    2. Applying advanced character formatting
      4m 28s
    3. Changing case
      3m 23s
    4. Using Find/Change for text formatting
      5m 3s
    5. Using Find Font
      3m 54s
  15. 32m 51s
    1. Applying formatting to a paragraph
      4m 4s
    2. Spanning a paragraph across multiple columns
      2m 10s
    3. Splitting a paragraph into multiple columns
      1m 52s
    4. Using drop caps
      3m 26s
    5. Setting tabs
      7m 36s
    6. Adding rules (lines) above or below a paragraph
      3m 23s
    7. Adding automatic bullets
      4m 10s
    8. Numbering paragraphs
      6m 10s
  16. 19m 47s
    1. Creating and applying paragraph styles
      6m 10s
    2. Using character styles
      4m 45s
    3. Editing and redefining styles
      2m 20s
    4. Using object styles
      2m 47s
    5. Applying styles with Quick Apply
      3m 45s
  17. 39m 59s
    1. Creating a table
      4m 29s
    2. Adjusting rows and columns
      4m 36s
    3. Adding and deleting rows and columns
      3m 0s
    4. Formatting a table
      4m 32s
    5. Formatting cells
      6m 2s
    6. Applying table styles
      5m 33s
    7. Placing graphics in cells
      3m 1s
    8. Importing Microsoft Word and Excel tables
      8m 46s
  18. 16m 45s
    1. Building a multi-document book
      7m 27s
    2. Creating "continued on..." jump lines
      3m 51s
    3. Constructing a table of contents (TOC)
      5m 27s
  19. 23m 8s
    1. Exporting EPUBs
      6m 12s
    2. Creating an interactive PDF
      12m 49s
    3. Building a Flash SWF
      4m 7s
  20. 28m 1s
    1. Checking a document with the Preflight panel
      5m 26s
    2. Packaging for output
      3m 34s
    3. Using the Print dialog box
      4m 52s
    4. Printing a small booklet
      2m 46s
    5. Exporting a PDF
      7m 56s
    6. Exporting text
      3m 27s
  21. 1m 25s
    1. Next steps
      1m 25s

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