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What's the number one coolest, most amazing feature in InDesign? Well, XML of course. No, no, I'm just kidding, it's Transparency and we've already looked at how InDesign can import images with Transparency. Now let's take a step farther and look at how you can apply Transparency effects to any object in InDesign. I have my roux_flyer document open from my Exercise folder and I'd like to apply an interesting Transparency effect to this word ART. I'll zoom in to 200% by pressing Command+2 or Ctrl+2 to on Windows and I'm going to open that control central for all Transparency effects that is the Effects panel.
If you don't see your Effects panel in your dock, either switch to your workspace to Advance or grab it out of the Window menu. You can apply a Transparency effect to any object on your page whether it's a graphic, text, line or whatever. The first thing we're going to change here is the Opacity, how transparent this object is. Right now the opacity is set to 100% so you cannot see through this at all. But if I change this number to say 50% and hit Enter, you'll see that now you can actually see through it.
It looks dim but that's only because the dark image behind it is showing through. I can also use this little slider to the right of the field to increase or decrease the Opacity. The second Transparency effect you can apply here is its Blending mode, right now the Blending mode in this pop-up menu is set to Normal, but you can see that we have lots of different options here. Almost all the options from Photoshop and Illustrator are repeated here. So, for example, we can change this to Multiply, which kind of burns the effect in, or we could choose Screen which is just the opposite.
Multiply always makes the effect darker, Screen always makes it lighter. Note that if you want to see your Transparency effects as best as possible, you should go to the View menu and choose Display Performance > High Quality Display. That way you use the high-resolution images and high-quality Transparency effects. That doesn't affect how they're going to print out but it does make them look better on screen. Okay, that's looking pretty good. I'm going to scroll over and look at this big white box. I'll just zoom back a little bit here so I can see it a little bit better, here we go.
This white frame with all this black text in it looks pretty good, but I'd like to see through the white. Now I could select this, go to my Effects panel and change the Opacity to say 70%. But the problem with that is it makes the entire object 70% opaque, that is I can see through the background now but I can also see through the text. It made that black text kind of gray text. So I don't want to do that. Let me set the Opacity back to 100%. Instead what I want to do is change the Opacity of the background fill but not the text.
Fortunately the Effects panel lets me do that. It all has to do with what is selected in this list. Right now Object is selected which means that the Opacity and Blending modes are going to be applied to the entire object. In this case I'm going to choose Fill, now any change I make in the Effects panel will only affect the Fill of this object, so I'll change this to again 70%. This might not look that different on screen right now, but believe me it makes a big difference. The background fill is transparent, but the text is nice and solid.
By the way, you don't have to go to the Effects panel to do all of these things; some of these features live up in the Control panel as well. So even if the Effects panel is closed you can still get to them up here in the Effects panel. For example, I can change the Transparency from 70% to 75% here and it makes it a little bit less transparent. I can also tell InDesign what part of the object to effect in this pop-up menu here, where it says Object, Stroke, Fill, or Text. So once again adjust the Fill at 75%. Changing the Opacity or Blending mode of an object is cool, but it's just the beginning when it comes to InDesign's Transparency features.
In the next few movies we'll look at some of the most common Transparency effects, starting with everyone's favorite the Drop Shadow.
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