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InDesign is an essential tool for design firms, ad agencies, magazines, newspapers, book publishers, and freelance designers around the world. This course presents the core features and techniques that make this powerful page layout application fun and easy to use. Author David Blatner shows how to navigate and customize the workspace, manage documents and pages, work with text frames and graphics, export and print finished documents, explore creating interactive documents, and much more. He also covers popular topics such as EPUBs and long documents and includes advice on working with overset text, unnamed colors, and other troublesome issues that may arise for first-time designers.
In the last movie I talked about how to make a gradient swatch in the Swatches panel. Now let's look at applying gradients and stuff on your page and how to fine-tune those gradients. I have my brochure file opened from the Exercise folder and I'm going to jump to the first spread by pressing Option+Page Up or Alt+Page Up on Windows. Now I'm going to open my Swatches panel and I'm going to create two quick gradients. I'll open a New Gradient Swatch dialog box, and the first one I'm going to be is a Radial Gradient from white to black. I'll just call it black to white.
It doesn't really matter. And I'll click Add. The second one is going to be a Linear Gradient that's going to be purple light to dark. Again, you can call these things anything you want, but this one's going to be Linear and the first one is going to be kind of a purplish color. Let's add little bit of black, little bit of cyan, kind of a light purple, and the last color is going to be another CMYK swatch, which is also purple, but a darker purple, much darker purple. There we go! I'll click OK and now we have both gradient swatches in the Swatches panel.
Let's go ahead and apply those. I'm going to make this middle panel the purple light to dark, and I'm going to apply the black to white radial to this object over here which is actually inside a group. So I need to double-click on it to select it. Now I click on black to white and it fills it with the black to white gradient. Now I don't really like the way either of those look. So I want to fine-tune those a little bit. To do that I'm going to switch to the Gradient panel. If you don't see the Gradient panel in the dock you can find it in the Window menu under the Color submenu.
The Gradient panel lets you apply local formatting to your gradients. In other words, if I select this purple gradient I can see that it goes from light to dark purple here. I can now tweak the gradient a little bit in all kinds of ways. For example, I can make it more dark purple by dragging the midpoint slider to the left. It immediately updates on my page as well. I can also change the angle of this. For example, I'd rather have this be 90 degrees. So I'm going to change the Angle field to 90 and hit Enter. Now the whole gradient has been rotated 90 degrees so it goes from bottom to top.
If I wanted to flip that around I could click the Reverse button. So you have a lot of control over how this gradient sits inside of that frame. I like it kind of like that. Now let's turn our attention to this black to white Radial gradient. I'll double-click on that once again to select it. You can see that the Gradient panel shows that it's a Radial gradient and the center is 50%, right in the middle. Once again I can drag this to the left or to the right to change the effect pretty dramatically. However, in this case instead of futzing about with the Gradient panel I'm going to use the Gradient tool.
Over here in the tool panel I can choose the Gradient tool and now I can simply click and drag over my gradient to change it dramatically. I'd click where I want the beginning point to be and I drag to where I want the endpoint of the gradient to be. So this is going to put the white in the center and the black out near the side. When I let go you see the effect. Radial gradients always take on the shape of the object or I should say the height/width proportion of the objects here. So it's going to be taller than it is wide.
Sometimes it takes a few tries of clicking and dragging to get just the effect you want. Try clicking and dragging in different directions as well, and then you can start dragging this midpoint slider to fine-tune it. That's how you apply gradients to objects like frames, but you can apply gradients to text too. Let me jump back to the second spread with an Option+Page Down or Alt+Page Down and I'm going to zoom in on this word Design. I'd like to make this word a Design. To do that I'll switch the Type tool and select the word. Now I'll go to the Swatches panel and click on the Gradient swatch.
It's hard to see here, because it's highlighted but if I deselect that I can see that it goes from light to dark purple. Just like we saw earlier if I want to fine-tune this I can use the Gradient panel or the Gradient tool. I'm going to select the Type itself, switch to the Gradient tool, and then drag from the bottom of the type to the top. Now when I deselect, I can see that it's taken effect. That looks pretty good. Blends are certainly the trickiest color feature in InDesign to get right, but practice fine-tuning them and using the Blend tool and the Gradient panel and you'll soon become a blend master.
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