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Creating outlines

From: InDesign CS4 Beyond the Basics

Video: Creating outlines

In an earlier chapter, I showed how you can convert text to paths by selecting a text frame, going to the Type menu and choosing Create Outlines. Let's zoom in on this, so we can see it better. And I will switch to the Direct Selection tool, and you can see that what was text is now actually Bezier curves. This is super helpful when you need to apply some special effects to the text. For example, maybe you want to stretch a single character, make that one taller or this one lower. Or maybe you want to create some kind of logo making all these characters intertwine. Whatever the case, there are two basic ways to convert text to outlines, the way I just showed you, converting a whole text at a time or converting just some selected text.

Creating outlines

In an earlier chapter, I showed how you can convert text to paths by selecting a text frame, going to the Type menu and choosing Create Outlines. Let's zoom in on this, so we can see it better. And I will switch to the Direct Selection tool, and you can see that what was text is now actually Bezier curves. This is super helpful when you need to apply some special effects to the text. For example, maybe you want to stretch a single character, make that one taller or this one lower. Or maybe you want to create some kind of logo making all these characters intertwine. Whatever the case, there are two basic ways to convert text to outlines, the way I just showed you, converting a whole text at a time or converting just some selected text.

For example, let me pan down here and select just the word Dutch. While that's selected with the Type tool, I can go to the Type menu and choose Create Outlines. You will notice that the text spacing changed a little bit. Why? Because that's not a word anymore, and so all the kerning pairs and so on got removed. If I click on it with the Selection tool, you can see that it's now a separate object, and in fact it's anchored inside the text frame. I will press W to come out of Preview mode, and you can see here is the text frame and here is that object anchored in line. There are several reasons why you might want to convert a single word inside of a paragraph, or just a few words in the outlines. For example, let's say I want to apply a Drop Shadow just to that word. You can't do that with the Effects panel, unless you convert the word to outlines. But now that it is converted, I can go to the Effects panel, and just go give us a Drop Shadow.

Let's make this maybe just a little bit smaller so we can see it better, there we go. There is the drop shadow on that one word. I will close this Effects panel and I am going to revert this document back to the way it was, just because I want to show you a different way of converting things to outlines. I will zoom in on this with the Command+2 or Ctrl+2 on Windows, and I will scroll over here, and instead of simply selecting that frame, and then going and choosing Create Outlines, instead I am going to hold down the Option key on the Mac on Alt on Windows, when I choose Create Outlines.

When you hold on that modifier key, something different happens. It actually duplicates the frame. There we go, I have a duplicate of it and one of them is outlined, this one over here and one of them is the original frame. It didn't change the original. I like doing that because it's nice to have an original that I can put off on the pasteboard, I am just going to go out of Preview mode and move that off to the pasteboard, just in case I need to use it later on. You never know if - maybe I made a typo in here, I need to go back to the original. Same thing happens here if I select one word and I hold down the Option or Alt key when I choose Create Outlines, it looks the same but it actually made a duplicate of that when it converted to outlines. So this is not anchored into the text frame. It's actually a separate object now, which has been converted to outlines. Now I want to be really clear about something, I do not recommend people convert a lot of their text outlines.

For example, if your printer tells you that you should convert everything in your document to outlines, I suggest really asking them carefully why they want that. It's usually a very bad practice and almost always unnecessary. Plus, you may lose some really important stuff when converting text to outlines. For example, this text over here has a rule below. If I convert that whole text frame to outlines, I am going to lose that rule below. It just disappears. So you have to be really careful when creating outlines. It's much better to send the printer a PDF file with the fonts embedded if you can, but for the occasional letter or word or some text that you want to apply some kind of special effect to, sure creating outlines is great for that kind of thing.

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This video is part of

Image for InDesign CS4 Beyond the Basics
InDesign CS4 Beyond the Basics

90 video lessons · 24580 viewers

David Blatner
Author

 
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  1. 2m 11s
    1. Welcome
      1m 3s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 8s
  2. 25m 16s
    1. Reviewing Control panel shortcuts
      8m 34s
    2. Managing panels
      6m 14s
    3. Letting InDesign do the math
      2m 52s
    4. Using Selection tool clicks
      1m 39s
    5. Using Quick Apply shortcuts
      3m 2s
    6. Setting up context shortcuts
      2m 55s
  3. 23m 51s
    1. Using column guides
      3m 42s
    2. Formatting and positioning guides
      5m 15s
    3. Setting first baseline options
      5m 30s
    4. Using the Document grid
      3m 13s
    5. Setting bleeds
      3m 3s
    6. Using slugs
      3m 8s
  4. 48m 2s
    1. Shuffling pages (or not)
      2m 47s
    2. Scaling objects to a specific size
      2m 32s
    3. Aligning objects to a page
      4m 41s
    4. Using advanced libraries
      4m 5s
    5. Using advanced anchored objects
      11m 21s
    6. Setting non-printing objects
      3m 10s
    7. Creating notes
      5m 23s
    8. Using Data Merge
      10m 41s
    9. Creating templates
      3m 22s
  5. 39m 32s
    1. Creating polygons and starbursts
      2m 35s
    2. Setting custom stroke styles
      5m 15s
    3. Using advanced effects
      8m 46s
    4. Making masks in InDesign
      4m 10s
    5. Integrating InDesign and Illustrator
      4m 59s
    6. Setting compound paths
      5m 4s
    7. Using advanced clipping paths
      6m 6s
    8. Using advanced image transparency
      2m 37s
  6. 55m 26s
    1. Using advanced text formatting
      5m 37s
    2. Using other languages
      4m 22s
    3. Setting advanced paragraph numbering
      3m 12s
    4. Using GREP to find/change
      6m 54s
    5. Managing glyphs
      5m 6s
    6. Finding and changing glyphs
      2m 39s
    7. Adding footnotes
      7m 57s
    8. Creating outlines
      3m 39s
    9. Setting conditional text
      9m 16s
    10. Creating cross-references
      6m 44s
  7. 33m 3s
    1. Advanced text importing
      7m 49s
    2. Using Apply Next Style
      5m 4s
    3. Advanced text styling
      6m 9s
    4. Setting load styles
      2m 58s
    5. Linking to text files on disk
      4m 1s
    6. Understanding GREP styles
      7m 2s
  8. 1h 4m
    1. Building a multi-document book
      4m 42s
    2. Setting page numbering across books
      7m 53s
    3. Setting chapter numbering
      6m 7s
    4. Using the Section Marker feature
      6m 53s
    5. Creating "Continued On..." numbers
      4m 44s
    6. Synchronizing documents in a book
      5m 41s
    7. Creating a table of contents
      11m 24s
    8. Indexing documents
      7m 24s
    9. Generating an index
      6m 47s
    10. Printing or exporting a book
      3m 10s
  9. 46m 4s
    1. Creating hyperlinks
      12m 53s
    2. Setting bookmarks
      6m 7s
    3. Creating buttons
      11m 16s
    4. Making movies
      8m 24s
    5. Creating sounds
      4m 51s
    6. Setting page transitions
      2m 33s
  10. 25m 59s
    1. Setting up swatch and style defaults
      3m 24s
    2. Using mixed ink colors
      6m 16s
    3. Working with duotones
      4m 23s
    4. Overprinting
      2m 10s
    5. Ink aliasing
      4m 50s
    6. Using the Kuler panel
      4m 56s
  11. 50m 27s
    1. Creating the transparency blend space
      4m 6s
    2. Understanding InDesign color settings
      9m 8s
    3. Assign Profile and Convert to Profile
      3m 26s
    4. Working with RGB images
      7m 54s
    5. Working with CMYK images
      6m 28s
    6. Soft-proofing
      5m 18s
    7. Managing color at print time
      7m 25s
    8. Managing color in a PDF export
      6m 42s
  12. 42m 1s
    1. Embedding preflight profiles
      5m 1s
    2. Using the Transparency Flattener preview
      3m 23s
    3. Reviewing Transparency Flattener settings
      6m 30s
    4. Setting print presets
      3m 35s
    5. Setting PDF presets
      3m 21s
    6. Exporting to XHTML
      7m 42s
    7. Exporting to SWF
      6m 45s
    8. Exporting to XFL
      5m 44s
  13. 25m 58s
    1. Understanding XML and InDesign
      6m 51s
    2. Structuring InDesign content
      4m 17s
    3. Importing XML
      6m 57s
    4. Exporting to XML
      7m 53s
  14. 34s
    1. Goodbye
      34s

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