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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.
InDesign has a wide variety of drawing tools, including a fully featured Bezier Pen tool just like Illustrator. Now I wouldn't use InDesign to do a detailed technical illustration, but it's perfect for basic drawing such as most logos and relatively simple shapes. Let me I show you how it's done. I have my roux_ article document open from Exercise folder and I am just going to pan up to the upper left corner here, so I have some space to work with. Here in the tool panel there are several tools to let me draw shapes. For example, the Line tool which draws simple lines.
Next down, a little bit more interesting is Bezier Pen tool. Here I can click and drag to get Bezier points and handles. And I will click and drag and you get the idea, you can make a Bezier line very quickly. You might use a line like this for text on a path. I will go to the Type in a Path tool and click on the edge of this path and just start typing some text. Now I can select all that with a Command+A or Ctrl+A on Windows I will make it much larger. You can see that it fits right along that Bezier path.
Of course, in this case you can see the path because the path itself has a stroke on it. So I would have to select that with the Selection tool and turn off the Stroke. I will just apply a stroke of None here. Now even though I can't see that path right now I can still edit it. I would do that with a Direct Selection tool, the White Arrow tool. When I choose the Direct Selection tool and place my cursor over the path it highlights, and now I can choose a point or just drag a path. By dragging the segment between the points, it actually changes the curve.
I can also change this path by going back to the Pen tool and then hovering the Pen tool over parts of the path. For example, if I drag over this part of the path here where there's no Bezier point, it changes into a little plus cursor that indicates that if I click or click and drag it's going to add a point. I will click, drag, and you can see that it's actually adding a point onto that curve. On the other hand, if I place my cursor over a position where there already is a point, it changes into a Pen tool with a little minus.
That means it's going to delete that point. Click, the point goes away. Whenever you're editing paths with the Pen tool you can always hold down the Command key on the Mac or Ctrl key on Windows to switch to the last used Selection tool. That way I can actually drag these corner handles around or even move whole points around. When you let go of the Command or Ctrl key it switches back to the Pen tool. Let's draw some more paths. I am simply going to click out here and click a few times and you can see you can very easily get some very sharp cornered paths.
When you're done, you can either Command+Click or switch to a different tool to finish the path. I'll draw another path down here, and then I am going to select both of those with the Selection tool. With two paths selected I can go to the Object menu and way down here at the bottom of the Object menu you'll find the Paths submenu. This lets you do all kinds of things to paths. For example, I could join both of these so they'd become a single path. InDesign looks for where they're the closest, and then it draws a line between them.
Now that path submenu also lives inside a panel and if you are going to do a lot of things with Paths you should check out the panel. I will go to the Window menu, go down to Object & Layout and choose Pathfinder. This button here is the Join command which we just used, but there are a lot of other commands in here that you should know about. For example, you can open a closed path like a closed frame or you can close an open path. In this case, this is an open path, it doesn't close all the way and I can close it by clicking that button.
Now it's a closed path. There are all sorts of other goodies in here. I just want to point out the Convert Shape buttons, because I find those really useful. For example, it's very hard to draw a perfect triangle in InDesign, but it's very easy to click this Triangle button. You can draw any shape, even a rectangle or an ellipse, and click that Triangle button and you will get a perfect triangle. Now as you can tell I am not the greatest artist, but I do find the Pen tools useful inside of InDesign especially when I already have a frame that I want to tweak a little bit, I want to make it a little bit more interesting.
For example, this text frame down here, I'll zoom in on this so we can see it better. And I am going to close my Pathfinder panel. This is a regular of rectangular text frame and it's all very well and good, but it might be nice to give a little flair. So I'm going to choose the Pen tool and then place the Pen tool over the edge of this path. Now remember, whenever you place the Pen tool over the edge of a frame or a path it changes to the Add Point tool and now I can click and drag. And you'll notice that as I click and drag it changes the shape of this frame.
It's still a text frame, the text reflows in that shape, but it's much more interesting now. Now if I really need a heavy-duty illustration tools, I can always switch to Adobe Illustrator. But in most cases when I'm just trying to make my design look interesting, InDesign gives me everything I need.
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