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Editing frame and path shapes

From: InDesign CS6 Essential Training

Video: Editing frame and path shapes

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.

Editing frame and path shapes

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.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for InDesign CS6 Essential Training
InDesign CS6 Essential Training

113 video lessons · 83515 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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