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In this series, David Blatner and Anne-Marie Concepción, co-hosts of the web's top resource for InDesign tips and tricks, InDesignSecrets.com, share some hidden and sometimes surprising workflow tips that will make working in InDesign more efficient and more fun. The course covers built-in timesaving features such as Quick Apply and auto-expanding text, but also little-known tricks, such as using the eyedropper to copy and paste character and paragraph text attributes and making accurate selections by selecting through or even into objects.
New techniques will be added to the collection every other week, so check back early and often. Find more tips and tricks at indesignsecrets.com.
- Indesign has great feature called corner options or live corners, some people call them. And it lets you apply corner effects to any object. For example, I'll grab the frame tool and I'm just gonna drag out a frame on top of this photo. Then why don't we fill it with a color. I'll choose paper and then I'll stroke it with a black stroke. Let's make this a little bit thicker. So we can see it better. Ok, now that I've got my rectangle, I wanna change the corners. I wanna make them rounded. And I can do that in several places. I could go to the object menu and choose corner options.
Or I could just change it here in the control panel using these controls, right here. But my favorite way of applying live corners is to switch to the selection tool. Which I can do by pressing the V key on my keyboard. Then I see this little yellow box in the upper right corner. All I have to do is click that. That switches it to live corner mode. Where I see four diamonds, little yellow diamonds on the corners. To get my rounded corners, I simply drag one of those over. There we go. Now I've got rounded corners and it looks pretty good.
So that's cool but sometimes you wanna make a change to a corner that you just can't do without seeing the actual bezier points. The handles on the path. Fortunately, Indesign lets you convert these automatic corners into actual bezier curves. It's really easy to do but it's totally obscure. You'd never guess how. So I'd better show you. To convert live corners or corner options into bezier points, all you have to do is go to the object menu. Come down to the paths sub menu, and then choose close path.
That's right, I'm converting a closed path into a closed path. At first it doesn't look like anything has changed. But if I switch to my direct selection tool, this white arrow tool in the tools panel, you can actually see the bezier points on the path. So that's kind of neat. Now you can do things with those points. For example, I could click and hold down on the pin tool to get this little pop-up menu. Then I could choose the convert direction point tool. Then I could change these different points. For example, I could just click and drag to make a really weird shape.
I don't need that so I'm gonna undo with a command Z or control Z on Windows. And instead I'm gonna turn this into a speech bubble. I'm gonna make it look like this guy is saying something. So I'll go back to my pin tool. And I'm gonna click three times. I hover my cursor over the path until I see a little plus symbol next to the pin. That means I'm going to add points to this. And I'll click and then move over a little bit and click. And then move over a bit and then click again. Now to select one of those points, just that middle point. I need to deselect all of them, which I can do with a command shift A, or control shift A on Windows.
So now I'll choose the direct selection tool in the tool panel. And I'll click right on that object, so I can see the points. But they're white instead of black, so I can choose a single point by hovering over it and then dragging it down. And when I drag that one point down, I get my speech bubble. So I created a sharp corner rectangle. I converted it into a rounded corner rectangle. And then converted it into actual bezier points. And then added my speech bubble, a little sharp corner right there in the middle. Now granted, it's not often that you need this but it's good know these tricks because when you need it, you really need it.
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