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Putting text on a path

From: InDesign CS6 Essential Training

Video: Putting text on a path

I get asked this question all the time, how do I get text on a path instead of inside of it? For example, this triangle; let's go ahead and zoom in here. I want to put text on the outside of this triangle, not the inside. I maybe tempted to try using the Type tool, this Type tool over here. But if I do that, I will get text on the inside. You cannot get text on a path with the Type tool. Instead, you have to use the Type on a Path tool. Well, where's that? It's hiding underneath the Type tool. I'll click and hold for a moment, and up comes this little pop-up menu and now I can choose the Type on a Path tool.

Putting text on a path

I get asked this question all the time, how do I get text on a path instead of inside of it? For example, this triangle; let's go ahead and zoom in here. I want to put text on the outside of this triangle, not the inside. I maybe tempted to try using the Type tool, this Type tool over here. But if I do that, I will get text on the inside. You cannot get text on a path with the Type tool. Instead, you have to use the Type on a Path tool. Well, where's that? It's hiding underneath the Type tool. I'll click and hold for a moment, and up comes this little pop-up menu and now I can choose the Type on a Path tool.

That's the trick, right there. Now, I move the cursor over the edge of the path and when it's in the right place, you'll see the cursor change just a little bit, a little Plus sign appears. That's the indication that if I click, I'll put the text on the path. Click, there we go! Now I can start typing. Now, right now, I'm typing black text on top of a dark background. So that's not very compelling. Let me delete all of that; press Command+A or Ctrl+A to select all of it and hit Delete, and I just happen to have some text that we can put on there.

I'm going to zoom back out to fit in window with the Command+0 or Ctrl+0 on Windows, and I'll use Option+Spacebar to move back, so I can see this text jumped into power zoom there for a moment, and I'm going to select this text at the bottom; Command+A or Ctrl+A, Command+X or Ctrl+X on Windows, and now, let's zoom back in to that triangle. I have it on the clipboard. So now I'm going to put it on top of that frame. At this point, because I've converted this triangle into a Text on a Path Object, I don't have to use the Type on a Path tool anymore.

I could technically go back to the Type tool. It doesn't matter. I move the cursor over the edge here, and now I click and now I'm back in to editing the type on a path. I just needed to use the Type on the Path tool to make it a type on a path object. Now, I'll paste; Command+V or Ctrl+V and you can see the text goes right on the edge of the path. Now, this triangle doesn't actually appear. There's no stroke or fill. So if I deselect this, in fact I'll deselect everything with a special keyboard shortcut Command+Shift+A, or Ctrl+Shift+A, Command+A or Ctrl+A selects everything, but if you add the Shift key in there, it deselects everything.

Now, I'll press the W key to go into Preview mode, and you can see you cannot see the edge, you can't see the path, it's just the text on the path. Now, I'll go out of Preview mode, so we can see it again by hitting W one more time. This looks pretty good, but I want to make a few little tweaks. For example, I'd like to move this 2012 BFA down a little bit, and I can change the positioning on the path in a couple of ways. The basic way though is by selecting the triangle I can see these two lines appear. What's that about? Well, when you're thinking about text on a path, think about it this way.

It's like having a text frame wrapped around the edge of the path, and in this case, this is the left edge of the text frame, and then it goes all the way around, and then this other line is the right edge of that text frame. I can move those edges simply by dragging them. For example, I'll move my cursor over the right edge, which is the one on the left here, in this case, the bottom one, and you can see the cursor changes a little bit to indicate which one I'm on top of, and I'm going to drag that down and I can actually drag it around to here.

That doesn't change anything, because the text won't go any farther than that. But if I change this left edge by clicking and dragging that, you can see that it actually will move the text around. So I have a lot of control about where that text starts on the path, and where it's going to end. These white boxes, by the way, are in ports and out ports. So literally, I can thread from a frame to text on a path, and from text on a path to a frame, or even from text on a path to other text on a path, if they're just like text frames.

There are a few more things we can do with text on a path as well, and to do that, I'm going to go to the Type menu, choose Type on a Path, and then choose Options. The Type on a Path Options dialog box lets me format that text on the path in all kinds of really funky ways. For example, right now, the Effect is set to Rainbow. That means it's going to follow the path as it curves around. If I change this to something like Skew, something very different happens. It skews based on the angle of the path. That's kind of cool looking. Let's look at some of the other ones; 3D Ribbon, I don't know, that's kind of wacky where each character gets skewed and rotated and so on, Stair Step where each character is not skewed but simply rotated, so that it's always upright.

And the last one is Gravity. Gravity always rotates and skews around the center of the object. That is really cool. I'm going to leave it set to that. We can also set what part of the path is going to be on the line. For example, right now it's set to the Baseline of the text. But if I set to this to Center, then the center of the text gets pressed up there. Of course, this squishes everything together, so we'd probably want to change the Spacing. Right now, Spacing is set to 0. The weird thing about Spacing is that negative numbers tend to give more space between the characters and positive numbers take space away.

I'm just going to add a little bit of spacing here to spread these out just a little bit, and then I'll click OK. The last thing you need to know is how to get rid of the text on a path, how to turn this back into a regular object so that text is no longer flowing on the path. To do that, I'll go back to the Type menu, choose the Type on the Path submenu, and then I can simply choose Delete Type from Path. That turns it back into a regular old object again. Setting text along a path is a wonderful way to create all kinds of special effects on your page. You can even edit that text later, but editing along a path can be, well, challenging.

Fortunately, InDesign Story Editor comes to the rescue. That's what I'm going to talk about in the next movie.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for InDesign CS6 Essential Training
InDesign CS6 Essential Training

113 video lessons · 81194 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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