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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.
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