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Setting custom stroke styles

From: InDesign CS4 Beyond the Basics

Video: Setting custom stroke styles

I am going to select this brown frame on the first page of this document and zoom in little bit with Command+Plus or Ctrl+Plus on Windows, just so we can see it better and I will add a big fixed stroke, maybe a 10-point black stroke around this, solid black stroke. The first thing I will notice is that the stroke is actually behind this yellowish frame that's sitting on top of it. Now, I would like to move this stroke out so that it goes on the outside of that yellow frame as well. I can do that in the Stroke panel by changing the align stroke button. Instead of choosing the center the stroke on the path, I am going to choose set this stroke to outside of the path. There we go. That's looking little bit better.

Setting custom stroke styles

I am going to select this brown frame on the first page of this document and zoom in little bit with Command+Plus or Ctrl+Plus on Windows, just so we can see it better and I will add a big fixed stroke, maybe a 10-point black stroke around this, solid black stroke. The first thing I will notice is that the stroke is actually behind this yellowish frame that's sitting on top of it. Now, I would like to move this stroke out so that it goes on the outside of that yellow frame as well. I can do that in the Stroke panel by changing the align stroke button. Instead of choosing the center the stroke on the path, I am going to choose set this stroke to outside of the path. There we go. That's looking little bit better.

Now I am going to change the Type from solid to let's say stripe like this thick or maybe a dash like this 3 and 2, but what if I can't find the stroke style that I like, none of these dashes or stripes or dots really do it for me, can I make my own? Sure, no problem, just go to the Stroke panel menu and choose Stroke Styles. I will click New and I can see in the Type pop menu that I can create three different kinds of stroke styles; stripe strokes, dotted strokes or dashed strokes.

Let's start with dashed first. The first thing we need to do is change the pattern length. That includes both the dash and the gap that follows it. If I want this whole pattern to be 10 millimeters, I will just type 10 millimeters in here. Now, I can adjust the length by dragging this triangle on top or by typing in the length in here, perhaps I want this to be exactly 3 millimeters, hit Tab and it takes affect up here in the ruler. I can even adjust the cap on the end of each of these dashes. For example, right now the end of each of these dashes, which we can see down here in the preview area, is very short and sharp. If I change the rounded cap instead I get a rounded shape here as well.

We can see this even better if we increase the preview weight in here. This doesn't affect the stroke at all; it just gives us a preview of what that stroke is going to look like. The last thing you can specify is what happens at the corners of your frame. For example, in a rectangle when the corners of two dashes come together, by default it's set to adjust dashes and gaps which gives InDesign a little bit of leeway in how long each of the dash and how long each of the gaps can be and it evens it out so that you get nice, even corners. That's typically what you would want, but you can also tell it to only adjust the gaps, make sure the actual dash itself does not change or only change the dashes and don't adjust the gaps or you can choose none and then you will get weird looking corners.

In this case, I am going to leave it set to adjust dashes and gaps and I will change the name of this to my short rounded dash. That's good enough and I am going to click Add because I want to create a new stroke style. If you click OK then it closes the dialog box, but Add adds the strokes style, keeps the dialog box open for you to create a new one. Now I am going to create a stripe. Let's try this. When I choose stripe, I get a slightly different dialog box and I can change how thick each of these stripes are just by dragging these triangles, so I could have a really thick then a thin and then a medium sized stripe or I could have a really thin stripe. Well, why don't we do that? Why don't we do a nice thin stripe, maybe 20% if that and then I can drag this around until I also get it to 20%? So I have created a stripe that has a thin stroke here and then a big gap and then another thin stroke on the inside. Let's go ahead and give this a different name, I will call this thin thick thin, you can call it anything you want and I will go ahead and click Add, there.

Now since we are talking about custom stroke styles, I would be remiss in my duty if I didn't tell you about some secret Easter eggs that Adobe snuck into the program without telling anybody. So to create one of these custom Easter egg styles, I am going to create a new dash and I am going to change its name to feet. As long as it's called feet, it doesn't matter how you define it, just call it feet. I will click Add and I am going to do another one, let's call this one lights and click Add and then we are going to create a new stripe, so we created two dashes and I am going to make one stripe and this stripe is called rainbow, just simple as that. I will go ahead and click OK and we can see all of the styles that we have created here in this dialog box, including some really curious ones.

Let's go and try those out, click OK, I will go to the Stroke panel again in the Type pop up menu and we can see all the custom ones that we created down at the bottom of this pop menu, including feet. Look at that one. That's a really wacky one. Let's zoom in here so we can see that. That is a custom Easter egg special stroke style, which is wacky, but maybe you would find that useful sometimes. Here is the thin thick thin that we created, there is the short rounded dash that we created, here is rainbow. I love rainbow, rainbow is amazing. It actually goes around corners and everything. I will just pan down here to the bottom; you can see the rainbow goes right around the corner, some people like that kind of thing. The one I like most is this lights one, this is very cool. Look at that, special Christmas lights to go around any object and a lot of people wonder is this thing going to really print, yes they really do print.

Unfortunately, InDesign does not currently have any way for you to make your cool strokes like this, you know, strokes based on graphics. The only ones that you can really make yourself other than these Easter eggs are custom dots, stripes and dashes.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for InDesign CS4 Beyond the Basics
InDesign CS4 Beyond the Basics

90 video lessons · 24643 viewers

David Blatner
Author

 
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  1. 2m 11s
    1. Welcome
      1m 3s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 8s
  2. 25m 16s
    1. Reviewing Control panel shortcuts
      8m 34s
    2. Managing panels
      6m 14s
    3. Letting InDesign do the math
      2m 52s
    4. Using Selection tool clicks
      1m 39s
    5. Using Quick Apply shortcuts
      3m 2s
    6. Setting up context shortcuts
      2m 55s
  3. 23m 51s
    1. Using column guides
      3m 42s
    2. Formatting and positioning guides
      5m 15s
    3. Setting first baseline options
      5m 30s
    4. Using the Document grid
      3m 13s
    5. Setting bleeds
      3m 3s
    6. Using slugs
      3m 8s
  4. 48m 2s
    1. Shuffling pages (or not)
      2m 47s
    2. Scaling objects to a specific size
      2m 32s
    3. Aligning objects to a page
      4m 41s
    4. Using advanced libraries
      4m 5s
    5. Using advanced anchored objects
      11m 21s
    6. Setting non-printing objects
      3m 10s
    7. Creating notes
      5m 23s
    8. Using Data Merge
      10m 41s
    9. Creating templates
      3m 22s
  5. 39m 32s
    1. Creating polygons and starbursts
      2m 35s
    2. Setting custom stroke styles
      5m 15s
    3. Using advanced effects
      8m 46s
    4. Making masks in InDesign
      4m 10s
    5. Integrating InDesign and Illustrator
      4m 59s
    6. Setting compound paths
      5m 4s
    7. Using advanced clipping paths
      6m 6s
    8. Using advanced image transparency
      2m 37s
  6. 55m 26s
    1. Using advanced text formatting
      5m 37s
    2. Using other languages
      4m 22s
    3. Setting advanced paragraph numbering
      3m 12s
    4. Using GREP to find/change
      6m 54s
    5. Managing glyphs
      5m 6s
    6. Finding and changing glyphs
      2m 39s
    7. Adding footnotes
      7m 57s
    8. Creating outlines
      3m 39s
    9. Setting conditional text
      9m 16s
    10. Creating cross-references
      6m 44s
  7. 33m 3s
    1. Advanced text importing
      7m 49s
    2. Using Apply Next Style
      5m 4s
    3. Advanced text styling
      6m 9s
    4. Setting load styles
      2m 58s
    5. Linking to text files on disk
      4m 1s
    6. Understanding GREP styles
      7m 2s
  8. 1h 4m
    1. Building a multi-document book
      4m 42s
    2. Setting page numbering across books
      7m 53s
    3. Setting chapter numbering
      6m 7s
    4. Using the Section Marker feature
      6m 53s
    5. Creating "Continued On..." numbers
      4m 44s
    6. Synchronizing documents in a book
      5m 41s
    7. Creating a table of contents
      11m 24s
    8. Indexing documents
      7m 24s
    9. Generating an index
      6m 47s
    10. Printing or exporting a book
      3m 10s
  9. 46m 4s
    1. Creating hyperlinks
      12m 53s
    2. Setting bookmarks
      6m 7s
    3. Creating buttons
      11m 16s
    4. Making movies
      8m 24s
    5. Creating sounds
      4m 51s
    6. Setting page transitions
      2m 33s
  10. 25m 59s
    1. Setting up swatch and style defaults
      3m 24s
    2. Using mixed ink colors
      6m 16s
    3. Working with duotones
      4m 23s
    4. Overprinting
      2m 10s
    5. Ink aliasing
      4m 50s
    6. Using the Kuler panel
      4m 56s
  11. 50m 27s
    1. Creating the transparency blend space
      4m 6s
    2. Understanding InDesign color settings
      9m 8s
    3. Assign Profile and Convert to Profile
      3m 26s
    4. Working with RGB images
      7m 54s
    5. Working with CMYK images
      6m 28s
    6. Soft-proofing
      5m 18s
    7. Managing color at print time
      7m 25s
    8. Managing color in a PDF export
      6m 42s
  12. 42m 1s
    1. Embedding preflight profiles
      5m 1s
    2. Using the Transparency Flattener preview
      3m 23s
    3. Reviewing Transparency Flattener settings
      6m 30s
    4. Setting print presets
      3m 35s
    5. Setting PDF presets
      3m 21s
    6. Exporting to XHTML
      7m 42s
    7. Exporting to SWF
      6m 45s
    8. Exporting to XFL
      5m 44s
  13. 25m 58s
    1. Understanding XML and InDesign
      6m 51s
    2. Structuring InDesign content
      4m 17s
    3. Importing XML
      6m 57s
    4. Exporting to XML
      7m 53s
  14. 34s
    1. Goodbye
      34s

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