Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Using advanced clipping paths

From: InDesign CS4 Beyond the Basics

Video: Using advanced clipping paths

I talked about how much I hate making clipping paths back in the Essential Training Title. I mean, there is adherently wrong with clipping paths, except they are real pain to draw and they always have sharp edges so they look unnatural. However, there are a few times when using a clipping path may be useful. So let's take a closer look at them and especially on how you can make your own and edit them right in InDesign. I am going to select this image in the middle of the page and zoom into 200% by pressing Command+2 or Ctrl+2 on Windows and I am going to go to Object menu, choose Clipping Paths and then choose Options. We can see in the Type pop up menu that there is no built-in Photoshop path here. So I am going to ask InDesign to build a clipping path for me.

Using advanced clipping paths

I talked about how much I hate making clipping paths back in the Essential Training Title. I mean, there is adherently wrong with clipping paths, except they are real pain to draw and they always have sharp edges so they look unnatural. However, there are a few times when using a clipping path may be useful. So let's take a closer look at them and especially on how you can make your own and edit them right in InDesign. I am going to select this image in the middle of the page and zoom into 200% by pressing Command+2 or Ctrl+2 on Windows and I am going to go to Object menu, choose Clipping Paths and then choose Options. We can see in the Type pop up menu that there is no built-in Photoshop path here. So I am going to ask InDesign to build a clipping path for me.

I will choose Detect Edges and we can see a couple of things. First of all InDesign switches to the Direct Selection tool in the Tool panel automatically for me and secondly I can see the clipping path around here. I even see the Bezier points along the paths. I can adjust which part of the image gets clipped and which part doesn't by changing the Threshold amount. The higher it goes, the more it gets clipped out, the lower it goes, the less gets clipped out. In this case, I want to find a nice balance between the two. The Tolerance setting let's me control how many Bezier point are going to be on that curve.

The smaller the number, the more points go on the curve. Here it is very few, here it is just way too many and it looks really strange. So I am going to try and find a Tolerance that really clips off most of the white part. I don't have to worry too much because the third setting in here, inset frame let's me choke the sides down; basically shrink it down to get rid of anything along the side. I am going to increase this to maybe half of a point. Now when I press the Tab key, it takes effect and I see that it's just choked out a little bit more.

Let's take it little bit more than that, maybe up to eight, you can see that it got a little bit smaller, taking away some of that white. I will go ahead and click OK and zoom it on this and see if it has worked well enough. I still have a little bit of white along there. Now this looks pixilated, so I better go into High Quality Display Mode. I go to View > Display Performance > High Quality Display and this gives me a much better and much more accurate view of the pixels that I am editing. In this case, I am going to add an additional point along here, by switching to the Pen tool, clicking and dragging right along the clipping path and you can see that I have added a new Bezier point along that edge.

Now I will go back to the Direct Selection tool and just move this over, just a little bit, maybe I'll move this over just a little bit as well. There we go. That's starting to look much better. I will go back to 200% view, by pressing Command+2 or Ctrl+2 on Windows and I will deselect everything by pressing Command+Shift+A or Ctrl+Shift+A and I can see that that's looking pretty good. Now I have to tell you, I rarely use Detect Edges on final images. I will use it for a quick comp that I am doing for a client or something, but the quality is usually not good enough. It's much better to do this thing in Photoshop, but for a quick comp or something you are throwing together, it can work pretty well. There is one other reason why you might want to build a clipping path in InDesign and that is to create a special effect.

For example, I can select this image and I will switch to the Selection tool to get the whole image there, I will click on that, I will copy it to the clipboard and then I will switch over to Illustrator. Now I am going to create a New Document here and I will paste that image in with Command+V or Crtl+V and zoom in on this. Now when you paste an image, into Illustrator that came from InDesign, it comes along with a clipping mask and that can cause problems. So I am going to release that clipping mask by going to the Object menu, choosing from the Clipping Mask Submenu, Release. If choose to view outline, I can actually see that clipping mask outside here. So I am going to select that clipping mask with the Direct Selection tool and delete it, then why don't I get rid of that image as well? There we go, I will get rid of all of that stuff, so the only thing that's left is the clipping path itself. I am going to select that and I can see that it has no fill or stroke, so I can't see it at all if I come out of outline mode.

I better hit the D key to give it at least a default black one point stroke. Now, I will go back to preview mode and I can see there is the path that I created in InDesign. Here I have it right in Illustrator, so that's cool. Once I have it in Illustrator I can apply cool effects to it. For example, I will go to Effect and Offset a little bit to make it go a little bit further out, maybe four points. That looks good and then I will go to Effect and maybe I will roughen it up a little bit. This could be fun, maybe just a tiny bit, half of a percent, maybe a lots of detail in here, click OK. That's that.

Really cool, rough effect. Now when I do that, I don't need that inside edge, but that's okay, I will copy it anyway. Copy that, come back to InDesign and paste and you can see that I have that effect that I created in Illustrator, but I now have it in InDesign. Now when I bring it back into InDesign, I actually have two separate objects. In this case, I have a fill object, which is white, and a stroke object, which is just that black stroke. So I am going to get rid of that by ungrouping those. I just did a Command+Shift+G and I will select the top object and delete it. Now you can see that just the stroke is left behind. In fact, I will get rid of that inner stroke that now I have it there by Option-clicking on that inside stroke with a Direction Selection tool and then pressing Delete. There we go. Now the only thing that's left, is that outside path. I will zoom in here so we can see this, press W to go into preview mode and you can see I have a really cool effect, but there is no way I could have created in InDesign, but I could get it by making a clipping path and using that clipping path in Illustrator to make that wacky effect.

However, ultimately now that I have this cool rough line around here, I probably don't want that clipping path anymore. I would rather get rid of the clipping path that sharp edge that actually isn't looking really good down at the bottom here anyway, I would rather get rid of the clipping path and use a true Anti-alias soft edge to blend into the background and that's what I am going to talk about in the next movie.

Show transcript

This video is part of

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

90 video lessons · 24649 viewers

David Blatner
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  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

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now "Already a member? Log in

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed InDesign CS4 Beyond the Basics.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Your file was successfully uploaded.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.