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When most people hear the word, box, they think of a rectangular shape, but in QuarkXPress, a box can be any shape, an oval, a star, the shape of a letter or any arbitrary shape at all. Just think of a box as a container. It can contain a picture, some texts or just a color or a blend. It can also have a frame, which some people may call an outline or stroke. Look at the boxes that contain this photo. These began their life as actual letters, they were converted into the boxes and then had a picture placed into them. Let's see how you do that.
Start out with a plain text box. If you like, you can select one character in it and convert it to an outline. Item > Convert Text To Boxes, and then you have a choice of converting the letter either to an unanchored box, which means it will be floating outside the text box, or as an anchored box, which means it will be anchored right in the flow of the text and look just like the letter. That way if the text flows, the box moves along with it, but in this case, we'll choose entire text box. Now each letter is a separate box and the boxes are editable just like any other box.
If I get the Pen tool, I can reshape them and because these are just standard QuarkXPress boxes, we can even paste a picture into them. Select this dog, copy and select the word and paste. Now the dog is pasted inside this group of boxes and we can reposition and scale it anyway we would like. And of course, being a bunch of standard QuarkXPress boxes, we can also select it and add a frame and a drop shadow.
So it's started out as a simple text box, has now become a shaped filled group of boxes and that adds tremendous creative options to your work in QuarkXPress. Try combining this feature with the Transparency options and Drop shadows and you will find a whole new world of creativity opening up for you.
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