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QuarkXPress has always been the perfect tool for creating and publishing documents. In QuarkXPress 8 Essential Training, Jay Nelson—the publisher of Design Tools Monthly and a QuarkXPress expert—covers all the tools and features in this updated version of the program, from basic page layout to Flash integration and web page creation. Throughout this comprehensive training, Jay shows what's needed to produce professional-quality projects that integrate text, pictures, graphics, and tables. He also offers real-world page layout techniques that designers can apply to their own projects. Exercise files accompany the course.
One of the most overlooked but extremely valuable tools in QuarkXPress is text on a path, which is where text follows the shape of a path. In this movie, we'll learn how to create a straight text path, a curved text path and a circular text path. So let's begin a new project, and just except the defaults. Now, text on a path follows the same rules that every other item in QuarkXPress does, which is there is the item and there is the content. In this case, the item will be either a line or a Bezier curve, or potentially a circle or a square.
So let's start with the Line tool and create an item. Here is our item. If you want to make it exactly horizontal or vertical, you can just hold down the Shift key, and that's going to constrain it to 45 degree angles. Now once we have created our line, the only thing you have to do to add text to it is get the Text Content tool, and double-click right on the line. From there, you can type all the text you'd like, and you can format the text exactly as you would any other text in the box, which is down in the Measurements palette.
You can choose the font, and the size, and the style, and the color and all the usual stuff. Now one thing you may want to notice is that in the Measurements palette, there is now a new tab that looks like text on a path right here. When we click it, we see some controls for how the text should sit on the path. If you look over here, when you are on a curved path, you can control which way the text bends on the path. We'll get to that in a second. But you can assign a color to the path itself. You can create an Opacity for it. You can align the text to the path, either by its Baseline, which is the default, or by the Ascent, which is the top of the letters, Center, which is the center of the letters, or Descent, which is the bottom of the lowest letters like the descender that goes off the bottom of the G for example.
That will shift it up and down on the path. So let's zoom in here, and have a look at what we are talking about. By default, it's on Baseline. See how it sits right on the line. Descent means raise it up a little bit, so that the bottom of the G for example will sit on the Baseline. Center means center it right on the line, and Ascent means make the top of the highest letter aligned with the path. So what if your line has a width to it, or if it's a big fat line, where is this text going to align to it? Right now, we are set for Ascent and that means that the top of the highest character is going to align to the line.
So let's say we make our line a little bit thicker. Instead of being 1 point, let's make it 8 point. So now we have a nice big fat line and this brings up an interesting point. It look strange because by default, when you create a line and put text on it, Quark changes the width of it to one point, and the color to None. That way, all you see is the text and not the path itself when you print out. We can change that to something else. Let's say Yellow. Now you can see that the line has an 8 point thickness and it's yellow.
You can also see that the text actually moved a little bit, because we told it to align the text to the highest character in the text. In this case the T, and we also told it to align the text to the Top of the line. So since the line is 8 points thick, it actually move the text up, half that distance to 4 points. In any case, if we switch it to Center, you'll see that the top of the T is now aligned to the center of the 8 point line. If we choose Bottom, now the top of the T is aligned to the bottom of the 8 point line.
So these are the ways that you control the text that's on the line. Now, the other control that you have is this Flip Text and when you click that, it flips the text upside down on the path. This can be handy in various circumstances, especially the ones we are about to do with circles. So I'll just unclick that, so we don't go crazy, and we'll zoom out a little bit. So that's text on the line. Now, we'll go onto text on a curved path. Now you use the Bezier Pen tool to create the path, and then you add the text to it. I'll be showing you how to use the Bezier Pen tool later on, but for now, I'll just make one for us.
Now, we have a nice curve for the text to follow. Just like the line, all we have to do now is select the Text Content tool, and double-click right on the path. This time before we begin typing the text, let's just make it a little bigger. Down in the Measurements palette, we can go to the Character Attributes tab, and change it from 12-point to say 24-point. That will be nice and big, and we can see what we're doing. Now, we'll type some text on the path. We'll say text on a path can be very fun to use.
Now, when we go down to the Measurements palette and go to the Text Path tab, these buttons over here become more interesting. The first one is the Standard, which is the text follows the path, and it curves around so that the vertical parts of the text are always perpendicular to the path. This one, which they call Warped Text, can be useful when you are trying to create a three-dimensional effect of something rotating in space. This third one, which they call 3-D Ribbon Text, keeps the vertical strokes of the text vertical, but all the horizontal strokes follow the curve of the path.
This final one here keeps all the text exactly the way it's supposed to be, meaning it isn't curved or bent or anything, but it just sits on the path. Quark calls it Stair Step text. Once again, all the attributes over here can be changed, how it sits on the path and all that. You can flip it below the path etcetera. Now, these first two ways of doing text on a path are useful if you really need a straight line, or if you know how to draw a nice curvy path. But a common use for it is to put text on a circle. So let's just take our Circle tool.
They call it the Oval Box tool, and draw ourselves a circle down here. I'm holding down the Option key to drag the page up a little bit. When I click-and-drag, I get an oval. If I hold down the Shift key, I'll get a circle. So let's make a circle. Then there is a little trick you have to perform because by default, it thinks you are going to want to put text inside the circle. So we need to convert it to a shape that can be a path. There is a really easy way to do that. You go to the Item menu and you go to Shape, and you see that indeed it's an oval.
We need to convert it to a path, so you might be able to guess that this very bottom thing would be a path. So as soon as we do that, we don't see the circle really change, but it's now a path, and being a path, we can put text on it. So we get up to our Text tool yet again, double-click on the path, and begin typing. You can also paste text in from somewhere else, and to make it easy to see, we'll change the size of it. This time we'll make it 36 point, and we'll say text on a circle is useful for badges and such.
Now, you'll notice that the text began at the bottom of the circle and made its way around. But because it behaves just like text as anywhere else in QuarkXPress, we can change its alignment. Now to see that change more clearly, let's change the size of the text, so that it doesn't fill the circle. I'm pressing Command+A or Ctrl+A to select all the text, and I'll go back to my little Text Tab, and change it from 36-points back down to 24. So now you can clearly see that the text begins at the bottom and continues around.
To change that, we go to the Paragraph tab, and select Center, and look what it does. It puts it all around the top of the circle, which is normally what you are going to want to do. But you can also choose Right Aligned, which ends at the bottom, or Justified which starts at the bottom, and if you have lots of text, will actually justify it all the way around to touch the first character again or Forced justified which does the same thing. Just as with the other paths, you can adjust the positioning of the text on it. We'll go back to our Text Path tab, change our line width to something thick that we can see, change it to a color that make sense.
We'll go to yellow again, and just as before, you can choose align the text to the Baseline, the Center, the Ascent like we did before. The Flip Text button gets interesting, because it puts it on the inside of the circle. If you don't like the way the text is spaced, you can go to the Character Attributes tab, and change its Tracking, and that spaces it out more or less. So that in a nutshell is how you put text on a path in QuarkXPress. The fine typographical and object control that you have in QuarkXPress really lends itself to that kind of creative exploration, and when you are done with it, all you have to do is save it as a PDF and your clients and other people can use that logo in their designs.
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