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Skill Level Intermediate
- [Nigel] Hi, I'm Nigel French. Welcome to Type Tips. In this episode, I'm going to show you how to put text inside a shape in InDesign, in Illustrator, and in Photoshop. Sounds easy, right? Well, it is, but there are some strange differences in the way the three applications behave and that's what I want to highlight. And also there are some potentially frustrating snags. Here I am in InDesign. I have a background rectangle which is locked and then on top of that, a circle, and I want to put text inside the circle. I'll choose my type tool. Notice the shape of my type cursor when it is not over a shape or in this case, when it's not over an unlocked shape. Notice how that changes when it moves over a shape, indicating that you are now about to put text inside the shape and that's exactly what will happen. When I click right there, I get my flashing cursor and I can go and enter type or I can fill with placeholder text. Let me just delete some of that text, 'cause I also want to show you controls that we have here that we don't have in the other two programs. Let's say I want to center this text vertically within the shape. Command or Control + B, I can choose align center, and I also want to inset it from the edge of the shape. Now let's try the same thing in Photoshop. Similar situation, I have a shape layer above a background layer. I'll press T to choose my type tool. We get the same sort of behavior, the same shape of cursor when I'm not over a shape. Notice how it changes when I put my cursor over the cyan circle. I'll click, and this time, something different happens. I get text, but my shape is filled or half-filled with placeholder text. This is an option that we can turn on or off in Photoshop and Illustrator, sometimes it's useful, sometimes it's annoying, so let's just take a look at that preference. In your type preferences, it's this one right here. Fill new type layers with placeholder text. So if you don't want that to happen, just uncheck that. But what's interesting here, well firstly, we don't have the option to center it within the shape or set any kind of inset. That just isn't an option for us, but you can see that I have created a separate type layer and if I move that type layer, it actually has no relationship to the shape that I just put the type in, which can be somewhat confusing. If I want these two elements to have a relationship, which presumably, I do, then I would need to select those two layers. I'm holding down the shift key to do that, and then press Command or Control + G so that they are now in a group and I can move that group together and I can also, if necessary, scale the group. I'll press Command or Control + T and then just scale it from pulling on one of its corner handles. Now let's try the same thing in Illustrator, and in fact, it was in Illustrator that I was trying to do this just the other day and was getting confused and that was the inspiration for this tip. Now I've been using Illustrator for a very long time, but I was having difficulty getting text inside a shape. So I chose my type tool, and I know that in this situation, I actually want my area type tool. So I'll choose my area type tool. Notice its shape changes to indicate that we're about to put type inside that shape, but when I click, I just get this warning message. You must click on a non-compound, non-masking path to create text inside a path. Now when you're in a hurry, that doesn't really mean much. So you try and click again, thinking well, I'm clicking inside the shape. What on earth is going wrong? Turns out that in Illustrator, you actually need to click on the path itself and as in Photoshop, we get this dummy text. Now unlike Photoshop, it actually fills the whole shape. We can turn it off, if we want to, in our type preferences right there, but also unlike Photoshop, when you make a path into a filled text object, then that path will lose its fill and its stroke properties. So if I want to restore them, I could draw myself another circle or I could switch to my direct selection tool, the white arrow. Click away to make sure that nothing is selected and then kind of click back on that path, making sure I have just the circle selected and not the type, and then I can come and restore its color. Now similar to the behavior that we get in InDesign, we can control the position of this type somewhat within the shape, so if I were to come to my type menu, I have my area type options. There is no option to adjust the vertical justification of the type, centering it or aligning it to the bottom of the shape, but we can set an inset. So those are the visual cues for you to look out for in the three different programs, InDesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator and the behaviors to expect when putting text inside a frame of any shape.