Join David Blatner for an in-depth discussion in this video Stroke and fill frames and paths, part of InDesign CC 2018 Essential Training.
- [Instructor] Need to set the color of an object? Well, do you want to color its background Fill, or its Stroke, what some people would call its border? InDesign, just like Illustrator, lets you apply a Fill or Stroke color to any object on your page, even text. Now I have my magazine document open from my Exercise Files folder, and I'm going to select this big rectangular text frame right in the middle of this page, and I want to apply a Fill and a Stroke to it. To do that, I'm going to come up here to the Control Panel, and I'm going to look at these two pop up menus here.
The one on top is the Fill color, and the one on the bottom is Stroke. Now right now both of these are set to None, that's what the red diagonal line means. It's like transparent. So let's first go ahead and Fill this frame. I'll come up to the top pop up menu, and click. Here I see the list of all my color swatches. To select one I simply click on it. For example, I could choose Paper, that's what InDesign calls White. Now I should mention, you should not choose Registration up here at the top.
I know it looks like black, but it's actually kind of dangerous to use this Registration swatch. It's used for drawing crop marks on your page, which you probably will never need to do, so ignore that. Let's go ahead and scroll down this list, and I'll choose some other color, like this one. Now, to close this pop up menu I could press the Escape key, or just click anywhere else on the screen. Now let's go ahead and change the Stroke. I'm going to give this a big thick black Stroke, so first I'll click the black swatch, and then I'm going to come over here and choose this other pop up menu, to the right of those in the Control Panel.
Right now it's set to a 1 pt. Stroke, I'm going to make this larger, say 6 pts. Now that's a big solid black Stroke. I can also come up here and click in the Style pop up menu. Right now it's set to Solid. I'm going to choose the next one down, Thick Thick. The Control Panel is the fastest way to make these kinds of changes. But you can also make them over in the Swatches panel too. I'll click the Swatches panel in the dock, and up comes the Swatches panel. And this gives me the same kinds of controls. In fact, it looks almost exactly like the menu we saw in the Control Panel, but there's one big difference, and that is, how to choose between Fill and Stroke.
It's this little tiny icon in the upper left corner of the panel. Just like Adobe Illustrator, whichever icon is on top is the one that you'll be changing. So right now, if I clicked on a swatch, it would change the Stroke. If I click on the Fill icon, now that comes to the top, so if I choose a different color, like yellow, you'll see it applies it to the Fill. At the top of the Swatches panel I can also change the tint of the color. I'm going to click the word Tint, that's just a little short cut for selecting all the text inside that field.
And now I'm going to type five zero and then return or enter. There we go, now we have a 50% yellow color for the background Fill. I'll be covering colors and how to create new color swatches later on in this chapter. By the way, if you squint, you'll see another tiny little icon in the upper left corner of this panel. It's a double headed arrow, and you'll see the same thing at the bottom of the Tool panel, way over here. If you click on that, it literally switches the colors. So what was the Fill becomes the Stroke, and what was the Stroke becomes the Fill.
I don't like all that black, so let's go ahead and Fill this with a different color. Maybe this mauve color there, there we go. Now as I'm looking at my masterpiece here, I'm noticing there's something strange going on. This colored Fill kind of sneaks out past the yellow line, into the middle part. Let me zoom in and you can see this better. If I deselect the object, and then select the W key to go into Preview mode, now you can really see the problem. This little area between the Thick Thick Stroke is called its gap, and right now the gap is set to None, or transparent, so I can see through it to the edge of that little bit of color sticking out, and I don't like that, so let's go ahead and change it.
And the way you fine tune your Strokes is with the Stroke panel. So I'll come over here to my dock, and click on Stroke. Now I'll select my object. You can see that I have my 6 pt. Stroke selected here, and the type is set to Thick Thick. The Gap Color is set to None, and I can choose any other swatch in my document. But in this case, I'm going to fix this in a different way. Instead of changing the Gap Color, I'm going to change the Stroke Alignment. That's what these buttons are up here. These let me set where the Stroke sits on the path, and right now I see that the alignment is set to the center of the path.
But if I click on this third button over here, well now the Stroke moves. This is on the outside of the path. The second button means put it on the inside of the path. I think that looks much better. By the way, since I have this Stroke panel open, I should point out that if you ever need an arrow head, the Stroke panel is where you do that. For example, I'll come over here and grab the Line tool, and I'm simply going to drag out a line. Let's make this a little bit thicker, let's say three points. Then, to add my arrow head, I'll go over here to the Start and End pop up menus, and I'm going to choose Barbed for the end point.
I find these arrow heads sometimes need to be scaled up a little bit to match the size of the line, so I'm going to change this to 150%. Now when I hit return or enter, you'll see the arrow head gets larger. That looks much better. Now, as I mentioned at the beginning of this movie, you can also apply Fills and Strokes to text. Let me show you how. I'm going to use my selection tool to select the text frame again, and now I'm going to zoom out by pressing Command minus or Control minus on Windows. I'll just press that a few times. Now I'll double click with the selection tool to switch to the Type tool, and I'll select this text.
Now remember how earlier I said that you could swap the Fill and the Stroke? Well, why don't we just go ahead and do that? I'll come over here to my Tool panel, and click that little double headed arrow. There it goes, now I have a Dark Gray Stroke with a None Fill. You can literally see right through that text. So there we go, there's so much more that you can do with Fills and Strokes, and that's what I'm going to be covering in the rest of this chapter.
- Creating a new layout
- Inserting pages
- Adding text
- Inserting graphics
- Applying color and transparency
- Drawing and editing frames and paths
- Formatting objects
- Formatting text
- Creating styles for uniform formatting
- Building tables
- Adding links and interactivity
- Printing and exporting InDesign documents