InDesign Tutorial 17 of 20

Outline a font

A free InDesign tutorial from the worlds best Adobe trainers!

Outlining text

Outlining allows you to pull apart your text. Deforming it and stylizing it.

  1. Create a text box and type your title into it.
    Bring Your Own Laptop
  2. Using the Selection Tool, make sure the text box is selected.
  3. Type > Create Outlines.

    Create outlines
    Note: This now breaks your text into shapes.
    Outlined type
  4. Choose the Direct Selection Tool (the white arrow).
    Note: It’s easier if you now deselect your title.
  5. Edit > Deselect All.
  6. Now Zoom in and select an ‘anchor point’ (the small points around the edge of the letters).
  7. You can select more than one anchor point by dragging a small selection around a group of points using the direct selection tool.
  8. Now click and drag one of the selected anchor points.
    customized type in InDesign

Pasting images inside text

This technique will let you put an image inside text. To make this happen you’ll need to outline your text like in the previous tutorial.

  1. Draw a text box and type a word.
  2. Type > Create Outlines
    Note: Now lets get an image.
  3. File > Place
  4. Find the image you want to go inside your text.
    Placed Image
  5. Using your selection tool - move your image above the text.
    Image on text
  6. With just the image selected choose Edit > Cut
  7. Select the outlined text.
  8. Edit > Paste into.
    Image inside text

Effects in InDesign

Effects can be applied to text and images.

In this example we have text that is getting lost in the background image. Let’s add the drop shadow effect.

  1. Start with your type on top of your image with your type selected.
    Text on Image
  2. Choose Object > Effects > Drop Shadow
    Window Effects Drop Shadow
    Note: Make sure the ‘Preview’ check box is on.
  3. Play with the settings to find your perfect result.
    Note: From this window you can turn on and adjust any one of the other InDesign Effects. In the screen shot below I’ve turned on the Bevel and Emboss effect.

    Effects panel settings
  4. Result:
    Drop shadows in InDesign




Video transcription

InDesign CC tutorial 17: How to turn a font into a shape.

Hi, this is Pip Payne and your watching a Bring Your Own Laptop tutorial for indesign CC.

In this session we’re going to look at outlining text, putting an image inside that text and then using an effect to enhance it. Lets start by turning the headline, which is text, as we can see here, into an outlined graphic.

So we go type, create outline, now this is no longer type. Now while it still looks the same if I go my direct selection tools we now have an outlined group which is in fact graphic, which means that if we have a photograph we could place it inside. I just happen to have a graphic which I’ll now paste, control or ( Apple V ) So now its just a question of placing this graphic where I want it and if its not quite in the right place I can still move it around. I’m going to cut it, control or ( Apple X ) I am now going to select the outline type and use the paste into command, and look at that, we now have skylight with sky.

We can access the photograph to move it around with the direct selection tool selected. We can click anywhere inside this graphic and notice that the bounding box which is dark brown now indicates that I now have selected the inside graphic rather than the outside type. Or I could simply move it around like this. And looking at this page now I think that adding an effect to the graphic of the sky would strengthen the headline a little.

Our effect panel is under window, effects, or control or Apple shift F10. Down here add an object effect to the selected target, lets have a look. I can select the object and go to effects and drop shadow. Now am I going to use a drop shadow, no I don’t think so. Too many people use drop shadows so I’m going to go Inner shadow, and as long as I’ve got the preview button, I can do various things. Now I think I’ll stick within a shadow.

While we’re here lets look at the additional editing we can achieve with each effect. With inner shadow selected we can look at the different modes which is used exactly the same as in Photoshop. We can change the opacity, as long as we’ve got preview on we can see what happening. Some things don’t really do much. Distance, angel, how far its off set, using global light and the size of the actual effect. When your happy, click okay.

Notice I can drop this into the pallet stack on the right. A quick tip if I want to move a floating pallet. And that it for this tutorial on Outlining Type, adding a graphic to the out lining type and then adding an effect to that graphic.

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