Time to Try It Out
Written by Idea File Staff
You have heard Adobe InDesign is great and have read about the neat features. But what does all that mean for you? You need to see what this software does to understand how it fits into your yearbook of today and the ones in the future. So here is our two-dimensional effort to show some of the features of InDesign that are either unique or offer more control than PageMaker does.
Stop eyeballing your alignment. Use the document grid to align page elements. Not only can you line up vertical columns one pica apart, but horizontal items as well, making it easy to keep internal margins consistent. While this feature was included with PageMaker, it is more prominent and useful in InDesign. Practice using it to line up text and photos. But remember to reset the default to six picas per inch. Go to Edit > Preferences > Grid.
You also can use this palette to distribute spacing by clicking on the Distribute Objects section of the palette. Place some photos and practice distributing objects.
The Stroke palette offers more control with lines. For example, use the line tool to draw a line, apply a gradient to get it to fade, or highlight the Type Tool, type shift T, to change it to the Path Type Tool, and add a symbol at the end of the line. You can rotate the line using the rotating tool or by adding anchor points to the line, clicking on the Selection Tool and turning it.
Strokes, Gradients and Shadows on Text
Enhancing text is easier because the text can be worked on after it is placed. In this example, strokes were used to outline the ampersand, and gradient and drop shadow were added to make the character stand out.
Have fun with feathering. Create a very large headline in Michael font using the words ‘X-Files.’ Use a black background with white letters. Select the headline, go to the Object menu and click on Feather. The text should almost glow instead of looking like reverse text.
Soften overlapping photos
Most overlapping of photos still have a hardness to the edges. To soften, select the photo on top and go to the Transparency Palette, where you can set the transparency mode and even apply blending modes. This should give the photos an airy feel.
Playing with text
Try this exercise. Use the ellipse frame tool to draw a fairly large circle. Put placeholder text (from the Type menu) in it. Then put the text in two columns by clicking on Object and selecting Text Frame Options. Then draw a smaller circle inside that circle. Using the text wrap palette, wrap the text from the larger circle around the smaller circle. Lastly, add text on a path to the inside, smaller circle using the Path Type Tool.
Make color your own
You have placed a photo of some students on your spread, and you would really like to make your headline the color of the red shirt of one of the students. Move the Eyedropper tool over the color and click. This loads the Eyedropper with that color. Click on the headline to make it that color.