Editing Basic Shapes






Editing Basic Shapes

In this section, you find out how to edit basic shapes using several palettes in InDesign. This means you can create original shapes and craft exactly the kind of design you require in your page layout. You aren’t stuck with the predetermined shapes, such as a square or oval: You can make these forms take on much more complicated or original shapes.

Changing the Size using the Transform Palette

You can change the size of a shape by using the Transform palette. Here’s how:

  1.   With the Selection tool (the tool that’s used to select objects), select the shape that you want to resize.

    When the shape is selected, a bounding box appears around it. You can see a selected shape in Figure.

    Click To expand
    Figure: Resizing an ellipse.

  2. Open the Transform palette by choosing Window®Transform.

    The Transform palette opens.

  3. Enter different number values in the W and H fields to change the size of the shape.

    The shape changes size on the page automatically to the new size dimensions that you specify in the Transform palette.

Changing the stroke of a shape

You can also change the stroke of shapes you have created. The stroke is the outline that appears around the edge of the shape. The stroke can range from no stroke to a very thick stroke, and it’s measured in point sizes.

Technical Stuff 

Even if a shape has a stroke set to 0 points, it still has a stroke! You just can’t see the stroke.

Follow these steps to edit the stroke of your shapes:

  1. Select a shape on the page.

    A bounding box appears around the selected shape.

  2. Open the Stroke palette by choosing Window®Stroke.

    The Stroke palette opens, as shown in Figure.

    Click To expand
    Figure: Use the Stroke palette to change the shape’s outline.

  3. Select a new width for the Stroke using the Weight drop-down list.

    As soon as a value is selected, the stroke automatically changes on the page. This number is measured in points. You use some of the other options in the following exercise.

Tip 

You can click in the Stroke text field and manually enter a numerical value for the Stroke width. The higher the number you enter, the thicker the stroke. You can also change the style of the stroke with the Stroke palette by following these steps:

  1. With a basic shape selected, choose Window®Stroke to access the Stroke palette.

  2. Choose Show Options from the palette menu, located on the upper-left corner of the palette.

    If the options are already open, you see Hide Options in the menu instead, as shown in Figure. If that’s the case, skip this step!

    Click To expand
    Figure: Make sure the options are showing with the Stroke palette menu.

  3. Choose a new line type from the Type drop-down list.

    We chose Dashed. As soon as a value is selected, the stroke automatically changes, as shown in Figure.

    Click To expand
    Figure: The stroke now appears thick and dashed on this ellipse.

  4. Choose a new line weight from the Weight drop-down list.

    We chose 80 points. The ellipse automatically updates on the page.

You can also add special ends to the lines using the Start and End drop-down lists. For example, you can add an arrowhead or large circle to the beginning or end of the stroke. The Cap and Join buttons allow you to choose the shape of the line ends, and how they join with other paths when you are working with complex paths or shapes. For more information on creating and editing lines and strokes, see Book I, Chapter 6.

Changing the Shear Value

You can change the shear of a shape by using the Transform palette. Skew and shear are the same thing — it means that the shape is slanted, so you create the appearance of some form of perspective for the skewed or sheared element. This transformation is useful if you want to create the illusion of depth on the page. Follow these simple steps to skew a shape:

  1. With a basic shape selected, choose Window®Transform.

    The Transform palette opens.

  2. Select a value from the Shear drop-down list (the drop-down list in the lower-right corner of the Transform palette), as shown in Figure.

    Click To expand
    Figure: This rectangle is skewed 45 degrees.

    After selecting a new value, the shape skews (or shears), depending on what value you select. Manually entering a numerical value into this field also skews the shape.

Rotating a Shape

You can change the rotation of a shape by using the Transform palette. The process of rotating a shape is very similar to how you skew a shape (see the preceding section):

  1. With a basic shape selected, choose Window®Transform.

    The Transform palette opens.

  2. Select a value from the Rotation drop-down list, as shown in Figure.

    After selecting a new value, the shape automatically rotates, based on the rotation angle you specified. You can also manually enter a value into the text field.

    Click To expand
    Figure: This rectangle is rotated by 45 degrees.

These are only a few of the ways you can edit basic shapes in InDesign. You can edit shapes and manipulate their appearance in other ways. We cover some of these ways, such as editing fills, in the later section, “Using Fills.”



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