Text Effects Gallery

This is a long article that’s only going to get longer as I find more and more text effects to add to the gallery — and this is only a small sample of the many ways in which you can manipulate text in InDesign.

Skewed text

text effects skew.jpg

To skew the text like this, I selected characters on the left side of the word and applied a negative skew value, and then I selected characters on the right side of the word and applied a positive skew value. See Skew type in InDesign Help.

Drop cap

text effects drop cap.jpg

 Here I applied a simple one-character, three-line drop cap. See Use drop caps in InDesign Help.

Raised cap

text effects raised cap.jpg

 To create a raised cap, I applied a one-character, one-line drop cap, and then I increased the font size of the drop cap character. I created a special character style for raised caps and selected it in the Drop Caps & Nested Styles dialog box. See Apply a character style to drop caps in InDesign Help.

Scaled text

text effects scale.jpg

 To scale text, use the Vertical Scale and Horizontal Scale options in the Control panel. See Scale type in InDesign Help.

Highlight text

text effects highlight.jpg

If you want to change the default underline or create yellow highlight text, check out Jeff Witchel’s video at Custom Underlines in InDesign. David Blatner also describes how to make a text highlighter.

Paragraph rule effects

text effects rules.jpg

[Image by Jeff Witchel]

Jeff Witchel walks you through the steps of creating all three of these paragraph rule effects at InDesign’s “Paragraph Rules” Rule.

Hanging punctuation in pull quotes

text effects hanging.png

In InDesign, hanging punctuation is called “optical margin alignment.” It’s a difficult option to find because it’s one of the few formatting options that applies to the entire story, so it appears in the Story panel. See Create hanging punctuation in InDesign Help.

Type on a path

text effects type on path.jpg

[Image by Keith Gilbert]

The type on a path feature deserves it own gallery. For this example, Keith Gilbert describes how to create a flag graphic with type on a path.

Punch-outs, stickers, and rips

text effects punchout.png

[Punch-out -- image by Mike Rankin]

See Mike Rankin’s great article at InDesign Eye Candy, part 3: Punch-Outs, Stickers, and Rips

Shadow transparency

text effects shadow small.jpg

[Image by Mike Rankin]

To learn how to create this effect, see InDesign Eye Candy, part 1: In Gravity’s Shadow.

Transparency effects

text effects transparency.jpg

[Images by David Blatner]

For creative approaches to using transparency effects on text, see David Blatner’s Fun Style Text Effects from the InDesign Conference. He offers an InDesign CS3 file you can download.Terry White also wrote a good article about Transparency tricks in InDesign.

Dual text wrap

text effects wrap ornate small.jpg

[Image by Ted LoCascio]

Ted LoCascio explains how to create this interesting pull-quote effect at Dual Text Wrap Dilemma. If I find the time, I’ll create a text wrap gallery.

Compound paths

text effects compound.png

You can create all kinds of text effects by creating compound paths and converting text to paths. See the Compound paths and shapes article in InDesign Help.

Mixing images over and under text

text effects over under.jpg

See how the text seems to dip into the image itself? To learn how to create this effect, watch David Blatner’s demo video from an InDesign conference:


Let me know if you think other text effects belong in this gallery.

2 Responses to Text Effects Gallery

  1. fantastic list Bob. I had my own list of text effects somewhere I’ll try to find it and send it to you.

  2. I used to have a blog about this topic, but I had so many spam comments I had to close it. You seem to be doing a better job keeping out the spammers! Well done!