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Outlining text

Contributor ,
Oct 26, 2022 Oct 26, 2022

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Hi all,

 

I am not sure if I am using the correct term here. I am trying to work out how to do this in InDesign. I could do it in Photoshop and add as an image, but would prefer  to do it in InDesign. 

See attached image. Red font outlined in black.

 

Regards,

Steve

 

 

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Engaged , Oct 26, 2022 Oct 26, 2022

I assume you are referring to a stroke? Outlining in graphic design terms generally means converting live text into a vector, enabling it to be used in all sorts of ways and to avoid font issues, but equally creating the issue that it won't be editable. If you want to add a simple stroke, hit F10 or Window>Stroke to bring up the options. Highlight the desired text and add the required stroke, you will have basic colour/thickness options as well as type of outline (dotted/double etc) and some pos

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Advisor ,
Oct 26, 2022 Oct 26, 2022

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Hello @OzPhotoMan,

 

With the text selected you can add a stroke in a couple different places, the text tools at the top or from the swatches panel, you can adjust the weight in the stroke panel. Circled below are the fill and stroke colors

Screen Shot 2022-10-26 at 4.09.42 AM.png

Regards,

Mike

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Community Expert ,
Oct 26, 2022 Oct 26, 2022

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Do not outline any font in InDesign, only for graphic purpose, like filling a letter with an image, otherwise avoid outlining text.

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Contributor ,
Oct 26, 2022 Oct 26, 2022

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The reason?

I am planning on making a cover for my book and plan the title on the cover to be in a red font with an outline. The document will be converted to a PDF for final printing.

 

Regards,

 

Steve

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Engaged ,
Oct 26, 2022 Oct 26, 2022

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I assume you are referring to a stroke? Outlining in graphic design terms generally means converting live text into a vector, enabling it to be used in all sorts of ways and to avoid font issues, but equally creating the issue that it won't be editable. If you want to add a simple stroke, hit F10 or Window>Stroke to bring up the options. Highlight the desired text and add the required stroke, you will have basic colour/thickness options as well as type of outline (dotted/double etc) and some positioning options which may achieve what you want. I often have a duplicate of the text behind the original with the stroke on. Have a play.

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Contributor ,
Oct 26, 2022 Oct 26, 2022

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Thanks,

That is why I said I may not be using the correct term. 

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Advisor ,
Oct 26, 2022 Oct 26, 2022

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@OzPhotoMan,

 

So after all this talk about "creating outlines" were you able to add the black stroke around the red text in InDesign?

 

Regards,

Mike

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Contributor ,
Oct 26, 2022 Oct 26, 2022

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Yep. To those who said use Illustrator or Acrobat Pro, I don't have those.

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Community Expert ,
Oct 26, 2022 Oct 26, 2022

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If you want to add a stroke to the letters just do it on live text.

If you want to add some fancy design to the lines, do it on live text in Illustrator, save it as .ai file and import it into InDesign.

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Participant ,
Oct 26, 2022 Oct 26, 2022

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Hi Willi:

I sometimes outline a font when using a non-OpenType face for large headings that might cause our print house problems. I'm interested in your response about not outlining fonts in InDesign, and I'd love to know why this isn't a good idea.

Thanks!

Susan

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Community Expert ,
Oct 26, 2022 Oct 26, 2022

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With Outlining font in InDesign you get following problems:

  1. Underlines, strike through, paragraph shading, paragraph frames, paragraph rules are lost
  2. Text frame strokes and colors are lost.
  3. Automatic bullets and numbers are lost
  4. You cannot outline objects from the master on the page and on the master you get not the original text, but place holder or markers.
  5. Crossreferences are lost
  6. Text will change
  7. Many more problems

 

Instead of outlining in InDesign, you can do it in Acrobat Pro, there is a command, which does not cause any problems for the printer nor for the designer.

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Participant ,
Oct 26, 2022 Oct 26, 2022

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Thanks for explaining. I haven't had a problem, but I'll be on the lookout.
I use this so sparingly that I think I'll be okay.

Cheers,
Susan

--
Susan Culligan
Production Coordinator
DerryField Publishing Services
derryfield.weebly.com
culligandesignandtype.com
culligantype@gmail.com
831.234.5520


*"Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm."
-Winston Churchill*

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Community Expert ,
Oct 26, 2022 Oct 26, 2022

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Just to completely clarify here:

 

In InDesign and most other Adobe apps, "outlining" text means converting it from font glyphs to complex vector shapes that are no longer editable "letters." This is a debated practice; it used to be common for certain kinds of print preparation and some printers (usually ones using antiquated processes) will still ask for it. It's also done with a few letters or words when the designer wants to modify or blend the letterforms, as is often done in Illustrator. But for many reasons, it's something to avoid in InDesign unless you have well-understood and well-thought-out reasons for doing so.

 

I think what you mean is simply putting an outline around letters. Easy-peasy in most Adobe apps; just select an outline color and thickness. You can then tweak how the line lays on the letter shape (outside, inside, on the center of the outline itself).

 

But wait, there's more! If what you want is to make the text stand out from a complex background, you can use a variety of effects that are more subtle than a hard line. Put your title in a text frame, select the frame, and explor the Object | Effects options, especially the bevels, glows and shadows. You can get a very distinctive look that isn't at all "fancy" looking but is more elegant than just a colored outline.

 

Hope that helps, or at least brings the other comments into focus.

 


| Word & InDesign to Kindle & EPUB: a Pro Guide (Amazon)

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