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Subtract one shape from another (Was "Indesign help”)

Community Beginner ,
Apr 17, 2020

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Hi, I have created a non-regular shape in InDesign (infilled it green) by using the PEN tool. 

 

I have several other non-regular shapes (infilled red) that are already created that I want to use their shapes to cut out the green. How do I do this / Can I do this? 

 

The image below shows the red shapes sitting behind the green shape (and thus the red shapes are not thoroughly RED in colour but tinged with the green opaqueness). 

 

Please advise. 

 

Thanks in advance

 

pw23779290_0-1587132035105.png

 

Adobe Community Professional
Correct answer by Randy Hagan | Adobe Community Professional

You do this using InDesign's Pathfinder panel tools, which are also located as sub-menu commands under the Object menu.

 

To make it easier to illustrate, the following screen captures use the panel tools:

 

1. Select your Red shapes using the Arrow/Selection tool and the Shift key. (Note: Do Not group them. While this is exactly the way you would make multiple "knockouts" with Adobe Illustrator, with InDesign grouping them will turn off the tool options. InDesign needs to read the stacking order to excise/knockout the shapes). Now select the Green background, as shown below:

 

1a.jpg

 

2. Go to the Pathfinder panel, and click the Subtract button, as illustrated below:

 

2a.jpg

 

3. End Result: you get the Red shapes "knocked out" of the Green screen above your plan illustration.

 

3a.jpg

 

Good luck,

 

Randy

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Subtract one shape from another (Was "Indesign help”)

Community Beginner ,
Apr 17, 2020

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Hi, I have created a non-regular shape in InDesign (infilled it green) by using the PEN tool. 

 

I have several other non-regular shapes (infilled red) that are already created that I want to use their shapes to cut out the green. How do I do this / Can I do this? 

 

The image below shows the red shapes sitting behind the green shape (and thus the red shapes are not thoroughly RED in colour but tinged with the green opaqueness). 

 

Please advise. 

 

Thanks in advance

 

pw23779290_0-1587132035105.png

 

Adobe Community Professional
Correct answer by Randy Hagan | Adobe Community Professional

You do this using InDesign's Pathfinder panel tools, which are also located as sub-menu commands under the Object menu.

 

To make it easier to illustrate, the following screen captures use the panel tools:

 

1. Select your Red shapes using the Arrow/Selection tool and the Shift key. (Note: Do Not group them. While this is exactly the way you would make multiple "knockouts" with Adobe Illustrator, with InDesign grouping them will turn off the tool options. InDesign needs to read the stacking order to excise/knockout the shapes). Now select the Green background, as shown below:

 

1a.jpg

 

2. Go to the Pathfinder panel, and click the Subtract button, as illustrated below:

 

2a.jpg

 

3. End Result: you get the Red shapes "knocked out" of the Green screen above your plan illustration.

 

3a.jpg

 

Good luck,

 

Randy

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 17, 2020

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To cut the red shapes out of the green shapes:

  1. Put the red shapes on top of the green shapes
  2. Select red and green shapes
  3. Object > Pathfinder > Subtract (Subtract is the InDesign language for the Illustrator command Minus Front, which means subtract the front shape from the back shape.)

 

~Barb

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 17, 2020

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Perfect - thank you very much ! 🙂

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 17, 2020

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You do this using InDesign's Pathfinder panel tools, which are also located as sub-menu commands under the Object menu.

 

To make it easier to illustrate, the following screen captures use the panel tools:

 

1. Select your Red shapes using the Arrow/Selection tool and the Shift key. (Note: Do Not group them. While this is exactly the way you would make multiple "knockouts" with Adobe Illustrator, with InDesign grouping them will turn off the tool options. InDesign needs to read the stacking order to excise/knockout the shapes). Now select the Green background, as shown below:

 

1a.jpg

 

2. Go to the Pathfinder panel, and click the Subtract button, as illustrated below:

 

2a.jpg

 

3. End Result: you get the Red shapes "knocked out" of the Green screen above your plan illustration.

 

3a.jpg

 

Good luck,

 

Randy

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 17, 2020

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Thank you, Randy. Explained perfectly.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 17, 2020

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My pleasure.

 

If you find yourself in a jam working with InDesign, please don't hesitate to come back here and sound the alarm. There are lots of smart people here who are willing to help.

 

Glad this worked for you,

 

Randy

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 17, 2020

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You are welcome, PW. We are always happy to help.

 

~Barb

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 18, 2020

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Did you change the transparency?

 

I wouldn't - make a new Tint Swatch - https://helpx.adobe.com/ie/indesign/using/tints.html

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