After you draw a page element, you also have a variety of tools at your disposal to edit and reshape them. For the most part, the tools available to reshape objects are found in the same palette space as the tool used to create the object, although most tools can be used on any kind of path.

The two tools at the top of the Tools palette can also be used to alter any kind of shape. It's important to learn the difference between the Selection tool (the black arrow) and the Direct Selection tool (the white arrow) early in your InDesign experience (see Figure 26.4).

Figure 26.4. A shape selected with the Selection tool and the Direct Selection tool. Notice the differences in the bounding box and selection and anchor points.

When you click an object with the Selection tool, a bounding box appears. This box shows the area around the shape you selected. It is always a four-sided shape with eight selection points. For any object with a bounding box, the resulting selection points can be dragged to resize the object.

When you click an object with the Direct Selection tool, the anchor points of the object appear. You will see as many anchor points as were used to create the shape. Any of the anchor points can be dragged to alter the shape of the object.

The tools under the Pen tool in the Tools palette deal with a shape's anchor points:

  • Click on an existing path with the Add Anchor Point tool, and an anchor point is added where you click.

  • Click on an existing anchor point with the Delete Anchor Point tool. The point is deleted, and the path is joined between the two points on either side of the deleted point.

  • Click on a point between curved path segments with the Convert Direction Point tool to change it to a corner point. Click on a corner point and drag to change it into a curve point. You can also click on a direction handle at a curve and drag to turn the curve point into a combination point.

Under the Pencil tool on the Tools palette are the Smooth tool and the Erase tool. The Smooth tool can be used to make jagged paths smooth, which generally involves deleting points on the path. To use the Smooth tool:


Select the Pencil-drawn path with the Direct Selection tool.


Drag the Smooth tool over the part of the path you want to be smooth.


You will see fewer points on the line. Continue this process until the path looks the way you want it (see Figure 26.5).

Figure 26.5. A path before and after being smoothed with the Smooth tool.

The Erase tool removes parts of paths. To use the Erase tool, drag over the part of the path you want to remove. The area you drag over is deleted, and anchor points are added to the resulting ends of the path(s).

Although we're not dealing with these types of objects yet, you cannot use the Scissors tool to divide a text frame containing text, although you can use it to reshape the frame. If you use the Scissors tool to split a frame that contains a graphic, creating two frames, both frames will contain the same graphic. Select one copy of the graphic with the Direct Selection tool and delete to get rid of it.

The Scissors tool is used to cut paths at their anchor points. Select the Scissors tool and click on an anchor point to cut and then use one of the Selection tools to move the anchor point (see Figure 26.6). Click on two anchor points and then click the path segment between the two cut points with one of the Selection tools to remove the area you cut.

Figure 26.6. A six-sided polygon after being separated by the Scissors tool.

Finally, if you want to join two separate paths to create a continuous path or a closed shape, you can use the Pencil tool:


Hold down the Shift key and click to select the paths you want to join.


Select the Pencil tool and start dragging at the end of one path.


Hold down the Ctrl key (Windows users) or the key (Mac users). A small diamond next to the Pencil indicates that the paths will be merged.


Drag until you have connected the paths. Release the mouse button and then release the Ctrl/ key.

Figure 26.7. Two paths joined by the Pencil tool.

Special Edition Using Adobe Creative Suite 2
Special Edition Using Adobe Creative Suite 2
ISBN: 0789733676
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2005
Pages: 426
Authors: Michael Smick

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