One of the big appeals to InDesign is the ability it gives you to apply object effects to page elements that you previously would have had to create in Photoshop or Illustrator. One reason for this is InDesign's transparency features.
You can set the transparency of an object using the Transparency palette (choose Window, Transparency to display the palette). Transparency can be applied to any page element, and it enables you to create great layered effects with color photos, type, and other objects with color applied (see Figure 26.17).
Figure 26.17. A photo with a transparency effect applied.
The Transparency palette enables you to set the percentage of transparency for the item. If objects are layered, you can also create different effects with blending modes, which are different ways for the colors of layered objects to be combined. The concept of blending modes may be familiar to you from Photoshop or Illustrator. Here is a brief overview of the various blending modes available in InDesign, but words don't really do them justice; this is another place where it's best to experiment until you get the effect you're looking for:
Normal: There is no interaction between the selection and the base color.
Multiply: Make the base color darker by adding the selection color to it. This color is always darker than the other colors.
Screen: The opposite of multiply. Lighten the base color by adding the inverse of the selection color to it. This color is always lighter.
Overlay: Depending on the colors involved, either multiply or screen. The blend color reflects either the lightness or darkness of the base color.
Soft Light: Darken or lighten the colors, depending on the blend color. If the blend color is lighter than 50% gray, it lightens the artwork. If the blend color is darker than 50% gray, it darkens the artwork.
Hard Light: Multiply or screen the color, depending on the blend color. If the blend color is lighter than 50% gray, it screens the artwork and adds highlights. If the blend color is darker than 50% gray, it multiplies the artwork and adds shadows.
Color Dodge: Make the base color brighter to reflect the blend color.
Color Burn: Make the base color darker to reflect the blend color.
Darken: Select the darker of the base and blend colors and use it as the resulting color.
Lighten: Select the lighter of the base and blend colors and use it as the resulting color.
Difference: Depending on whether the base color or the blend color is brighter, subtract one from the other.
In the previous definitions, the term selection refers to the top layered object, base color refers to the color of the bottom layered object, and blend color refers to the color created when the selection and base colors are blended.
Exclusion: Similar to Difference, but with less contrast.
Hue: Create a color from the base and blend color.
Saturation: Create a color from the base and blend color.
Color: Create a color from the base and blend color. Especially useful with black and white.
Luminosity: Use like Color, but create the inverse of the blend and base color.
Most effects that can be applied to objects are foundyesunder the Object menu. In the next sections you look at a few of these features in detail.
Drop shadows add a dimensioned look to type or page elements. To add a drop shadow, select the item and follow these steps:
Choose Object, Drop Shadow. As always, check the Preview box; it helps you see your drop shadow before you click OK.
If you add a drop shadow to type, for example, you must select the text frame instead of the text itself.
Click the Drop Shadow check box.
Select a blending mode from the Mode pop-up menu.
Set the percentage of opacity for the drop shadow. A higher opacity means the drop shadow is denser; a lower opacity means it is more transparent.
Set the X and Y offset. Higher numbers move the drop shadow further from the object. Positive numbers move the drop shadow to the right and bottom of the object; negative numbers move it to the top and left of the object.
Set the Blur amount. A larger number makes a softer shadow.
The Spread percentage moves the drop shadow further out.
The Noise percentage controls the graininess of the drop shadow.
If you want your drop shadow to be a color other than black, select RGB, CMYK, or LAB from the Color pop-up menu to enter percentages and mix your own color. Choose Swatches to pick a predefined color from the Swatches palette.
Click OK to apply your drop shadow (see Figure 26.18).
Figure 26.18. The Drop Shadow dialog gives you lots of options for creating a great dimensional effect.
Feathering is another transparency feature that gradually blends out the edges of images, type, and other page elements. Follow these steps to add a feathering effect to an object:
Select the object you want to feather.
Choose Object, Feather.
Click the Feather check box and select Preview.
Set the width of the feather effect. The larger the number, the further in to the selected object the feathering extends.
Select the option for Sharp, Rounded, or Diffused Corners.
Increase the noise for a grainier feather.
Click OK to apply the feather (see Figure 26.19).
Figure 26.19. Images with sharp, rounded, and diffused feather effects.
The corner effects option adds different looks to an object's corners. Start by selecting the object, and then follow these steps:
Choose Object, Corner Effects. Click the Preview button.
Select from Fancy, Bevel, Inset, Inverse Rounded, or Rounded corners.
Enter the size of the inset. The measurement of the inset is based on your choice in the Units & Increments pane of the Preferences dialog (choose Edit, Preferences, Units & Increments in Windows or choose InDesign, Preferences, Units & Increments on the Mac).
Click OK to apply the effect (see Figure 26.20).
Figure 26.20. Examples of various corner effects.