The Design Center, Photoshop Tips & Tricks / Text on a Path / Text on Curve / Circular Text / InDesign, Quark  

Adobe Photoshop can be confusing at times. Photoshop Tips & Tricks answers questions posted to the Photoshop 911 hot line!... Tutorial continued from previous page...

Circular Type in Adobe InDesign and others...

Yes, you can do the very same thing in InDesign.

Type on Path

Again, rather than the boring circle tool, we've used the InDesign Pen Tool to create our Path. In this picture, I've screwed up the arch by playing with the handles. You can do that, but to get a perfect circular shape,
* Click with the Pen Tool and drag UP with the Shift-Key. This constrains the drag to vertical
* Release the mouse, then Click and drag DOWN with the Pen Tool on the other side while holding the Shift Key.

As you adjust the arch, keep those handles vertical and your curve will be nice and round.

When you go to plant the Text Tool, make sure you have the "Type on a Path" tool selected from the Type Tool pull-out.

Adobe InDesign

In this illustration, notice the same anchors, handles, path and all the familiar elements you saw in Photoshop.

InDesign's text tools are far better than Photoshop's too -- you can actually do some things easier. For instance, you don't really have to worry about moving the type around on the path. If you want your slogan centered at the top of the circle, simply get the paragraph palette and click on "Centered Paragraph" ... presto, your type snaps to the center of the circle.

Quark XPress

Type on a curve in Quark XPress works much the same. Here you'll want to discover all the different tools available under the tool box. Quark has a "Text on Path" tool as well as "Text Inside Path" tool. The Quark screen view is a bit rougher than Adobe's but the end results are all the same.

Quark Text on a Path

There's also a pen tool, and direct select tool, so you can modify your curves all you like. Note that Quark XPress also has the same anchors, handles and curves. You should feel right at home now.

Quark Text

Adobe Illustrator

Illustrator Ghosted image

Finally, Illustrator handles things the same as Photoshop, except with Illustrator you'll get a ghosted image of the type as you move it with the Direct Select tool. This is really nice -- it should be incorporated into Photoshop.

As far as I'm concerned, this type of operation is better in Illustrator any way. Illustrator's text tools are second to none, and the Pen Tool is the best in the world -- even much better than Photoshop's Pen Tool.

We don't need much explanation here because you've already learned all the techniques in our first Photoshop Tutorial! Illustrator works the same.

Adobe Illustrator

Don't forget: Adobe wrote the book on digital fonts. So, naturally they would have the best software in the industry for setting and manipulating fonts. If you own the whole Creative Suite, then always use Illustrator for text on paths or other complicated text operations. Photoshop is STILL an image processer, no matter what Adobe says, and cannot come close to managing digital objects as well as Illustrator.

Whew! Congratulations, you did it!

Now, you should be confident with type on curves and circles in most any of the leading graphic design and desktop publishing programs.

Thanks for reading

Fred Showker

* Introduction to this article
* Setting & Adjusting the Type on a Path
* Setting Type Around a Circle


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