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Convert the Design into a Pattern

Time to set aside your newfound excitement for InDesign (temporarily, anyway) and head over to Photoshop to create the rest of the pieces that make this whole plan work like magic.

  1. Open the design in Photoshop. Launch Photoshop, choose File > Open, navigate to Simple_Square_Border.jpg (we’ll start with the horizontal version for now), and click Open. Alternatively, you could locate and open the file from within Adobe Bridge.
  2. Convert the Background layer. In the Layers palette, double-click the lock icon to the right of the Background layer (Figure 4.16). In the pop-up window that follows, click OK to convert it to a working layer.

    FIGURE 4.16

    FIGURE 4.16. Because background layers can’t support transparency, we’ll convert it into a working layer.

    Because the design is ultimately going to be placed on top of your images, we need to knock out the black placeholder to be able to see the images below. This creates the need for transparency, which background layers can’t support. Thus, we converted the background layer to a working layer.

  3. Delete the image placeholder. Select the Magic Wand from the toolbar toolbar.jpg. (It may be buried with the Quick Selection tool. If you’re having a hard time finding it, press W to find the appropriate tool family, then click and hold the Quick Selection tool to reveal the Magic Wand.) Click anywhere within the black placeholder to select it, then press Delete. The result is a transparent opening shown in Figure 4.17.

    FIGURE 4.17

    FIGURE 4.17. After creating the fancy image placeholder in InDesign, now we’ll delete it to create a hole within the border design.

  4. Define the pattern. Press Cmd-A/Ctrl-A to load the entire document as a selection, then choose Edit > Define Pattern. In the window that appears, name the pattern 5 x 5 Horizontal (Figure 4.18), and click OK. Clear the active selection by pressing Cmd-D/Ctrl-D.

    Phew! That wasn’t too hard, was it? Congrats on having defined the horizontal border as a pattern. Next, we’ll create the vertical version.

    FIGURE 4.18

    FIGURE 4.18. Defining the design as a pattern allows it to be used in a Photoshop action, turbocharging your workflow.

  5. Close the horizontal design. Choose File > Close (no need to save it).
  6. Open the vertical design. Locate and open the vertical version of the design we exported from InDesign earlier (Simple_Square_Border2.jpg). Repeat steps 2 through 4, this time naming the pattern 5 x 5 Vertical. When you’re finished, close the file without saving changes.

    We are sooo close! Now that both patterns have been defined, we need to save them as a set so they’ll be available for future use.

  7. Save the patterns as a set. Choose Edit > Presets > Preset Manager, and be sure to pick Patterns from the Preset Type drop-down menu. Select the pattern tiles we just created (the last two appearing in the series) by Cmd/Ctrl-clicking each of them (Figure 4.19). Click Save Set, enter the name My Border Designs, and click Save. Dismiss the Preset Manager by clicking Done.

    FIGURE 4.19

    FIGURE 4.19. To make sure your patterns remain accessible for future use, save them as a preset.

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