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This chapter is from the book

Text on a Path

Set a Start Point for the Text

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Sometimes, InDesign ignores the position of my cursor when I click a path with the Text on a Path tool, and starts the text in an entirely different place. Argh!

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Text on a path is basically a one-line paragraph in a text “frame” that is the length of the path. So, when You click an insertion point with the Type on a Path tool, InDesign uses the current paragraph alignment to figure out where to start the text, just as it would with a normal text frame.

For example, if the current horizontal alignment for text is set to be left-aligned, InDesign will start the text at the left edge of the “frame” — the leftmost end of the path. You can change the paragraph alignment to centered or right and the text will shift accordingly.

Clicking on closed path is slightly different. The point where you click defines the left edge of the “frame,” and the width of the frame extends around the entire perimeter of the shape, ending right before your insertion point. As soon as you click an insertion point you can change the paragraph alignment to suit your purposes, and the cursor and any text will reposition themselves within the bounds of the path text's frame.

Change the Starting Point of Text

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There has to be an easier way to change the starting position of the text other than what I've been doing, which is using the space bar, editing the path itself, or starting over with a new path.

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Use the Selection tool to click the text on a path. You'll see two I-beams appear, each with a text-threading port (a little box), one at the left edge of the path text's frame, the other on the right edge. Hover your cursor over either of these and drag to redefine the left and/or right boundaries of the frame, forcing the text to shift accordingly.

Don't forget that text on a path is the same as a single-line paragraph; so you could use a tab or a first-line indent to adjust the starting point as well.

Center Text on Top of a Circular Path Quickly

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Regardless of where I click on a circle with the Type on a Path tool, I can never get the text I enter to center perfectly on top.

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Select the circle with the Selection tool so you can see its bounding box handles, and then switch to the Type on a Path tool (press Shift-T). Click an insertion point directly on the bottom handle at the 6:00 mark of the circle. Change the paragraph alignment to centered (Figure 3-21). Enter your text. Voilà.

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Figure 3-21 To center text on a path at the top of a circle, click your insertion point at the very bottom, enter your text, then change the paragraph alignment to Centered.

What if you want to put the text along the bottom of the circle instead of the top?

  1. Start by putting the text along the top.
  2. Choose Type > Type on a Path > Options.
  3. Click the Flip checkbox.
  4. Choose Ascender from the Align popup menu and Top from the To Path popup menu.
  5. Click OK.

    Now you can say voilà again.

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