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New Tools in Adobe InDesign 1.5

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New Tools in Adobe InDesign 1.5

excerpted from Chapter 5 of InDesign 1.0/1.5: Visual QuickStart Guide, by Sandee Cohen

cover I REMEMBER the first time I tried to use the Pen tool in a computer graphics program. I clicked the tool and dragged across the screen in the way I thought would create a simple curve. Instead, I got a wild series of lines that shot out in different directions.

When I finally got up enough nerve to try the tool again, it took a lot of trial and error but eventually I was able to understand the Pen and Bézier controls. Once I got it, I realized the principles are simple. To save you a similar hassle, I’ve written the following easy-to-understand, step-by-step instructions to three totally new tools in InDesign 1.5.

Using the Pencil Tool

You may find it difficult to use the Pen to draw paths--especially positioning anchor points and Bézier handles. Fortunately InDesign 1.5 has a Pencil tool that is much easier to use.

To draw with the Pencil tool:

  1. Click the Pencil tool in the Toolbox (Figure 1).

    Fig. 1 Figure 1 The Pencil
    in the Toolbox.

  1. Press and drag with the Pencil (Figure 2).

    Fig. 2 Figure 2 Press and drag to
    create a path with the
    Pencil tool.

  1. To close the path, hold the Option/Alt key (Figure 3).

    Fig. 3 Figure 3 Hold the Option/Alt key to close
    the path created by the Pencil tool.

  1. Release the mouse to create the path.

You can change how the Pencil tool responds to the movements of the mouse as you drag.

To set the Pencil tool preferences:

  1. Double click the Pencil tool in the Toolbox to open the Pencil Tool Preferences dialog box (Figure 4).

    Fig. 4

    Figure 4 The Pencil Tool Preferences allow you to
    control the appearance of the path.

  2. Use the slider or field to set the Fidelity amount. The lower the amount, the more the path will follow the motions of the mouse (Figure 5).

  3. Use the slider or field to set the Smoothness amount. The higher the setting, the more the path will follow curved shapes (Figure 5).

    Fig. 5
    Figure 5 The Pencil tool fidelity and smoothness
    settings change the appearance of the path.

  4. Check Keep Selected to keep the path selected after you have drawn it.

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