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Library: InDesign

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Blend text layers into a jellylike substance

Added on Friday 15th of May 2009 11:25 pm EST
It’s easy enough to apply a “gel” effect to text in Adobe Photoshop, but there’s a downside—Photoshop rasterizes text, which is great for the web, but not so great for print. We’ll show you how to create a gel effect in InDesign that preserves the natural vector characteristics of text for superior print results.
To embellish text with a gel effect, we’ll:
• Type and format text to create the basis for this technique.
• Duplicate layers so that we can build on the effect.
• Apply transparency effects to soften edges and blend layers.
Layers and transparency allow us to do many things in InDesign. Among them, we can create unique effects and apply them to objects and text, as shown in Figure A. So when the pages in your InDesign documents need a little lift, give this gel technique a try.

Format the text

We’ll start by typing the text to which we’ll apply the gel effect. Then, we’ll format the text and apply a drop shadow. This text will be the basis on which we build the final effect.

To generate the text for the effect:

1. Press T to select the Type tool in the Toolbox, and then click and drag the cursor across to create a text frame the width of the page. Press the [caps lock] key, and then type pink. Press [enter] to create a new line, and then type flamingo.
2. Press c[shift][home] ([Ctrl][Shift][Home] in Windows) to select the text.
3. Center the alignment of the text by pressing c[shift]C ([Ctrl][Shift]C in Windows).
4. Switch focus to the Font field in the Control palette by pressing c6 ([Ctrl]6 in Windows). (Choose Type > Character in version 2.)
5. Use the arrow keys to cycle through your fonts until you find one you want to use. A wide, round sans serif type works best for this effect. We’re using Arial...