Skip navigation
Currently Being Moderated

Adding a grunge texture to text in InDesign CS5.

Feb 3, 2014 2:00 PM



I would like to know the best way to add a grunge texture in InDesign. Here is an example I did using Pathfinder/Extract:




There is however at least two problems to this technique:


  1. I have to convert my text into outlines;
  2. Seems like the Pathfinder "merges" both shapes together forever... If was in Illustrator, I would have used the Clipping Mask or the Opacity Mask. That would allow me to move my texture as needed in the future.


I tried using the Paste Into method, but this technique ALSO seems to have at least two problems:


  1. I have to convert my text into outlines;
  2. Doing Paste Into keeps the color of my texture. The problem is, I need the "holes" to be transparent, not black!


Am I missing something? Is there ways to do this with Effects?





  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 3, 2014 11:35 PM   in reply to krissserz

    This is a task you should perform in Illustrator (there you need not to make outlines from text) or in Photoshop. Then you can place that AI or PSD or PDF file into InDesign.

    InDesign is not so good in creating textured text.

    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 4, 2014 4:49 AM   in reply to krissserz



    Try this, while in Indesign import background as a grey scale jpeg.


    Using both the (white/black arrows) ‘selection tool’ and ‘direct selection tool’ and clicking on the background graphic and selecting a colour for either foreground or background colour, you will have to alternate between both of the selections tools to get the desired colour you need.



    Mark as:
  • Rob Day
    3,123 posts
    Oct 16, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 4, 2014 12:20 PM   in reply to krissserz

    I wonder in this case where you want editable text and transparency if setting the text in Photoshop and placing is the way to go. So in Photoshop set the text with a textured mask like this:


    Screen Shot 2014-02-04 at 3.14.45 PM.png


    Then place in ID—all you have to do is Option-Doubleclick the text to edit in PS:


    Screen Shot 2014-02-04 at 3.13.50 PM.png

    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 5, 2014 4:22 AM   in reply to krissserz

    Maybe try this: gn/


    This adds a texture while keeping the text live. Unfortunately it involves tricks with masking that make it difficult to put the text just anywhere, so designs really have to be thought ahead of time before using this method.

    Mark as:

More Like This

  • Retrieving data ...

Bookmarked By (0)

Answers + Points = Status

  • 10 points awarded for Correct Answers
  • 5 points awarded for Helpful Answers
  • 10,000+ points
  • 1,001-10,000 points
  • 501-1,000 points
  • 5-500 points