1 Reply Latest reply on May 27, 2015 10:27 AM by Jacob Finkelstein

    Making a custom arrowhead. Can't use custom spacing for an anchored object that is "type on a path" ?!

    Jacob Finkelstein Level 1

      Hi Everyone,

      I'm building a template to be used for preparing documents for the company brand. I'm trying to come up with an easy way to make the custom arrows that we will be using for callouts (see below).

      Screen Shot 2015-05-26 at 10.09.54 AM.png

      What I want to do is figure out a quick way to create this arrow to use for callouts in my document. The main parts are the 2 tone arrowhead and the circle for a tail. I know that Indesign has a circle arrow tail but the problem with using it is that the color has to be the same as the stroke and also the size of the circle is determined by the stroke size. As far as I know, Indesign doesn't allow you to change those.


      I tried to use this type to path method:


      It works okay but you can still see the path because the path is flush with the edge of the anchored object and the end of the path is visible behind the anchored objects. I think being able to set these anchored objects with custom positioning would solve this issue. The problem is that I don't think Indesign allows you to set anchored objects to custom positioning for type on a path because that option was greyed out in the anchored object options.


      I was wondering if there is another way to create an offset for the anchored objects or if there would be a better way to go about making these custom arrow heads.


      Could there be a way to use objects from a library to create custom arrowheads? Also, is there a way to make this all into an object style so that arrows can be drawn quickly and then just apply the object style to get the correct formatting?


      I know this might not be possible and may have to be done manually but I'm trying to come up with a fast and easy way to make these arrows so that other people who have to use this template won't screw them up.


      Any help/ideas would be much appreciated! Thanks everyone!


      Jacob F.

        • 1. Re: Making a custom arrowhead. Can't use custom spacing for an anchored object that is "type on a path" ?!
          Jacob Finkelstein Level 1

          Okay, if anyone is interested, I sort of solved the problem.


          First, it was decided that the rounded tail of the arrow and the stroke should use the same darker green color. I still had the problem of adjusting the size of the circle but this tip from Eugene Tyson solved that:

          change arrowhead size?

          Once I did this, I made an object style out of it so that I can quickly draw lines and at least add the tail quickly.


          As far as the head is concerned, I still didn't find an automated way to do it but I have an easier way than just making it from scratch. I was headed in the right direction with using type on a path but I was only able to get the arrow to be flush with the end of the path and not past it. I saw a tutorial on Lynda.com that shows you how to make a custom arrowhead and found a missing piece of the puzzle. It turns out that InDesign uses the same handles that you get when adding type to a path in Illustrator. The trick to get the anchored object to overlap the end of the path is to adjust the anchored object using those handles.. After that the y axis of the anchored object can be adjusted manually with the selection tool. Note that only the y axis (which is basically your baseline) can be edited because InDesign doesn't allow anchored objects that are typed to a path to use custom positioning. At that point I didn't bother centering the the text on the path because the y axis for my shape had to be adjusted anyway.


          So that's the solution I came up with. If anyone would like to share a better or more automated solution, I would really like to hear it.