I think I'd restore my preferences. It sounds like the corrupted prefs are affecting both Illustrator-created and InDesign-created objects. You can do that this way:
OC Photoworx wrote:
I have a polygon in InDesign. When I stroke it, the "inside" and "outside" are reversed; when I specify align the stroke outside, it appears inside the polygon, and vice versa. How can I tell InDesign to flip its notion of what is inside and outside for this particularl polygon?
Object menu -> Path -> Reverse Path
It sounds like either the path gets reversed while copying, or it is in fact 'the wrong way around' in one of the programs but the other does not mind.
@OC Photoworx – you detected one of the main differences in the basic behaviour of InDesign vs. Illustrator concerning composite paths.
InDesign does it wrong, Illustrator does it right.
You can test for yourself: take two rectangles, a small one and a bigger one, let them totally overlap, so that you'll punch a hole in the bigger one, if you make them a composite path. Then apply a stroke with the "outside" option and you'll see the difference…
One thing to add: if you take text and apply a stroke, there is no difference in InDesign vs. Illustrator. The "outside" option yields the same result. The behaviour is as expected. But in the moment you transform text to paths, you see the difference.
@Jongware – at first, I thought "Reverse Path" was the solution, but in my experiments that does not work.
To illustrate the problem (InDesign only) with text converted to "outlines":
InDesign composite path of two rectangles:
(left: align center; right: align outside)
Illustrator composite path with two rectangles:
(left: align center; right: align outside)
I think the problem arrises due to a bad design decision of the "Composite Path" feature in InDesign.
Can we consider that as a bug?
@Steve Warner - If it were a preferences issue, I would expect the behavior to be consistent. It's not.
@Laubender - While I initially saw this strange behavior with a composite path, it's also occurring with a polygon. While there's room for discussion about what is the inside and outside of a compound path, I don't think there's any ambiguity about inside and outside for a polygon. (I appreciate you taking the time to duplicate the result!)
An additional question occurred to me last night: If the fill color is inside the path, why does "inside aligned" stroking appear outside the path?
In this example, the shape on the left has "outside" aligned strokes; the one on the right has "inside" aligned strokes. Both have a red fill.
Seems like an "undocumented feature" (aka bug) to me...
@OC Photoworx – can you show your screen grab with the "W" much more larger and taken just after you did a "Select All"?
Maybe you could provide an example somewhere for downloading (IDML format exported from InDesign (CS4 or higher), or INX, if you are on InDesign CS3 or below).
Did you try what Jongware recommended? Using the command: "Reverse Path"…
And maybe your "W" is a composite object out of two separate path objects?
If you are on InDesign CS5 (or above) check for that in the Layers Palette, where all objects of the current spread are listed.
@Laubender - Reverse Path doesn't produce any results. Which probably makes sense: This is a polygon, not a compound path.
Here's some more fun for you. I used the Pen tool to draw a square at the left edge of this image. The stroke alignment works as expected. Then I selected the left "w" polygon, turned off the stroke, then used the Pen tool to draw a polygon just slightly larger than the original. No games; I started at the upper left corner point and went clockwise around the original polygon, with a total of 21 clicks, the last one closing the path. I was startled to find that the stroking of this new polygon -- created entirely within InDesign -- is backwards.
Left as an exercise for the reader: At what point between a quadrilateral and an irregular icosagon does InDesign lose its mind?
I tried uploading an IDML file, but the forum editor doesn't allow such things and I don't have a place where I can put it on the web. But if you download the image from before and use it as a drawing guide, I'm guessing you'll be able to reproduce my results.
I can tell you that it's more than just the number of sides (20). When I created a new file in InDesign and tried a random 20-sided design, the stroking worked "correctly." Loosely outlining the w shape gave incorrect results, as did a 10-pointed starburst:
So the copy/paste from Illustrator appears to play no part in this puzzle. Unfortunately, this shoots down what I had hoped to use as a workaround: Use the pen tool to copy the items in InDesign.
Extra credit: Figure out the least complex polygon which demonstrates this behavior.
And the last tidbit for now: I created a roughly square quadrilateral with the Pen and then added four more points to each side. Starting at the upper left corner, I dragged points into a rough approximation of the w. When I dragged the 15th point into place -- the stroke flipped from outside to inside by itself. Here are the before and after figures. I know you can't see the path line, but if you look at the space between the vertices and the edge of the image, you can see that the stroke on the right is now inside the polygon. The only difference is that I grabbed the second point over in the bottom left corner and dragged it up and to the right.
I have created a procedure which demonstrates the behavior in a repeatable manner. There is probably a simpler example, but this is as simple as I have found so far. (I have no idea whether any of the specific details (like margin sizes, or regularity of the guides) play significant roles.) I'm hoping Adobe monitors the forums and someone in the hallowed halls will take the time to follow up on this. While this procedure is highly artificial, the behavior did appear in a real-world situation.
1. Create a 6" x 6" canvas with 0.5"-inch margins.
2. Set fill color to black, with no stroke color.
3. Create a 5" x 5" square, centered on the canvas.
5. Create vertical guides at 1.5, 2.5, 3.5 and 4.5 inches.
6. Create horizontal guides at 1.5, 2.5, 3.5 and 4.5 inches.
7. Select the add point tool. From the upper left corner, go clockwise around the square and add points at each intersection of the guide lines and the perimeter of the square. This adds four points to each side of the square and leaves you with a square that has 20 anchor points defined.
8. Swap the fill and stroke colors. That means there is no fill and a black stroke.
9. Change the stroke parameters to be 10 point weight, miter limit of 20, and Align Stroke to Outside.
10. Choose the Direct Select tool.
Now it gets really tedious. We're going around the square, clockwise, moving anchor points.
11. Click the anchor at the upper left corner and drag it down 1" and 1" to the right (to the first intersection of guides).
12. Leave the next anchor alone.
13. Grab the next anchor and move it straight down one inch (to the intersection of guides).
14. Same for the next anchor: Move it straight down one inch.
15. Leave the next anchor point alone.
16. The next anchor is the upper right corner. Drag it 1" down and 1" to the left (to the intersection of guides).
17. Leave the next anchor alone.
18. Drag the next anchor 1" to the left.
19. Drag the next anchor 1" to the left.
20. Leave the next anchor alone.
21. Drag the next anchor (lower right corner) up 1" and 1" to the left (to the intersection of guides).
22. Leave the next anchor alone.
23. Drag the next anchor up 1".
24. Drag the next anchor up 1".
NOTICE THAT THE STROKE JUST SWITCHED FROM OUTSIDE THE POLYGON TO INSIDE THE POLYGON. WHY???
25. Drag the same anchor back to its original position. The stroke flips back.
26. Leaving that anchor in its original place, move to the next one. Drag it up 1" -- and the stroke flips. Move it back to its original position and the stroke flips back.
27. Grab the next anchor point (should be lower left corner) and move it up 1" and 1" to the right. The stroke doesn't flip. Move the anchor back to its original point.
Grabbing any one of the next three anchors and moving them 1" to the right does not flip the stroke. But move two of them -- and the stroke flips.
@OC Photoworx – sorry, but I cannot reproduce that case…
On what exact version of InDesign and OS are you?
I tried with:
InDesign CS5 220.127.116.113 German
Mac OS X 10.6.8
To get the exact version of InDesign hold the cmd-key (when on Mac) and choose "About InDesign".
OC Photoworx wrote:
I have created a procedure which demonstrates the behavior in a repeatable manner. There is probably a simpler example, but this is as simple as I have found so far. (I have no idea whether any of the specific details (like margin sizes, or regularity of the guides) play significant roles.) I'm hoping Adobe monitors the forums and someone in the hallowed halls will take the time to follow up on this.
Instead of hoping someone from Adobe will see this thread, please file a real bug report at Adobe - Feature Request/Bug Report Form outlining your proceedure.
InDesign Version CS6(18.104.22.1680)
Windows XP SP3
There's a much shorter example, but it requires the Snap ITC typeface.
Type a lower case w. Convert it to outlines. Select the newly created polygon. Select a stroke color. Select Align Stroke to Outside. The stroke will be inside the polygon.
Repeat the procedure using upper case W and the stroke works as expected.
Peter, thank you for the link! I'm still figuring out how product support works for the Cloud...
Here's a simpler version. Place the following image into an InDesign document:
Select the Pen tool. Select Align Stroke to Outside. Reproduce the shape with the Pen tool. I started in the upper left corner and proceeded clockwise around the figure. For me, the stroke stays outside until I close the path -- and then it flips inside.
I get the same thing when working around the shape clockwise (and curiously I get a miter problem on one spot, too), but reversing the path DOES shift it back to the outside. When working counter-clockwise the stroke aligns to waht will be the inside until the path is closed, then it shifts to the outside. Again, reversing the path switches the stroke here.
I discovered that, too: Reversing the path works when I trace the image. That's great news, because it lets me actually more forward on this project!
But it's also puzzling. If I type the "w" in InDesign, convert it to an outline, and align the stroke to the outside, it shows up inside -- and the Reverse Path has no effect.
A related example: Start with the Pen tool, Align Stroke to Outside. Draw a triangle, moving clockwise. The stroke is outside and stays outside when the path is close. Draw another triangle, moving counterclockwise. The stroke is inside until the path is closed -- and then it switches to outside. But in both cases, reversing the path has no effect.
Having messed around with this for the better part of two days, it appears that InDesign has its own concept of inside and outside -- which doesn't always match up with reason (as in the case of tracing the w). Sometimes InDesign will let the user override the inside/outside designations -- and sometimes it will not.
Have you tried using the scissor tool to cut the path, then rejoin it (or leave it open)?
Using the scissors tool did not change the inside/outside stroke location -- but it did enable the Reverse Path command.
Thank you! It will be a great deal faster to use the scissors tool to cut the existing paths than it would be to recreate them.
@OC Photoworx – ok.
With tracing the "W" image with the pen tool (clockwise) I can reproduce the issue. Just before closing the path the appearance of the stroke is like I want ("outside"); after closing the path the appearance changes to "inside".
And another thing, too: when moving the last point before the starting point to the left, the stroke appearance suddenly will change from "inside" to "outside". THAT is really strange!
It changes in the moment the point moves to the left of the imaginery straight line between the first point and the point before the last point:
Not moving the path point:
Moving the point a bit to the left, NOT crossing the line:
After crossing the line: