5 Replies Latest reply on Feb 12, 2015 6:14 AM by wwilk

    InDesign: how to skew text blocks without distorting text?

    wwilk

      I want to set up several large blocks of copy with these requirements:

       

      - the baselines of the text are at an angle on the page

      - the left and right edges of the text block are bang-on horizontal (aligned with the guides in the screenshot below)

      - the text block can be enlarged or reduced without changing the angle of the left and right edges

      - the letterforms themselves are not distorted

      Skew1.gif

      This screenshot shows what I'm after.

       

      Skew2.gif

      This screenshot shows the actual bounding box for the text block.

       

      Skew3.gif

      This screenshot shows how the angle of the text box changes when I change its size.

       

      I think Illustrator has some sort of function that allows you to “zero” (reset any transformations to a 90-degree grid) an object after it’s been transformed. Not finding anything at all like that in InDesign. Nor am I finding any means to set a custom constrain angle which would allow me to use the direct selection tool (the white arrow) to change height or width with confidence.

       

      I would appreciate any tips! Thanks for your attention.

        • 1. Re: InDesign: how to skew text blocks without distorting text?
          Willi Adelberger Most Valuable Participant

          I do it with the example of turning. Skewing works the same way.

           

          1. Draw your rectangle, I applied a text frame based baseline grid (textframe options)

           

          step1.png

           

          2. With the selection tool or with the transform tool turn the whole frame in a direction, you can do it also with entering the value in the Transform Panel, what I would recommend.

          step2.png

          3. Now select the Direct selection tool (white arrow) and hold down the ALT key and klick on the frame. Now only the frame is selected. Turn it back in the other direction, or insert the value into the transform panel.

          step3.png

           

           

          I have also another method to offer:

          1. Draw the main frame with the text tool.
          2. Draw a small frame above, it must be much smaller than the main frame.
          3. Turn the small frame in the direction you want to go the text.
          4. Select both frames.
          5. Go to the Pathfinder > Add.

          Now you can add text or select a text frame based baseline grid. It will do the same as above. Maybe simpler.

          • 2. Re: InDesign: how to skew text blocks without distorting text?
            Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

            I think the only way to resize this in ID would be to use the direct select tool to select two adjacent corners, then drag the edge holding down the shift key to constrain the move.

            • 3. Re: InDesign: how to skew text blocks without distorting text?
              Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

              Willi's approach is better than mine...

              • 4. Re: InDesign: how to skew text blocks without distorting text?
                wwilk Level 1

                Willi: the first solution is beautiful. Using the direct selection tool after your last step allows me to resize the text box without changing the angle of it. Thanks so much!

                 

                Peter: that was my best solution prior to Willi's example, but eye-balling the results would have been problematic…it's a fairly complex project. Thank you for your input nonetheless.

                 

                w.

                • 5. Re: InDesign: how to skew text blocks without distorting text?
                  wwilk Level 1

                  As it turns out, some more exploration over time revealed an answer that was highly flexible, unlike the solution above: make a table, skew it, turn it on its side, enter text, then un-skew the text to make it read normally.INDD.png

                  This also allowed me to anchor text with "normal" orientation (the dates on the timeline here) that automatically moved with edits, additions, or deletions to the skewed text cells. Willi, your solution would work for small amounts of text. This finished document is 2-sided at 11" x 33"…just shy of 5 feet long in total.