Designers and typesetters frequently use various weights, or thicknesses, of a typeface family within a project, assigning lighter weights to body copy or captions, and bolder -- thicker -- weights to headlines, subheadings and in-text emphasis of specific words or phrases. These stylistic uses signal that bolder elements hold greater importance and serve as a well-accepted means of attracting the reader's eye to emphasised material. In addition to this time-honoured way of making text thicker, Adobe InDesign CS5 also allows the user to increase text weight by adding an outlining stroke to individual characters.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Choose the "Type" tool from the toolbox. Click in the text frame that contains the type whose weight you wish to increase. Drag your cursor through the text to select a specific word or phrase, or press "Control + A" (Windows) or "Command + A" (Mac) to select all the text in your text frame.
Open the "Character" panel by choosing "Character" from the "Window" menu if the panel is not visible on your screen. Change your selected text to a heavier type weight by choosing the appropriate style name from the "Type Style" drop-down menu.
Increase the type thickness further by selecting an even heavier weight from the "Type Style" drop-down menu if your initial choice is too light for your design needs. For example, consider an "Extra Bold" or "Black" type style if "Bold" does not convey sufficient emphasis and your typeface family includes these additional weights.
Increase Text Thickness by Increasing Text Weight
Choose the "Type" tool from the toolbox. Click in the text frame that contains the type you wish to outline. Drag your cursor through the text to select a specific word or phrase, or press "Control + A" (Windows) or "Command + A" (Mac) to select all the text in your text frame.
Open the "Swatches" panel by choosing "Swatches" from the "Window" menu if the panel is not visible on your screen. Click on the "Stroke" swatch at the top of the panel to assure that your effects do not affect your type's fill colour. Click on a colour swatch to choose your stroke colour.
Open the "Stroke" panel by choosing "Stroke" from the "Window" menu if the panel is not visible on your screen. Set a "Weight" for your stroke by selecting a value from the drop-down menu or typing a value in the number field. Press the "Enter" or "Return" key on your keyboard to confirm and apply your stroke weight.
Select from three "Join" types to alter the stroke's appearance at corners. The default setting of "Miter join" extends any intersection of two lines into a pointed spur. "Round join" extends each corner beyond the intersection by half the weight of the stroke. "Bevel join" squares off each corner, with no projection beyond the intersection.
Increase Text Thickness by Applying a Stroke Weight
Tips and warnings
- You can apply most but not all of Adobe InDesign's "Stroke" options to live text. The program's "Dashed" stroke options can't be applied to type.
- If you're familiar with the process of applying strokes to text in Adobe Illustrator, your experience will help you apply the equivalent effects in Adobe InDesign, so long as you don't expect to apply dashed line styles.
- Refrain from using strokes to add thickness to text unless you need a special effect. Strokes distort letter forms and can limit readability. Be especially careful not to apply strokes to body text.
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