Fit gradient to text in Adobe InDesign

One of the cool new features of Adobe InDesign CS6 is the auto-size feature for text boxes. It’s useful for those of us who prefer to keep our layouts neat & tidy. But it also has another very functional feature; ensuring gradients applied to text appear the way you expect them to.

As InDesignSecrets points out: when you apply a gradient to text, the gradient is actually applied to the frame itself, it just appears to be applied to the text inside the frame. So the gradient can appear to extend beyond the text.

Gradient fit to text

In the example above, I have the same black-to-green gradient applied to the text in all three text frames. But as you can see, only the bottom one shows the full gradient. That’s because the frame itself is set to auto-size to fit the text it contains. The two frames above it are larger, and the gradient adjusts to the size of the frame itself, rather than just the text.

So the moral of the story is: if you apply a gradient to text, make sure the text frame itself is sized to fit.

Get to know the Fill and Stroke shortcuts for Adobe InDesign

InDesign CS6I’m a huge fan of keyboard shortcuts, particularly in Adobe apps like Photoshop and InDesign. They not only save time, but they tend to not interrupt your creative ‘flow’ while you’re working once you get used to using them on a regular basis. Here are a few simple ones to work with the Fill & Stroke tools in the Tools panel.
[unordered_list style=”arrow”]

  • X = Swaps the active state of Fill and Stroke in the Tools panel
  • / = Sets the Fill or Stroke (whichever is active) color to None
  • , (comma) = Applies the selected object with the last color used
  • Shift + X = Swaps the Fill and Stroke of the selected object in your document (if you have a box filled with red and no stroke, hitting Shift + X will fill the box with none and stroke the box with red).


10 Defaults Write commands for customizing Mac OS X

OSXDaily has put together 10 commands you can use in the Terminal app to customize how Mac OS X looks and works. These commands are called Defaults Write commands because they alter the default settings of OS X. They are of course reversible, and the list shows the commands you need to type in the Terminal, as well as how to return it to Apple’s default settings.

Some of the commands include: Always Show Hidden Files in the Finder, Speed Up Mission Control Animations, Change Where Screen Shots Are Saved To, and Show System Info at the Login Screen.

You can see all ten commands here.

Bulk optimize folders of images for use on the web with ImageOptim


ImageOptim optimizes images — so they take up less disk space and load faster — by finding best compression parameters and by removing unnecessary comments and color profiles. It handles PNG, JPEG and GIF animations. It’s excellent for publishing images on the web (easily shrinks images “Saved for Web” in Photoshop). Simply drag’n’drop images or folders into the window! You can also drop files on ImageOptim’s Dock icon.

I love the simplicity of ImageOptim, and it’s a free app.