InDesign CS5Adobe has packed a lot of nice features into the Creative Suite 5 apps. One of my most-used applications is InDesign, so I was quite pleased to see so many of the “little things” I’ve wanted to see for years, be addressed with this latest upgrade. I’ll be covering some of these new features in future posts, but one new feature that I’ll be using daily in my job is the new object Corner Options feature on rectangles.

In InDesign 6 (CS4), creating rounded corners was serviceable at best. I could create rounded corners on my rectangle with a single radius amount, and the amount was applied to all four corners. To make matters worse for me, I had the need to only create rounded corners on two of the four sides of a rectangle. This meant I was forced to use a user script to create them – and once they were created, there was no going back to edit the radius. With InDesign 7 (CS5), Adobe has abolished all my Corner Option demons.

InDesign CS5 Corner Options

InDesign CS5 offers a more feature-rich Corner Options dialog box

Selecting a rectangle and choosing Objects>Corner Options… from the menubar brings up a dialog box allowing me to choose one of the familiar corner styles. As you may have noticed in the screenshot above though, I can choose a different corner style for each corner. And I can also choose a different radius amount for each of them. This is going to save me a ton of time, and many trips to the Scripts panel!

InDesign CS5 Edit CornersBut the corner-editing goodness doesn’t end there. For many designers, a more free-flowing workflow is more desirable. For those folks, Adobe added the ability to edit the corner radius without going into a dialog box at all. When you select a rectangle, you’re offered a small yellow handle on the side of the object (as seen at right). Clicking on that yellow handle activates the new Corner Option editing mode.

ID Corner radius bezelOnce activated, you can adjust the corner radius of all four corners at once simply by clicking one of the yellow handles which appear at each corner and dragging. A small bezel appears to let you know the radius amount. This in itself would be obscenely helpful to me, and I would have been happy had Adobe stopped there, but they didn’t.

ID Corner edit options

InDesign CS5 offers numerous ways to edit corners

You can also hold the Shift key down and drag a yellow corner handle to edit only that corner. Oh yeah, now I’m stoked! And if you really want to make a mess of your rectangle, you can hold the Option key down to adjust the shape of the entire rectangle.

I draw a LOT of rounded corner rectangles, so this feature was (believe it or not) a big selling point for me. Once you use it, I’m sure you’re going to love it as much as I do.