How do I skew objects or text in Adobe® InDesign®?

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The Shear tool or Skew on the Control and Transform palettes slants an object or text along its horizontal axis. The Shear dialog box can also shear an object along a vertical or slanted axis. Skewing or Shearing may be used to create a shadow or simulate some types of perspective.

Control palette and Transform palette

  • Skew objectClick on the object or text with the Selection tool or highlight text with the Type tool.
  • Click a point on the Proxy, the object is skewed from this point.
  • Type an angle measurement in the Skew (object) or Shear X Angle (text) field (same field - different name).
    • Positive values skew to the right.
    • Negative values skew to the left.
    • Press Enter/Return or
  • Choose an angle from the drop-dowm menu. 
  • TSkew textext is given a false italic with the Skew tool, use it with caution.

 

 

Shear tool

  • InDesign-Shear objectSelect the object with the Selection tool.
  • Click on the Shear Shear tool tool.
  • Click away from the object and drag.
  • Drag to the left to shear to the right, drag to the right to shear to the left.
  • The farther from the object you click, the more control you will have.
  • The object will shear from the point selected on the Proxy.
  • Hold down the Shift key to constrain the shear to 45° increments.

 

Shear dialog box

  • Select the object or text with the Selection tool.
  • Double click on the Shear tool.
    • InDesign CS5, CS4 & CS3 - To get the Shear tool:
    • Click on the Scale tool, hold the mouse down and click on the Shear tool from the pop-out menu. 
  • Type an angle in the Shear Angle field. The object will shear clockwise from the current axis.
  • Choose the Horizontal or Vertical axis
  • InDesign CS2 or CS:
    • Add an Angle measurement to shear on an angled axis.
    • If the object is in a frame and the frame and object should both shear, check Shear Content in the Options section.
  • InDesign CS5, CS4 & CS3: The same effect can be created using the Control palette
  • Check Preview to see the change take place.
  • Click OK to finish.
  • Click Copy to shear a copy of the object. Use this option if a shadow will be created behind the object.

InDesign CS5, CS4 & CS3
Shear Horizontal Shear horizontally

InDesign CS5, CS4 & CS3
Shear vertical Shear vertically

InDesign CS2 & CS InDesign-Shear dialog box

  • To create the shadow:
    • Select the top copy with the Selection tool or highlight text with the Type tool.
    • In the Swatches, select a Tint percentage in the Tint % field.
    • Send the shadow to the back. Go Object > Arrange > Send to Back or Windows: Ctrl + Shift + [ or Mac: Command + Shift + [ .
  • Reposition the shadow if necessary.

Shear tint

Another way to create a shadow

  • Draw your object or create your text.
  • Select the object or text with the Selection tool.
  • Copy the object or text by selecting Edit > Copy or Windows: Ctrl + C, Mac: Command + C.
  • Paste in Place by selecting Edit > Paste in Place or Windows: Ctrl + Alt + Shift + V or Mac: Command + Option + Shift + V (Like PageMaker’s Power Paste).
  • Select the object with the Selection tool or highlight the text with the Type tool.
  • In the Swatches, select a Tint percentage in the Tint % field.
  • Skew with the Skew or Shear tool.

Shadow in front

  • Send the shadow to the back. Go Object > Arrange > Send to Back or Windows: Ctrl + Shift + [ or Mac: Command + Shift + [.
  • Reposition the shadow if necessary.

Shadow in back