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How to Change the Font Color in InDesign

Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

Trying to figure out how to change the font color in InDesign? Check out this quick tip for a simple and easy solution. When you want to change the font color, InDesign isn't necessarily as straightforward as you might assume. From the InDesign color picker to figuring out Fill and Stroke colors, we've got you covered. 

Follow along with us over on the Envato Tuts+ YouTube channel:

What You Will Need

I'll use the Spot Block Display Font in this demonstration. However, you are welcome to use any font you like. You don't necessarily have to install a new font. When we change the text color, InDesign won't vary based on the font itself.

Now, let's dig right into how to change the font color in InDesign.

How Do You Change the Font Color in InDesign?

Step 1

When it comes to how to change the font color, InDesign gives us several options. Let's start with the simplest method. 

Make sure you have Adobe InDesign open. For this demonstration, we'll work in a New Document

Using the Type Tool, set some text on your page. 

If you're unfamiliar, start by selecting the Type Tool. Then, click and drag to draw a Text Box—this is a Rectangular Frame that will hold your text.

With your Text Box created, add some type, much like you would in most word processing software. Again, I am using the font Spot Block.

indesign type tool

Step 2

So, now that we have our type, how do you change the font color in InDesign?

If you look down at your Tools panel, you'll see the Stroke and Fill colors. However, if we select our text and then change the colors here, we don't get a correct result. 

Look what happens below. The Fill Color is applied inside our text box, and our Stroke color is applied outside our text box. 

To remove any unwanted Stroke or Fill color, select Apply None, below them. This option is highlighted below.

indesign stroke and fill colors

Step 3

Instead, we need to look at these two icons, below the Stroke and Fill Color. They are an essential part of how to change the text color in InDesign.

The square toggles on Formatting Affects Container, and the T symbol toggles on Formatting Affects Text. We want to click on that T symbol, so our choices impact the text and not the container holding the text. 

We can also easily toggle between the tool by typing J on our keyboard.

Notice that when we have Formatting Affects Text on, the Fill color looks like a "T" and not a solid square anymore. This visual cue helps remind us which is active.

how to change text color in indesign

Step 4

Next, click on the Fill Color—again, we want it to look like a "T", so we're changing the text color and not the color of the container. 

This opens up the InDesign color picker. Here, we can change the text color, and InDesign will reflect this choice.

You can also select the Eyedropper from this dialog box. It's at the bottom right, and it's highlighted in the screenshot below. With the Eyedropper, you can "pick up" a color that is already in your composition.

Choose a new color and then click on OK.

indesign color picker

Step 5

Now, our color has been changed to match our new color choice.

But what about the Stroke color? Let's give that a try too. Click on the Stroke Color, and you'll notice that it comes to the foreground, in front of the Fill Color. All we need to do is click on it to choose a Stroke Color.

how to change font color in indesign stroke color

Step 6

Choose a new color in the same way, using the InDesign color picker. Click OK when you're happy with your color choice.

indesign color picker

Step 7

Notice that the Stroke Color looks like an outline around the text.

Tip: You can change the width of the Stroke in the Stroke panel. Go to Window > Stroke to open it up.

change font color indesign

Step 8

But let's say you don't want to keep this color. We can remove both the Stroke Color and the Fill Color.

Under our color formatting options, we have three additional options when it comes to how we apply color:

  • Apply Color: This applies a solid color to the applicable text or object.
  • Apply Gradient: This applies a gradient, rather than a solid color, to the applicable text or object.
  • Apply None: This will remove color from the applicable text or object, leaving the space transparent.
how to change font color in indesign

Step 9

So, to remove our Stroke Color from our text, all we need to do is make sure the Stroke Color is active, and then click on Apply None.

Then, we're left with text that has a Fill Color but no Stroke.

remove color indesign text

Step 10

But what if you'd like the opposite? There's a quick way we can do that.

Click on the dual arrows beside the Stroke and Fill to Swap Stroke and Fill Colors.

This takes us from text with a Fill Color to text that is transparent on the inside but has a visible Stroke (or outline) on the outside.

how to change font color in indesign fill and stroke

Step 11

Let's take a look at the third option here, too: Apply Gradient. 

In this example, let's Swap Stroke and Fill Colors, so our text has a Fill Color, but no Stroke. Then, with the Fill Color active, select Apply Gradient.

change font color indesign gradient

Step 12

By default, InDesign applies a black-to-white gradient to our text, as shown below. But what if we want to use a different gradient? Luckily, that's easy to do too.

Double-click on the Apply Gradient button.

gradient change text color indesign

Step 13

This opens up our Gradient panel. We can then apply Swatches here, to create a custom gradient. Open up your Swatches by going to Window > Color > Swatches

We can drag any color from our swatches and include it in our gradient.

change text color indesign gradient

Step 14

You aren't limited to the colors listed in your Swatches, either. You can easily create new color swatches by clicking on the plus sign at the bottom of the Swatches panel.

swatches indesign color picker

Step 15

Double-click on any swatch to edit it. Move the sliders to get the custom color that you want. Then, click OK to have your custom color added to your Swatches.

indesign color picker swatches

Step 16

You can use this swatch in a custom gradient, but you can also apply it to your text color.

Let's go back to our text. Make sure the Fill Color for our text is active. Then, click on your custom color swatch. The color will be automatically applied. This is really handy if you know you want to use one color regularly in your document or design.

change font color indesign swatches

And There You Have It!

We've explored how to change the font color, InDesign Fill Color, and Stroke Color, and we took an introductory look at Swatches, too. Now, you should be able to change, add, and remove colors from your text in Adobe InDesign. Have fun with it!

how to change font color in indesign

Now that you've learned how to change the text color in InDesign, here are some other free InDesign tutorials that might interest you. Happy designing!

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