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  1. Design & Illustration
  2. Adobe InDesign

How to Create Type on a Path in InDesign

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Difficulty:IntermediateLength:ShortLanguages:
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What You'll Be Creating

Want to know how to type on a path in InDesign? Then you're in the right place! In this tutorial, we'll be learning how to create type on a path in InDesign. You can use the Type on a Path Tool to create curved text, wavy text, or just about any curved shape you want your text to follow. This simple but powerful tool has a lot of different uses.

For the purposes of this tutorial, we'll be using this Flyer Template for InDesign. This will create a great starting point for our design as we explore how to use InDesign to create text along a path. This template is from Envato Elements!

Envato ElementsEnvato ElementsEnvato Elements
Envato Elements is a great resource for InDesign Flyer Templates!

With just one subscription, you'll get unlimited access to a large variety of InDesign templates, such as flyers and magazine covers.

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

How to Use the Type on a Path Tool in InDesign

Step 1

To start, open your InDesign project. We'll be using this template from Envato Elements.

Type on A Path InDesign Open ProjectType on A Path InDesign Open ProjectType on A Path InDesign Open Project

Step 2

First we will need to create a path that we want our text to follow. We can use any of the shape tools to create our path. If you want to simply curve text, you can apply this concept to a circle path. In our case, we want to create a custom wavy path. Let's create our custom path using the Pen Tool.

Select the Pen Tool from the toolbar.

InDesign Type on a Path Select Pen ToolInDesign Type on a Path Select Pen ToolInDesign Type on a Path Select Pen Tool

Step 3

Let's create a curvy wave path! With the Pen Tool selected, click a point on your stage. Then, click on another point to form a line.

InDesign Type on a Path Pen Create PointInDesign Type on a Path Pen Create PointInDesign Type on a Path Pen Create Point

Step 4

From here, click on your anchor point, hold down the mouse button, and move your Pen Tool to create a curved shape.

Tip: If you've never used the Pen Tool before, it can be a little tricky. Make use of Undo if you don't like where your shape is going.

InDesign Type on a Path Pen CurveInDesign Type on a Path Pen CurveInDesign Type on a Path Pen Curve

Step 5

Keep creating new anchor points until you have a line you are satisfied with.

Now we can use this curved line as a shape to place text on. To do this, we'll select the Type on a Path Tool from the toolbar.

Tip: You may need to click and hold the Text icon to make the Type on a Path Tool appear.

InDesign Select Type on a Path ToolInDesign Select Type on a Path ToolInDesign Select Type on a Path Tool

Step 6

Now, with the Type on a Path Tool selected, hover over an area of the path we created.

You will see a + icon near your cursor when you are over an area of the path that you can insert text. When you see this + icon, go ahead and click.

InDesign Type on a Path Tool Insert TextInDesign Type on a Path Tool Insert TextInDesign Type on a Path Tool Insert Text

Step 7

You will now be able to type on the path! Go ahead and add your chosen text. Great start on getting your InDesign text to a path.

InDesign Text on a Path Type TextInDesign Text on a Path Type TextInDesign Text on a Path Type Text

Step 8

Now that we have our text typed out, let's go ahead and change the font properties. We can do this from the Properties panel.

Tip: You can open the Properties panel by going to Windows > Properties.

From here, go ahead and select the typeface, size, and other text properties to fit your needs.

InDesign Text on a Path Tool Text PropertiesInDesign Text on a Path Tool Text PropertiesInDesign Text on a Path Tool Text Properties

Step 9

Something we can also do is change the placement of the text along the path. Hover your cursor over the line, then click and hold.

InDesign Type on a Path Tool MoveInDesign Type on a Path Tool MoveInDesign Type on a Path Tool Move

Step 10

From here, you can click and drag to move the text along the path.

InDesign Type on a Path Tool Move Along PathInDesign Type on a Path Tool Move Along PathInDesign Type on a Path Tool Move Along Path

Step 11

Now let's go ahead and remove the visible line from the path. In some cases, you may want to place your text on a visible object, but often I find it's best to leave the path invisible.

To do this, pick the Selection Tool from the toolbar and select the path.

InDesign Type on a Path Tool Color PropertiesInDesign Type on a Path Tool Color PropertiesInDesign Type on a Path Tool Color Properties

Step 12

Now your Properties panel should show you the properties of the path we created. If not, click the path with the Selection Tool.

Under Appearance, select the stroke color, and then select none.

InDesign Type on a Path Tool InvisibleInDesign Type on a Path Tool InvisibleInDesign Type on a Path Tool Invisible

Step 13

Now we can take a look at some of the more detailed settings for Text on a Path. With the text selected, go to Type > Type on a Path > Options.

InDesign Type on a Path Tool OptionsInDesign Type on a Path Tool OptionsInDesign Type on a Path Tool Options

Step 14

Selecting Flip will flip the anchor point around to the inside of the curve. This is one way to change the direction of text in InDesign.

InDesign Text on a Path Options FlipInDesign Text on a Path Options FlipInDesign Text on a Path Options Flip

Step 15

Try out the different effects too. The default is rainbow, but there's also Skew and others to try out.

InDesign Type on a Path Tool EffectsInDesign Type on a Path Tool EffectsInDesign Type on a Path Tool Effects

Step 16

The Align dropdown also has some interesting settings. The default baseline will put the base of the text on the outside of the path. Center will align it to the center. Try out all the options!

InDesign Type on Path Options AlignInDesign Type on Path Options AlignInDesign Type on Path Options Align

Step 17

We can also change the spacing to ensure all of our text lines up to meet our needs. Use the Spacing arrows to increase or decrease the spacing as needed.

InDesign Type on a Path Option SpacingInDesign Type on a Path Option SpacingInDesign Type on a Path Option Spacing

Step 18

From here, you can adjust the settings until you are satisfied with your design. When you're satisfied, go ahead and press OK

InDesign Text to Path Tool FinishInDesign Text to Path Tool FinishInDesign Text to Path Tool Finish

Conclusion

Now you know how to type on a path in InDesign! As you can see, the Type on a Path Tool is really versatile and can be used on just about any shape. This will work with any of the shape tools. Try using a circle if you need curved text, or even test out some more elaborate shapes.

Now that you know how to use the Type on a Path Tool in InDesign, perhaps you're looking for some project template files to flex your new skills. Looking for some flyers or magazine cover templates to help get you started? Then check out Envato Elements.

Envato Elements has a wide selection of flyer templates and magazine covers for InDesign. You can try as many as you like, all with one subscription. 

1. Fashion Flyer (INDD)

Envato Elements InDesign Fashion Flyer TemplateEnvato Elements InDesign Fashion Flyer TemplateEnvato Elements InDesign Fashion Flyer Template

Check out this stylish fashion-themed flyer! It comes in an INDD file type, making it a great starting point for your next fashion project. A nice chance to create InDesign text along a path using the grid.

2. Admission Flyer Template (INDD, PSD, AI, EPS)

Envato Elements InDesign Admission TemplateEnvato Elements InDesign Admission TemplateEnvato Elements InDesign Admission Template

This flyer template is great for education or other kinds of admissions. There's plenty of space to add your own custom project information, giving you lots of opportunity for testing out how to type on a path in InDesign.

3. Magazine Template (INDD)

Envato Elements InDesign Magazine TemplateEnvato Elements InDesign Magazine TemplateEnvato Elements InDesign Magazine Template

Looking for a stylish magazine cover ready to go for InDesign? Then look no further! This magazine cover is easy to customize for your needs. There are many ways to play with InDesign text along a path throughout the pages.

4. Simple Magazine Template (INDD)

Envato Elements InDesign Simple Magazine TemplateEnvato Elements InDesign Simple Magazine TemplateEnvato Elements InDesign Simple Magazine Template

Check out this elegant and spacious magazine template design! It comes in the INDD format so you can get a kick start on your next magazine project. The grid design gives you lots of chances to change the direction of text with InDesign.

5. Meetup Event Poster (INDD, AI, EPS, PSD)

Envato Elements InDesign Poster TemplateEnvato Elements InDesign Poster TemplateEnvato Elements InDesign Poster Template

This event flyer is versatile and could be used for just about any kind of event! It comes in the INDD file type for easy editing with InDesign. The curved shapes are a great opportunity to try out the Type on a Path Tool in InDesign.

Looking for more tutorials to brush up on your InDesign skills? Then check out these awesome tutorials from Envato Tuts+.

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