Custom Shape Text Frame

Previous topic - Next topic


How would I go about making a 'hollow' text frame? Say for example, I wanted to use this square ( as a text frame, with text both inside and outside the frame (essentially leave the black area as the only part with no text). Is this possible to do so that I would not have to break it up into two separate frames? Thanks!


I'm not really sure you'll want to do this, once you see it in action, because the reader will have a hard time scanning the text, but here's one way to do it.

I'm assuming you already have your text frame.

1. Create a square shape.
2. Go to menu "Item -> Transform".
3. Press the "Add" button and select "Scaling".
4. Use the controls to create a smaller shape (e.g. 80%) and select 1 copy, and "OK" the dialog.
5. Use the "Align and Distribute" palette to centre the shapes.
6. Go to menu "Item -> Path Tools -> Path Operations".
7. Press the "Subtracts" button, accept the defaults, and press "OK".
8. Use the "Colours" tab of the "Properties" palette to fill the shape.
9. Go to the "Shape" tab of the "Properties" palette and press the "Edit..." button.
10. Check the "Edit Contour Line" box.
11. Drag the inner contour line nodes further into the shape, and the outer contour line nodes further out.
12. When you're done, press the "End Editing" button.
13. Select "Use Contour Line" in the Text Flow area of the "Shape" tab in the "Properties" palette.
14. Drag your "hollow" shape over the text.

And that's it. (You can also do a similar thing by giving a shape a thick width and converting the path to a stroke. The outcome is pretty much the same but can be more awkward to edit.)

As you can see from the attached image the effect isn't brilliant so you'll need to mess around with the contour line a lot to get it just right - for this example I didn't bother - and you may need to mess around with other text formatting issues too.

And even then, if I was the reader, I'd get confused. It just doesn't look right to me; the text inside the frame has been "orphaned" from the rest and looks lost.

But that's up to you if you want that kind of thing.

[attachment deleted by admin]