Path refers to a geometrical shape that is made up of points and lines. Geometrical shapes include rectangles, circles, triangles, polygons, lines, arcs, angles, and others. While rectangles, circles, triangles, and polygons are closed shapes; lines, arcs, and angles are opened shapes. Therefore, a path can be either closed or opened based on geometrical shapes. When it comes to the flow of text along a path, you can do it by creating a Type on a Path in InDesign.

Type on a Path is a feature of InDesign with which you can type or flow text along a path or edge of a geometrical shape. With type on a path, you apply options and effects, slide text along a path, adjust text, flip text, and many more.

How to Create Type on a Path?

Follow these steps to create type on a path in InDesign:

  1. Create a new shape (such as arc); then click + hold or right-click Type tool and select Type on a Path Tool (Ctrl +T).
  2. Hover over the edge of a shape until the cursor changes to include plus (+) sign and click. Now, with blinking cursor over the edge of shape, type on a path is ready for flowing text along.

Look at the image below that depicts the ultimate result of creating a type on a path.

Type on a Path in InDesign

Brackets and posts are the two important components of type on a path. Brackets are useful for sliding, positioning, and flipping of type on a text, while ports are useful for threading text from one line to another line of type on a text or text frame. Note in the above image that type on a path has three brackets – start, center, and end – and two ports just like in a text frame.

How to Adjust the Position of Type on a Path?

With the help of brackets, you can change start and end positions of type, move type along a path, and flip type to other side of a path.

  1. To change start or end position of type: Select the type with the Selection tool, then hover mouse pointer over the start or end bracket until the icon appears next to pointer, and after that click and drag along a path.
  2. To move type along a path: Select the type with Selection tool, hover mouse pointer over center bracket until the icon appears next to pointer, and then click and drag along a path.
  3. To flip type to other side of a path: Similar to second point for type to move along a path, but you need to drag the pointer across, not along, a path. Alternatively, double click Type on a Path Tool in tool tray, or choose Choose Type > Type on a Path > Options, and then check the Flip option.

Customizing Type on a Path Options

You can customize the type on a path in Type on a Path Options dialog box, which you can access either by double-clicking Type on a Path Tool in tool tray, or by going to Choose Type > Type on a Path > Options. To customize the looks of type on path, you may take following options:

  • Effect: It applies several types of effects on a type. Check preview and apply effect to see the result.
  • Align: It adjusts the position of text across a path.
  • Spacing: It adjusts spacing at sharp curves or angles. Higher value removes spaces in between characters, while lower value adds space. This Spacing option only adjusts the spaces at sharp curves or angles, it does not affect spacing of characters on straight line. If you want spacing of characters on straight line, you need to use kerning and tracking that are available in Character or Properties panel.
  • Flip: This option flips a type to other side of path.
  • To Path: This option aligns text along a path, but not across a path.

You can also edit or delete type on a path as per your needs. Select single or more type on a path using Selection or Direct Selection tools, and navigate to Type > Type on a Path > Delete Type From Path to delete type on a path. In addition, type on a path can also include anchored objects. I suggest you go through InDesign’s official user guides to learn more about the topics.

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