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Transparency: Working with Effects in Adobe InDesign CS6

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You can apply transparency by using the nine transparency effects in InDesign. This excerpt from Adobe InDesign CS6 Classroom in a Book shows you how.

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Adobe InDesign CS6 Classroom in a Book

Adobe InDesign CS6 Classroom in a Book

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So far in this lesson, you’ve learned how to apply transparency by changing the blending mode and the opacity of objects drawn in InDesign, imported graphics, and text. Another way to apply transparency is by using the nine transparency effects in InDesign. Many of the settings and options for creating these effects are similar.

You’ll try out some of these effects now, as you fine-tune the menu’s artwork.

Applying a basic feather to the edges of an image

Feathering is another way to apply transparency to an object. Feathering creates a subtle transition from opaque to transparent around the edge of an object, so that any underlying objects or the page background is visible through the feathered area. InDesign CS6 features three types of feathering:

  • Basic Feather softens or fades the edges of an object over a distance that you specify.
  • Directional Feather softens the edges of an object by fading the edges to transparent from directions that you specify.
  • Gradient Feather softens the areas of an object by fading them to transparent.

First, you’ll apply Basic Feather, and then you’ll move on to Gradient Feather.

  1. In the Layers panel, unlock the Art1 layer if it’s locked.
  2. If necessary, choose View > Fit Page In Window to see the entire page.
  3. Select the Selection tool (), and then select the Light Purple–filled circle on the left side of the page.
  4. Choose Object > Effects > Basic Feather. The Effects dialog box appears, displaying a list of the transparency effects on the left and an accompanying set of controls on the right.
  5. In the Options section of the Effects dialog box, set these options:
    • In the Feather Width box, type 0.375 in.
    • Change both the Choke value and Noise value to 10%.
    • Leave the Corners option set at Diffused.
  6. Make sure that Preview is selected and, if necessary, move the dialog box to view the effects of your changes. Notice how the edges of the purple circle are now blurred.
  7. Click OK to apply the settings, and close the Effects dialog box.
  8. Choose File > Save.
2. Applying a gradient feather | Next Section