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How to Use Clipping Masks in InDesign

How to Use Clipping Masks in InDesign

Clipping masks are a basic graphic design tool commonly used across Adobe’s various graphics programs, so it’s vital for designers and publishing professionals looking to master the platform to learn how to execute this basic function in each program they use. While Illustrator and Photoshop have some similarities in the way they handle this function, users will find InDesign takes a different approach, and this can affect a new user’s learning curve. Follow these steps to create your own clipping mask. Then repeat the exercise a few times until you’re using this tool just as easily as you did in the other great graphic design programs from Adobe.

Making Your First Clipping Mask

1. The first step is to make sure you have both the shape object and the fill object in the same layer. The shape object is what determines the shape of the final form. The fill object determines what is filled in to the shape.
2. Select the fill object and go to the Edit menu. Select Cut.
3. Select the shape object, then go to the Edit menu and select Paste.

That’s all there is to it! Designing the shape object and importing the fill object are necessary precursors to your clipping mask, so if you’re looking for more information about how to use clipping masks in InDesign, you’ll want to consult more detailed tutorials on how to import images in InDesign and how to create shapes with the software. Those prerequisite steps will allow you to make whatever shapes you want for your clipping masks, so your projects will have the exact look you’re striving to reach with your designs.

Other Important InDesign Functions and Tools

InDesign gives you a wide range of visual layout and formatting tools to put together print projects ranging from pamphlets and brochures to books, comics, and even digital compositions like eBooks. To get the most out of this powerful resource, you need to know how to manipulate both the graphic design and the text layout, and how to balance their needs against one another to create a stunning page design. That’s why you should check out the resource pages for important functions like word and paragraph counts, spelling checks, and text formatting functions that let you control your text size and spacing across frames.

There’s no realistic limit to what you can do when you design a document with InDesign, but your designs need great assets to pop. Check out Shutterstock for millions of stock photos, illustrations, and vector graphics you can use in your next project.
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