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Creating and Editing Your Clipping Path InDesign

Graphic designers frequently use aclipping path InDesign display to create a cutout for an image so it can be treated as a layer. InDesign has two methods which can be used to define and create a clipping path without the need to use other photo editing software. Once the clipping path is created you can edit the path or use it to allow the edges of your image to interact with other aspects of your design. Without this editing process, InDesign would automatically define a square clipping path around the farthest edges of your image.

If you are importing an image to InDesign, the software will be able to detect any clipping path directions which were already created. Simply set the edges with the “same as clipping” setting. Some newer versions of the software have you set the clipping path InDesign with the “detect edges” setting, which will create an alpha channel to create the clipping path around your object. You can then select a threshold for your edge. The higher the threshold, the more visible the pixels will be, allowing you to create an outline for your object. Set the threshold to 0 if you would like the pixels to be transparent.

Your threshold settings will also allow you to create inside edges. This will help you create cutouts in your image in areas such as a handle, the center of a doughnut or between rails. Select the “include inside edges” box to make any background areas within the images transparent. If you are having trouble using the predetermined setting to determine your clipping path InDesign, you can modify the clipping path by opting to create a user-modified path. This will allow you to manually set and edit your path, using similar tools to the set which allows you to create freeform shapes.

You will also need to determine the tolerance field for your clipping path InDesign. This will determine how closely the clipping path will follow the edge of the graphic. Higher tolerance values will produce a smoother clipping path, though lower tolerances create more anchor points that you can use to adjust the path. To adjust these, open the tolerance box and type in positive numbers to increase the tolerance and negative numbers to shrink it. Any clipping paths that were adjusted at this time can be deleted if they are unsatisfactory. This includes clipping paths that were imported.

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