How to Add Perspective to Text in InDesign CS5

By William Harrel

Adding perspective to a 2D object creates an illusion of a vanishing point on an implied horizon line. For example, when you turn a sign sideways the edge of the sign closer to your eyes seems larger than the edge furthest away. The sign appears to get gradually smaller, tapering in size toward a simulated vanishing point. You can add perspective to text and other objects in Adobe InDesign, a page layout program, with the program's Shear tool.

Step 1

Open the InDesign document containing the text to which you want to add perspective or create a new InDesign document by clicking the "File" menu and choosing "New." This opens the New Document dialog box. Make the desired page size, columns and margin settings, then click "OK."

Step 2

Select the "Text Tool," the fifth tool in the Tools panel.

Step 3

Type the desired text, select it, then use the options on the Control panel located beneath the menu bar, to set the desired typeface, type weight, and font size for your text.

Step 4

Select the "Selection Tool," the first tool in the Tools panel, then select the text.

Step 5

Click the "Type" menu and choose "Create Outlines." This converts the text from editable text to a vector graphic.

Step 6

Select the "Shear Tool," the 12th tool in the Tools panel. By default the Free Transform Tool resides in this location in the panel. Click and hold the "Free Transform Tool" and select "Shear Tool" from the flyout.The Shear Tool allows you to slant and manipulate the text in numerous ways. By default the center of rotation for the Shear Tool is the center of the object. You can change the center of rotation by clicking anywhere in the object before manipulating it with the Shear Tool.

Step 7

Manipulate the text until you have the desired perspective. This may require some experimentation.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can further manipulate the object's perspective with the Rotation Tool which is also in the 12th slot on the Tools panel. Click and hold the current tool and choose "Rotation Tool" from the flyout.