This lesson is exclusive to members

Adobe InDesign CC - Essential Training

How to draw an arrow or triangle or star in Adobe InDesign

Daniel Walter Scott

Download Exercise Files Download Completed Files



We’re awarding certificates for this course!

Check out the How to earn your certificate video for instructions on how to earn yours and click the available certificate levels below for more information.


You need to be a member to view comments.

Join today. Cancel any time.

Sign Up

Hi, there, in this video we're going to make all sorts of different shapes, such as stars, triangle, I think, a polygon. Some sort of male symbol, but really just looking at arrow heads. Perfect squares, and perfect circles. In the next video, we're going to stick images inside of them all. All very exciting, let's get on with it.

Actually, before we get on with it, I apologize for the design. I couldn't think of a really good exercise that look cool but also showed every single shape possible in InDesign. So, we're living with this, this design choice. Let's get on with it.

Hi there, if you're following along, what we're going to do is we're going to jump down to page-- double click page 10. We're going to put it in here, so we're going to put in a blank page because we don't want this text to be covered. So what we're going to do is, the little 'Pages' flap menu, we're going to go to 'Insert Pages'. I'm going to say, 'After Page' '10'. I would like to insert a page that has no 'Master' applied. And what I meant was, after page 9. You can click, hold, and drag it. And put it on the 'Right' side. Yes, do it after 9.

First thing we're going to do is, let's look at putting a background color in. I'll hit 'W' so I can go from 'Bleed' to 'Bleed'. Again, this is not my best design. But we're learning how to makes shapes, and I couldn't think of a better exercise. So, 'Rectangle' tool, I'm going to make this one 'Red'. What we do is, when we're drawing shapes, any shape, if you want it to be the same width as height, like a circle, perfect square, is you hold down the 'Shift' key. So I'm going to draw a bit of a rectangle here. I'm going to give it a 'Fill' of my 'Red'. And I'm going to give him a 'Stroke' of 'None', easy.

For circle, click and hold down the 'Rectangle' tool, underneath is the 'Ellipse' tool. With the 'Ellipse' tool selected, I'm going to draw out-- if I don't hold down 'Shift', I can do a custom shape. in your, where it saved Ellipse. If you want a perfect circle, just like the square, we hold down the 'Shift' key. I'm going to get mine to go across to the edge here. We're going to practice our 'Text Wrap' once we finished. So that's a circle, give it a random color, because we're going to replace this one in a second with an image. Let's look at some of the other shapes we can make.

So, this one here, the Polygon tool does quite a few different jobs. So click on it, by default, if I drag it out, it does not do stars, if I click on it. Yours probably, by default does that. It does a Pentagon. So, that's what it's going to do by default. If you want one of these shapes, I'm going to put one here. I'm going to give it a 'Fill' color. I'm going to fill this with an image as well, so I'm just going to pick a random color. I'm not going to use one of our lovely colors. So that's our Pentagon.

Next thing I want to do is do a triangle. And you do that with the exact same tool, the 'Polygon' tool. What you do is, you just click once. Click once anywhere, don't click and drag. You can tell it to do things, you can say "Actually I want it to be a Polygon height and width, but actually I want it to be size of '3'." And it's going to be a Polygon that has three sides, which is our triangle. I'm going to make him a bit stubbier, and stick him over here. So, Polygon makes V shapes and triangles, and it also makes stars. So, same tool, 'Polygon' tool, click once, what I'm going to do is, I'm going to have 5 sides, but instead of getting this Pentagon, I'm going to do this thing, called the 'Star Inset'. And if you do it just a lot, if you do it a lot, like 50%, you get this kind of traditional star. So I'm going to 'undo', just drag it up now.

I'm holding 'Shift' to get a perfect star. What color is this going to be? I'm running out of colors. So, that gives you that star. If you want to do something like, more of a star burst or those-- I'll show what they look like. If you buy any wine, if you buy wine like me, at the store, you'll look for cheap wines, it has lots of these gold labels. Lots of prices and stuff, that's how I buy my wine. Cheap with lots of stickers that said it won an award. Never checked the awards, just bought one.

So what we're going to do is click once, and instead of 5 sides, we're going to do 50. And it's still the 'Star Inset' being really big. If I leave it like that, you end up with this really big star thing which might be cool, that might be what you want, but what I want to do actually, is I'm going to click once and I'm going to have the 'Star Inset' only at '10%'. And then you get this kind of, more of a foiled sticker thing. So I am going to do that, move it down here. So we're getting through the shapes.

One of the other ones I promised you was arrow head. I need to start off with a line. So we kind of moved it away from these tools. Grab the 'Line' tool, and click, hold, and drag a line. My line, unfortunately by default, doesn't have any 'Stroke'. So you have to have a 'Line', you have to have a 'Stroke' around it. All these other shapes will work in the 'Fill's. Lines, like the straight line here, needs a stroke around the outside. And I'm flummoxed to think what color now. Let's just pick this one. No, it can't be that one, we'll pick dark. And the thickness, is just here. Or you can use your 'Stroke' panel, they end up doing the same thing. The reason we're going to keep the Stroke panel open is because of the arrow heads. Yours might be set to this, where your Stroke panel is quite small, I picked '20 points'. Go to the hamburger menu here, and click 'Show Options'. And where it says 'Start/End', these are where the arrow heads go.

So, I would like it to-- I'm never sure if it's starting or ending, but we'll just start over there. Let's do this, I wanted to have a pointy arrow head. That works for me. And the end of it is going to be our circle thing, remember the male symbol? And the scale down the bottom here, you can see it's where the circles are a lot bigger than they are. You can play around with the Scale here just to get the arrow head, I'm just smashing away, holding it down You need to get it quite big to kind of maybe make them proportionate. Obviously you don't have to have that big circle thing at the end. You can have nothing, or you can have a bar.

And that my friends is how you do arrows. So, stars, triangles, polygons and circles, and squares. Let's get on to the next video, where we start cropping in images inside of them.