Corner Effects in InDesign

Every so often, when working in InDesign, I want a frame or box with rounded corners. And that’s really easy if you need to round all corners. But what if you want to round just one corner? Or opposite corners? There are lots of ways to do it, but it’s a little tougher. And more time consuming.

Yesterday, I was looking at solving a repetitive production problem by using a script in InDesign CS4. (I haven’t upgraded to CS5 yet.) I dove into scripting in InDesign to automate the process.

Most people have never opened the scripting panel (Window>Automation>Scripts). But in the scripting panel are sample scripts in Applescript and Javascript. I noticed a script titled “CornerEffects.applescript.” This struck me as odd, because there is a “Corner Options” command in InDesign. What made this script different? I opened it and got a dialog box…

The top part of the dialog box essentially provides the same options as the “Corner Options” command. And the offset box allows you to adjust the size of the corner. But what about the Pattern combo box? It defaults to “all points,” but take a look at the options available: first point, last point, second point, third point, odd points, even points and more…

Left: The starting shape. Middle: Rounded corners on odd points. Right: Beveled corners on first two points.

When applied to a box, it gives you the ability to round or bevel selected corners. Sometimes, it takes a little trial and error to figure out which point the “first” point is. The first point usually seems to be point in the upper left and then selection moves counterclockwise.

You can also use the odd and even points patterns on a star shape. “Odd points” effect the inside points. “Even points” modify the outside points.

Left: The starting shape. Middle: Rounded corners on odd points. Right: Rounded corners on even points.

I’m assuming this is still here in CS5 and I don’t have a copy of CS3 handy to see if its there, too. But if you need to round select corners on a shape in InDesign, this is a time-saver. (And check out the rest of the sample scripts, too.)