Corner effects in InDesign CS5

A while back, I offered up a tip for rounding select corners using the sample script that ships with InDesign. Well, I finally upgraded to InDesign CS5 and Adobe has added a couple new ways to round selected corners for rectangles.

The new corner options dialog box (Object > Corner Options…) offers the ability to set the corner type and size for each individual corner. Also, you can set select corner options in object styles and apply the effects to multiple boxes.

But there is an easier way to change the corner effects. In InDesign CS5, there is a yellow square in the upper right corner of a bounding box. Clicking that square enters a “Live Corners” mode with yellow diamonds on the box corners. Click and drag on any of those corners to change the shape of all of the corners. Using modifier keys, you can alter the behavior:

  • Hold the shift key to change only one corner.
  • Hold the option key and click on the diamond to cycle through the corner options.
  • Hold both the option and shift keys to cycle through corner options on a specific corner.

So yes, using this technique means you could create a different corner effects on every corner of a rectangle. (Remember, just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should.)


In practice, while the “Live Corner” method described above is impressive, using the corner options dialog box will probably be more precise and thus, more useful. Also, note that if you have anything other than a rectangle, you won’t be able to independently change selected corners. So if you want to round odd corners on a hexagon, then you’ll need to use the script technique that I described previously.

Also, it’s pretty easy to accidentally click on the yellow box. If it annoys you, you can turn it off by going to View > Extras > Hide Live Corners.