Change the Stroke of an InDesign CS5 Shape - dummies

By Jennifer Smith, Christopher Smith, Fred Gerantabee

The stroke is the outline that appears around the edge of an InDesign Creative Suite 5 shape, and it can be changed easily on any shape. The stroke can range from no stroke to a very thick stroke, and it’s measured in point sizes. Even if a shape has a stroke set to 0 points, it still has a stroke — you just can’t see it.

  1. Select a shape on the page.

    A bounding box appears around the selected shape.

  2. Select a new width for the Stroke by using the Stroke Weight drop-down list in the Control panel.

    As soon as a value is selected, the stroke automatically changes on the page. This number is measured in points.

You can click in the Stroke text field and manually enter a numerical value for the stroke width. The higher the number you enter, the thicker the stroke.

You can also change the style of the stroke using the Stroke panel if you like. For example, you might select a dashed stroke to outline a shape.

  1. With a basic shape selected, select the stroke type from the drop-down list in the Control panel and select a new line.

    As soon as a value is selected, the stroke automatically changes.

  2. Choose a new line weight from the Stroke Weight drop-down list.

    The shape updates automatically on the page.

If you want to create custom dashes, you can see more options by choosing Window→Stroke. Select a dashed stroke and notice, at the bottom of the Stroke panel, that you can define the dash and gap size. Enter one value for an even dash or several numbers for custom dashes for maps, diagrams, fold marks, and more!

Add special ends to line shapes with the Start and End drop-down lists. For example, you can add an arrowhead or a large circle to the beginning or end of the stroke. The Cap and Join buttons allow you to choose the shape of the line ends and how they join with other paths when you’re working with complex paths or shapes.