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Making Perfect (and cooler) Stars

It's easy to draw a starburst in InDesign: Double-click one of the two polygon frame tools to set the number of sides and the inset (if the inset is greater than zero, InDesign makes twice as many points as sides), then drag out the shape. But sometimes you want a particular shape that is hard to make with the Polygon frame tools... what then? Scripts to the rescue!

Olav Martin Kvern (my co-author on Real World InDesign), just sent me two star-making scripts that I wanted to share with you. The first one make a "perfect 5-pointed star." You can fake a 5-pointed star by making a 5-sided polygon frame with 53% inset. But the points aren't exactly in the right position -- they're about .1° (a tenth of a degree) off. Fine for most work, but not for Ole!

If you download and install these two star scripts (in a zip archive), you'll find the PerfectStar.jsx script, which -- when installed and run -- will draw a 5-pointed (Don't Mess With Texas-style!) star.

You'll also get the StarFun.jsx script, which gives you many of the same features of the polygon frame tools, but adds some fun!

I couldn't help myself... I had to play around with this script; here's some crazy "stars" I came up with (and here's the INX file if you want them yourself):

Don't forget to insert your own "star" pun here... "star of the show," "wish upon a star," starring InDesign!"  (groan)

David Blatner
David Blatner is the author or co-author of 15 books, including Real World InDesign and InDesign for QuarkXPress Users, and presents many InDesign titles at Lynda.com. He is the editorial director of InDesign Magazine. Over a half a million copies of his books are in print in 13 languages. He has spoken at conferences and workshops around North America, Europe, Australia, Japan, and South Africa. You can find more about David at 63p.com.
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9 Comments on “Making Perfect (and cooler) Stars

  1. I am not really sure how to use this script. I keep hitting run, and nothing happens. Can someone walk me through it? Also, does it work with CS5 or CS5.5?

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