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Creating a Custom Bullet or Character with IndyFont

This week’s free InDesignSecrets episode at lynda.com shows how you can use the free IndyFont script to create a custom font character. This is awesome because it means you can build your own custom bullets! Here’s the video:

You can get even more information, including reading a step-by-step on how to download and install the script in Colleen Wheeler’s excellent write up on the LDC blog.

Or, watch any of the many movies available in the InDesignSecrets title here.

(If you don’t have a subscription, and you want to see some of those “behind the paywall” movies, you can get a free trial subscription here.)

Note that IndyFont was created by Theunis de Jong and is available at IndiScripts.

David Blatner

David Blatner

David Blatner is the co-founder of the Creative Publishing Network, InDesign Magazine, and the author or co-author of 15 books, including Real World InDesign. His InDesign videos at Lynda.com are among the most watched InDesign training in the world. You can find more about David at 63p.com.
David Blatner

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31 Comments on “Creating a Custom Bullet or Character with IndyFont

  1. This is fantastic!!!

    I have wanted Adobe to create a quick and easy font creator for exactly this purpose. To have it within ID is even better!

    Thank you David!

  2. Haeme: one byte at a time… and yes, all in Javascript. Funny thing is, it’s getting a useful shape out of InDesign that took the most time. The rest is just “follow the OpenType specs”.

  3. Great! You can also get a similar result copying the vector object, the in the GREP dialog activate inn the Change to: field, the Clipboard content option. Tough, with this script is faster and can be used as a paragraph style.
    Thanks for sharing

  4. Haeme, I’m putting the finishing touches on the full version this week. After that, it needs some more post-processing before it’s on sale — sorry, no date set for that!
    The full version will be available through Marc Autret’s site IndiScripts.

    (There I go again, browsin’ the web while I should be writin’ the manual!)

  5. Could you let me know the availability (ulrich@ulrich-media.ch). I would be delighted to promote the script in the German speaking region.

    Thanks
    Haeme

  6. Script does not work on my end, at least on CS4. Error message: There is no artwork in any of these outlines.

    No error on my part. It’s pretty cut and dry as to how to install the script and use it. It just doesn’t work.

  7. Tice2001: “No error on my part.” Well, no, it may well be a lack of documentation (I know, I should be working on it instead).
    A Very Short Version of the 20 pages I already have:
    1. artwork goes on page 2,
    2. no lines, only filled objects,
    3. in InDesign Black exclusively.

  8. .. and 4. It’s selected by default, and has a pretty obvious label, nevertheless: “art goes on the Outlines layer.”
    .. a good 5. would be Don’t Delete Things of which you may be thinking “I wonder what happens if…” :)

  9. Theunis, it’s simply awesome…and you’ve heard that before.

    What I could not get around is that my “bullet” wound up very small. I toyed with scaling it in the Indy file and overwriting the first attempt, but each time the glyph was half the size.

    Any advice?

  10. Scratch that. After deeper testing, when using this as a bullet, the scale factor cannot be subtle or you wont see it.

    Scaling the glyph and overwriting the font works.

    You remain, purrrrre genius. Wicked smart !

  11. Chuckie — thanks! Yeah, one of the reasons to show a sample character is to forcibly remind you how large your design should be. Unfortunately, Myriad Pro’s bullet is annoyingly small … So Think Big!

  12. I use font tricks all the time in InDesign, and would love to be able to do it without mucking around with Illustrator and TypeTool. How much will the commercial version be?

  13. Keith, I’m aiming for a price of 59 Euros (but I understand that’s without VAT).

    You can copy your designs straight out of Illustrator! But remember, Illy may copy its color along, and your design in IndyFont needs to be InDesign’s own Black.

    Other than that: wow! What sort of special characters are you creating?

  14. I keep having the same problem as tice2002. I get the error message “There is no artwork in any of these outlines.”

    I downloaded the image from istockphoto. It says it’s a vector image (.eps)
    Can you help me?

  15. Skip, my script cannot read information out of an embedded eps file! It needs native InDesign artwork, as it needs the exact coordinates of every single point and line.

    But you could try this: open your .eps with Illustrator (because that can access the raw vector data), and copy and paste the outlines into InDesign.
    Make sure you set the new artwork to Black, because Illy might apply another olor.

  16. Hi there

    Do you know if i would be able to use this to create individual letters with diacritical marks from an already existing font? For example could i take the capital H from Garamond Premier Pro, put it into indyfont and then add the diacritical mark of a dot directly underneath it like this character “Ḥ” and then export that as a glyph?

    Thank you!

  17. Hi there, I have a client that wants to use their logo icon instead of a round or square bullet. The icon is a round THREE COLOR shape … would your script/method work to accomplish this? Or does the icon have to be 1-color/black? Thanks.

  18. I’m following every step, although in CS6 this process is different, for example, there is no option to save the font to the InDesign fonts folder. I hoped it might be doing that by default as there’s no option for it. But I cannot get this to work. My bullet will not show up.

    Has anyone used this in the latest version of InDesign (as of March 2015)? Thanks.

  19. profeivan, that GREP tip is awesome. I’ve been using ID since version 1 and had no idea that “from clipboard” function was there. That was a real timesaver for me today. A tip of my hat to you, sir! I wish my Spanish was good enough to follow your blog.

  20. Does this still work? Every time I double-click IndyFont in the script panel InDesign crashes. Does this still work in the most recent version of InDesign?

    • I believe it does, but if you have questions, contact the developer: Marc Autret
      marc {at} indiscripts [dot] com

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