Thanks for coming to, the world's #1 resource for all things InDesign!

Gravity is Finally Fixed!

This has been bugging me for a year or so: The Gravity feature in InDesign CS3 was broken. It worked just fine in CS2, but it just didn’t work right at all. Fortunately, I’m happy to note that it appears to finally be fixed in CS4.

Gravity is a feature inside the Text on a Path Options dialog box. That is, you need to put text on a path (use the Type on a Path tool; Shift-T).

then choose Type > Type on a Path > Options. (Or a shortcut: Option/Alt-double-click on the path.)

We talked a bit about Gravity in podcast Episode 5 and Episode 8, if I recall. Specifically, how it draws the text toward the center point of the path’s bounding box.

Rufus Deuchler (currently a world famous Adobe evangelist and co-host of Cafe Fibonacci) made the quintessential movie about the Gravity effect for Mogo Media a couple of years ago (using CS2). But unfortunately, when CS3 came out, his amazing technique broke. Because Gravity itself broke. Badly.

In fact, I thought it was still broken. But someone at Adobe must have snuck a fix in at the last minute because in the shipping version of CS4 it works great again!

Rufus’ trick was simple, but extremely effective: use the Pen tool to extend the path in order to move the center point to where you want it. By changing the centerpoint, you change the center of perspective, allowing you to get much more useful effects:

Yes, as The Tick says, “Gravity is a harsh mistress,” but at least it no longer sends us smashing through concrete. Or something like that.

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 are among the most watched InDesign training in the world. You can find more about David at
David Blatner

Latest posts by David Blatner (see all)

  • - November 30, -0001
Related Articles

8 Comments on “Gravity is Finally Fixed!

  1. Thank goodness it’s fixed. I have been having to keep my laptop tied down since I installed CS3 after it started to float away. Since I have CS4, it looks like I can finally cut it free:)

  2. Think of all the women who’ll now hate Adobe for fixing gravity. Of course, on the flip side, bra manufacturers and plastic surgeons will love them for it ;)

  3. The problem I had was adding the extra pen points to be able to drag the text up as Rufus showed in that wonderful video. It would work but boy what a pain to get the pen to take. So I suspect that was where the bug was on that one?

    It seemed to be much easier to do in CS4 yesterday.
    I have yet to try it on objects placed on the path with the type on path tool but I remind everyone that that is also possible in InDesign.

    P.S. I liked this neat timed edit feature – cool.

  4. Woohoo! Now if they’d just switch the names “Skew” and “3D Ribbon.” The “Skew” option looks like a 3D ribbon, and the 3D Ribbon option is, well, skewed. It’s been wrong since Day One, and it’s wrong in Illustrator and I’ve been depressed about it for years and I just can’t go on…

    Ah, well, if that’s what bothers me, my life is pretty simple, eh? ;-)

  5. I don’t know about you, but this is just about the best news I’ve heard all day! I feel GREAT! OH!
    I feel like I just gave BIRTH! OH MY! I’m feeling light-headed…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *