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.)
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.