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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!

More after the jump! Continue reading below
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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 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 LinkedIn Learning (Lynda.com) are among the most watched InDesign training in the world. You can find more about David at 63p.com.
  • Old Jeremy says:

    New Year resolution: must argue more!

  • Andrea says:

    You can always count on InDesign Secrets for stellar tips and tricks.

  • Old Jeremy says:

    Rats! Wish I’d thought of taht!

  • Bob Levine says:

    Wow…Etch-a-Sketch for InDesign. :)

  • how do you install the .jsx file to indesign?

  • @Peter: You can search the site for “how to install scripts” or check out the instruction I just wrote in this blog post comment.

  • rada says:

    Thanks for the scripts! It works wonderful :)

  • kimberly says:

    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?

  • @kimberly: Are other scripts working for you? did you unzip them? They do show up in the Scripts panel, right? Double-click to run them.

  • Edd says:

    Why whenever I find exactly what I’m looking for regarding Indesign over the last few years does it always have your name all over it David??!!

    Proper Legend

  • Emma says:

    Just found this today. Perfect for what I was looking for and your other instructions for how to install were easy to understand for a novice like me! Many thanks David

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