How to Make Custom Shapes Using the Pathfinder Panel in Adobe InDesign

The Pathfinder Panel is used to modify shapes in various ways. The following four steps show how to make custom shapes with it in Adobe InDesign.

  1. Go to the Window menu, scroll down to Object & Layout, and choose Pathfinder.
    Pathfinder Panel in Window Menu

  2. To change the shape of a frame, select the frame in the layout, then click one of the shape buttons in the Convert section of the Pathfinder Panel.
    Using the Pathfinder Panel to Convert a Square to a Circle

  3. Multiple frames can be merged in various ways. To combine shapes, select the frames in the layout, then click the Add button in the Pathfinder section of the Pathfinder Panel.
    Circle and Rectangle Merged into Keyhole Shape

  4. "Donut holes" can be created by selecting multiple shapes and clicking the Exclude Overlap button in the Pathfinder Panel.
    Hole in Oval Shape
Author: Kate Cahill

Kate Cahill is a graphic designer, writer, and creative director who has developed content for print and web. As creative director, she has produced award-winning work for agencies focused on the pharmaceutical and health and beauty aid industries. She has also served as production manager, with responsibility for the successful fulfillment of long-run print contracts. Kate has been delivering training for Webucator clients since 2010. Her enthusiasm for cutting-edge technology, combined with hands-on practical experience, brings an added benefit to her classes. Kate teaches real-world techniques and integration of Adobe software, as well as Microsoft PowerPoint, to produce a fully developed and cohesive brand identity.

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