In this video tutorial, I show how to convert a dotted line into a series of picture boxes, and then fill them with either one or more pictures or gradients.
You’re probably thinking: “How often do I need to convert a line to a picture box?” Probably not very often, but the technique exposes some useful features in QuarkXPress, including how to convert shapes to picture boxes, how to split compound shapes, and how to use the masks built into Photoshop files.
Here’s the technique in brief written form:
In QuarkXPress, you can convert a dotted or dashed rule into a series of polygons by choosing Item> Shape> Polygon (it looks like an artist’s palette).
Then, for an interesting effect, you can fill the polygons with a picture, a blend, or a series of pictures. To fill them with a picture, first choose Item> Content> Picture. If you want to fill them with several pictures, choose Item> Split.
There’s one useful thing I didn’t mention in the video: all these techniques can also be used to fill text with pictures and gradients. You just have to convert the text to boxes first, by choosing Style> Text to Box or Item> Convert Text to Boxes (in QuarkXPress 8).
Jay Nelson is the editorial director of PlanetQuark.com, and the editor and publisher of Design Tools Monthly. He’s also the author of the QuarkXPress 8 and QuarkXPress 7 training titles at Lynda.com, as well as the training videos Quark includes in the box with QuarkXPress 7 . In addition, Jay writes regularly for Macworld and Photoshop User magazines and speaks at industry events.