Sunday, June 20, 2010

Curving Text In Pages with Comic Life


Working on a last-minute Father's Day project?  Create great original effects by combining the forces of Pages and Comic Life.

I wrote recently about using Comic Life application to make a 'thought bubble' for a Pages project. And before that about curving small chunks of text to create an attractive visual effect.

Now, Comic Life also offers a very easy way of curving text, outlining it with colour and frames and even gradient (changing) colour fill.

Go to Applications folder, find Comic Life, launch the application and open a new comic. Choose a panel, for instance, blank, click on 'Lettering' in the bottom left corner of the comic and drag the icon to the panel. The work window opens. Type in your text and click 'place lettering'.

Type Command+Shift+C to open the Colour Palette which is exactly the same as in Pages (and most other Mac applications). Change colours the way you want them to be. If you previously created custom colours and saved your favourite or brand colour sequences in the Colour Palette while working in Pages, they will show in Comic Life too. So, just click in the palette to use them in your curved text.

The same goes for the Font Panel. Type Command+T to open fonts and change to your favourite font.

Comic life is very easy and intuitive - you just click about to get a feel of what it can do. Drag and drop photos straight from your iPhoto albums, take photos with in-built camera and so on. And the accompanying creeking and screeching sounds are great fun!

Now, the snag is you can't just copy/paste Comic Life panel into Pages. Never mind, make a screenshot or 'Print' to iPhoto (Command+P and in PDF drop-down menu choose Save PDF to iPhoto) and then import into Pages.   

Mark from plasq.com has just emailed me (23 June 2010) to say that the latest version of Comic Life (1.5.3.) does allow copy/pasting straight into Pages. Select the curved text bit in Comic Life, copy it, switch to Pages - and paste. It works! The curved text pastes as PDF, so you can change dimensions, adjust height and width to fit with your Pages project. Thanks, people! Here's a quick stack of curved text I put into a blank Pages doc.


Apple has been bundling Comic Life with the basic software install that comes when you buy your Mac, but if you don't have it, download from Plasq.com.

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