How To Make Clipping Mask In Indesign

Creating masks of all kinds is an essential skill, whether you are working with Adobe InDesign, or other editing software. However, the idea of masks can seem a bit daunting if you are not familiar with the basics. The question then is, how do you make a clipping mask?

Clipping masks can be created from a variety of sources, and help to create a customized frame for any layer, including artwork, images, and even text. In fact, you can create a clipping mask from the built-in shapes on InDesign, or using custom shapes, and even on the basis of a typeface you use in the software. 

If you want to dip your toes into creating versatile clipping masks, you are in the right place. Using the information in this blog, you will be able to create versatile masks that can help bring intrigue and creativity into your InDesign files. Let’s get started!

Creating Clipping Masks From Built In-Shapes

One of the easiest ways to create a clipping mask is to use a shape that is already built into InDesign. If you want to create this kind of clipping mask, all you will need to do is follow these steps:

  1. Run InDesign on your computer, and open up a new file.
  2. Import an image layer or create the layer you want to apply the clipping mask to.
  3. Select the Ellipse tool, or any other built in shape you want to use.
  4. Click and drag the tool over the area of the layer you want included in your mask.
  5. Now, go back to the image layer, and then from the Edit tab, choose the option Cut.
  6. With the layer cut, select the shape you created, and from Edit, choose ‘Paste Into.’
  7. A clipping mask will be created with the image placed inside the shape frame. 

If you want to use a basic shape, your work is done! However, you can create complex custom shapes and use them as clipping masks as well.

Creating Clipping Masks From Custom Shapes

Sometimes, you want to input an image, text, or artwork in a more interesting shape than the built-in options available through InDesign. Luckily, this is also possible, using these steps:

  1. Run InDesign on your computer.
  2. Now, create a new file, and use the Pen Tool to create a new shape.
  3. You can create custom shapes with the Pen tool by selecting anchor points and making sure that they close up at the end by connecting to the starting point.
  4. Once again, select the image you want to mask, and cut it from the Edit Menu.
  5. Paste the layer into your custom shape by selecting ‘Paste Into’ from the Edit menu. 

If you want to edit the custom shape more, you can keep revising it even though it is now a clipping mask as well. As a result, you have a flexible way of adjusting the clipping mask even after you are done framing it with your layer. 

Here is a video explaining this process: 

Creating Clipping Masks From A Typeface

Finally, one interesting way to create a clipping mask is to use a heavy typeface and apply an image to be framed by it! This is a process used by several publishing design experts, as it can allow you to showcase text in an interesting and creative way. Here’s how it is done:

  1. Open up InDesign and start a new document file.
  2. Create a text layer by selecting the text tool.
  3. Choose the font, and the size of the font for the look you want to create. 
  4. Once you are happy with the text, select the layer and then go to the Type menu.
  5. Choose the option ‘Create Outlines’ from the menu.
  6. With the outline created, cut your image layer or background.
  7. Then, go to the Edit menu, and then select the option ‘Paste Into.’

A clipping layer will be created with your typeface being the shape. You can use this technique to create a variety of text options with various backgrounds. 

Final Thoughts

Clipping masks can be fun to display areas of interest within your project on InDesign. Based on your skills with clipping masks, you can create fascinating designs that are sure to catch everyone’s eye. 

Luckily, creating clipping masks is relatively easy, and can be done with just a few clicks here and there. The more you practice and experiment with this technique, the better the results will be, so make sure you do the work and practice these masks!