Sheared Type

The Shear tool should be approached with extreme caution because shearing type can turn lovingly and reverently crafted characters into a dog's dinner of distorted character shapes in a fraction of a second. That said, because the tool is there, we are bound to use it. You'll likely get the best results when it is used sparingly and applied to a small amount of type.

The Shear tool can be unruly and difficult to control: The first click establishes the point of origin for the transformation, and then you drag to make the shearing happen. It's usually easiest to make the point of origin the center point of the text frame. To maintain the proportions of your text frame, hold the Shift key.

Here's a practical example:

  1. Draw a rectangle or framing shape.

  2. Enter the text into a separate text frame and center it horizontally and vertically.

  3. Shear the text frame to the desired angle and position in the bottom left corner of the framing rectangle.

  4. Cut the text frame, Edit > Cut (Cmd+X/Ctrl+X)

  5. Select the framing rectangle and choose Edit > Paste Into (Cmd+Option+V/Ctrl+Alt+V). The edges of the sheared frame will be cropped by the framing rectangle.

Figure 18.24. Sheared type.