In a recent post, I answered a reader's question about rounding some of the corners of a rectangle. Although the rectangle in the original question wasn't really a rectangle at all -- it was a dynamic button that was created from live text.
At the end of the post, I asked other readers to share their own ideas about to go about rounding off specific corners of an object. There were some interesting answers, including a link to a script, which was nice. Good work all around -- it's always good to get the creative juices flowing, and in the future, I hope to challenge more of you with other "projects" to participate in.
One of the things we learn about with Illustrator (more so than just about any other program), is that there are always a variety of ways to get any design task done. Some are more efficient than others. Some are easier to implement. Each offer pros and cons and each offer benefits for certain design tasks. With that in mind, I offer my solution for creating rectangles with a rounded corner (or three) of your choice...
As an example, here's a rectangle that has rounded corners on two opposite sides:
The way I did this was by creating a normal rectangle and using the normal Round Corners effect (under the Effect > Stylize menu). I then added an additional fill, which didn't have rounded corners. With the second fill targeted, I applied a Transform effect that applied a 50% scale to the fill and I instructed the Transform to be applied from a specific origin point -- a corner of my choice. This action effectively "covered up" the rounded corner with a square corner. Had I expanded the shapes, the result would look like this:
The key here is in the Transform effect. Let's see how I did this, step-by-step:
1. Draw a rectangle. Apply a fill and remove the stroke.
2. Choose Effect > Stylize > Round Corners and apply the effect.
3. Via the Appearance panel fly-out menu, add a new fill.
4. With the new fill targeted, choose Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. In the Scale section, set both the Horizontal and Vertical values to 50%. Now for the most important part -- using the 9-point proxy, select one of the 4 corners to apply the scale from. The corner you choose will NOT have a rounded corner. Click OK to apply the effect.
5. Duplicate the fill and double-click the Transform effect in that fill. Change the origin point in that fill to specify another corner that should have a square corner. Repeat to add a third fill if you'd like. Your Appearance panel should look something like this:
Naturally, you could save this as a Graphic Style so that you could apply this with a single click. You might even create an entire library of styles that stored different corners of an object as being rounded, for any design task. Of course, these are all graphic styles with multiple fills and effects. And sometimes you need just a single plain flat object with a rounded corner. You could of course draw your rectangle, quickly apply a style, expand the appearance, and then use Pathfinder to create a single final shape. I know -- that's a lot of clicks. So having an action that would do all this for you with a simple keyboard shortcut would probably be better.
In fact, being that the holidays are upon us, I've decided to give all of my dedicated readers a gift. Two actually.
The first is a Graphic Style library that you can download. This library contains a plethora of styles with different round corner effects. All you need to do is load the style library and you're good to go. One click will give you the rounded corner(s) of your choice. Feel free to adjust the parameters as you see fit. I used a rather large round corner setting, mainly so the preview in the Graphic Styles panel clearly shows each effect.
The second is an Action that expands and combines the effect, leaving you with a flattened object. Once you load the Action, you can use the keyboard shortcut which I've assigned (Command-Shift-F12) or you can apply your own.
- Rounded Corner Graphic Style Library
- Expand and Combine Action
BTW, you can also copy and paste any of these shapes into InDesign if you'd like.
Hanukkah begins this week, and here in NY, we got a taste of winter with a bit of snow today. No matter what holiday you observe, I wish you and your loved ones only the most joyous and happiest of times. Maybe you'll be lucky enough to take a few moments to actually walk AWAY from the computer and enjoy all that life offers. I hope to do just that.