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Chapter 10. Pictures and text > To create a clipping path:

To create a clipping path:

1.
Import an EPS, TIFF, or PICT file into a rectangular picture box. While you can use a picture that has a colored or textured background, for your first attempt, consider using a picture that's silhouetted on a white background.

2.
To layer a picture, make sure its box has a background of None. (Select the box, click the background (third) icon on the Colors palette, then click None.)

3.
Choose Item menu > Clipping (Ctrl-Alt-T).

4.
Note the green line around the image in the preview window, which denotes the clipping path, as you choose from the Type drop-down menu :

(Choose Item to turn off the clipping path function a. The picture will only be cropped by the picture box. To turn off Runaround, see page 156.)

Choose Picture Bounds to conform the path to the rectangular outer boundary of the picture (its bounding box) b. If Restrict to Box is unchecked, any areas of the picture that the picture box is cropping will become visible, and may block out other items beneath it.

Choose Embedded Path to create a clipping path based on a clipping path that was saved with the picture in another application (c, next page). Choose Alpha Channel to create a clipping path based on the non-black parts of an alpha channel that was saved with the picture in an image editing program. Note: If the picture was saved with more than one alpha channel or path, choose the desired channel or path name from the Alpha or Path drop-down menu.

Choose Non-White Areas to create a clipping path that follows the contours of the actual image and ignores non-white areas of the picture. The white areas can be close to white (i.e. very light gray) or absolute white.

5.
As you choose any of these optional settings, click Apply at any time to preview the current settings in the document:

Click Crop To Box if you want the clipping path to stop at the edge of the box. Click Rescan to restore the original clipping path.

Check Invert to switch what is cropped and what is visible a. This option won't be available if the Item or Picture Bounds Type is chosen.

Check Outside Edges Only for an Alpha Channel, Embedded Path, or Non-White Areas (not Item or Picture Bounds) clipping path if the picture contains a blank hole or holes where the background white shows through and you don't want the clipping path to include them. With Outside Edges Only unchecked, an additional clipping path will be created for each hole b.

Check Restrict To Box if you want only those areas of the picture that are within the picture box to display and print (cd, next page).

With any Type option except Item chosen, you can further expand or contract the clipping path to print more or less of the picture by entering a positive or negative number, respectively, in the Outset field. For the Picture Bounds Type option, enter values in the Top, Left, Bottom, or Right fields. For a clipping path using the Embedded Path or Alpha Channel Type option, the Outset value will expand or contract the entire clipping path relative to the original path or alpha channel. For the Non-White Areas type of clipping path, the Outset value will expand or contract the entire clipping path relative to the original non-white areas (ab, page 160).

6.
Choose Tolerance settings for an Embedded Path, Alpha Channel, or Non-White Areas type of clipping path:

For an alpha channel clipping path, the Noise value controls the minimum size an area near the border of an alpha channel must be to be included in the clipping path (a—(b, next page). Use this setting if you don't want the path to include tiny, extraneous blobs from the background.

Smoothness (0–100) makes the clipping path more or less smooth by adding or decreasing points (ab, next page). The lower the Smoothness setting, the more points the clipping path will contain; the higher the Smoothness, the fewer points the path will contain and the more precise will be its shape. A low Smoothness may cause output problems, but XPress can automatically adjust the Smoothness setting during printing, if necessary.

Threshold works with an Alpha Channel or Non-White Areas clipping path (ab, page 161). It controls what percentage of gray on the alpha channel will be treated as white (and thus not mask the picture) and what percentages will be treated as black (and mask parts of the picture). A Threshold setting of 10% will cause gray values from 0–10% to be treated as white. Values between 11% and 100% will treated as black and mask out those parts of the picture. A Threshold setting of 40% will make more gray values treated as white and thus reveal more of the picture. For the Non-White Areas type of clipping path, the opposite is true: The Threshold is the percentage a color can be darker than white before it will be left outside the clipping path and thus won't print.

7.
Click OK or press Enter. If you'd like to reshape the clipping path, follow the instructions on the page 163.


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