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November 19, 2007 11:17 AM   Subscribe

Design filter. Help me layout a circular dial. Both InDesign and Illustrator are making this very tricky. Is there a plugin or other program that can help? HELP!

I want to layout a circular dial with 100 pie-shaped sections. Each section will hold a small amount of type (3-4 words). I've tried InDesign and Illustrator, but lining up 100 small text boxes around a central axis ain't easy. Is there a plugin or other program that can help? Any ideas will be appreciated. Oh, and this is for print.

!!Bonus points!! go to anyone who can tell me how to make my imac monitor spin around so I don't kill my neck working on this project.

posted by spakto to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I'm not sure this is exactly what you're talking about, but I'm assuming you want a circle with text that changes orientation while rotating around the circle? (ie at the bottom of the circle the text would be exactly upside down?) If all the sections are equal, then I would approach it like this:
(in Illustrator)

1. Draw a big circle

2. make a text box with my dummy text in it

3. Align that at the very top of the circle.

4. Clone it, flip the clone upside down and align it at the very bottom of the circle.

5. Select both of them. Go to Object>Transform. Check the Preview Box and tell it to rotate them 3.6 degrees (assuming 100 text boxes). If it looks OK....hit Copy instead of OK

6. You should now have 4 boxes, rotated 3.6 degrees along the center axis. Hit Command-D for Transform Again 46 more times. And you should more or less have it.

I think.
posted by Wink Ricketts at 11:31 AM on November 19, 2007

Use Illustrator's Polar Grid Tool (drop-down select from the Line Segment Tool). Click once to get the dialog box. Set an appropriate size. Set 0 concentric rings and 100 radial dividers. Then use the type on path tool.
posted by stopgap at 11:48 AM on November 19, 2007

As far as not killing your neck (I assume you mean due to trying to read the text), just make the whole thing, including the text, a group (Object->Group). When you need to read other parts of it, spin the group, then just hit undo to reset it back to normal, no special monitor required.
posted by Durhey at 2:38 PM on November 19, 2007

Wink Ricketts has it. That's how I'd do it. That's how you should do it. Don't forget you can also use smart guides (Ctrl-U) and set perpendicular guides at the circle's center, then set your rotate point at their intersection.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 5:07 PM on November 19, 2007

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