How to Make Text Thicker in InDesign

Don't settle for something that doesn't match your vision.
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Working with fonts in InDesign is slightly different than using word processing software such as Word. To make text thicker in Word, for example, all you have to do is to select it and click the "Bold" button. This works whether or not the font has a separate bold version -- if it doesn't, Word will simply simulate boldness. InDesign, on the other hand, has no such button and will not simulate a bold version of the font does not exist; to make text thicker, you need to either select the bold version of the font manually or apply a stroke to it.

Launch InDesign, open your document and select the text you want to make thicker.

Press "Ctrl-Shift-B." If your font has a bold version, your text becomes thicker and you're done. If the keyboard shortcut has no effect or the result isn't thick enough for your liking, you need to add thickness to your text manually.

Press "F10" to show the Stroke panel, if it isn't already visible. Open the "Weight" drop-down menu and select a weight for the stroke from the list. Start with the smallest weight and gradually increase it until you find one that makes the text just the right thickness. The drop-down menu also functions as a text field, so you can type in a precise value to fine-tune the stroke weight if necessary.

Press "F6" to show the Color panel, if it isn't already visible. Select the "Stroke" swatch and ensure it is set to the same color as your text.

  • Some fonts may have more than one version of bold. Open the "Type Style" drop-down menu in the Control bar and check what's available before you start adjusting the stroke weight.
  • If you make the text thicker by adding a stroke, individual characters may end up overlapping. In that case, increase the tracking of the text (see Resources) to fix the issue.
  • Depending on the font you're using and the size of your text, you may not be able to find a stroke weight that makes your text thicker without also making it look unattractive. In that case, your only recourse is to use a different font.

Laurel Storm has been writing since 2001, and helping people with technology for far longer than that. Some of her articles have been published in "Messaggero dei Ragazzi", an Italian magazine for teenagers. She holds a Master of Arts in writing for television and new media from the University of Turin.