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Getting Started with Adobe InDesign CS4

Article Description

Get an overview of the key features of InDesign CS4 including using Adobe Bridge to access files, checking on potential production issues with the Preflight panel and viewing and navigating your document.

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Working with graphics

To complete the magazine layout, you’ll reposition some graphics at the same time you practice using the selection tools, try out layers, and crop an image. Graphics used in an InDesign CS4 document are placed inside frames. When working with placed graphics, you should become familiar with the three selection tools.

  • The Selection tool (selectiontool.jpg) is used for general layout tasks, such as positioning and moving objects on a page.
  • The Direct Selection tool (directselectiontool.jpg) is used for tasks involving the content of a graphics frame, or drawing and editing paths; for example, to select frame contents or to move an anchor point on a path. The Direct Selection tool is also used for selecting objects within groups.
  • The Position tool (positiontool.jpg), hidden under the Direct Selection tool, works in conjunction with the Selection tool to help control the placement of content within a frame, as well as to change the size of the frame. You can use this tool to move a graphic within its frame, or change the visible area of a graphic by adjusting its crop.

Positioning graphics within a frame

On the first spread, two of the frames need to be resized for their pictures, or the pictures within them repositioned.

  1. Select page 2 in the page box in the lower-left corner of the document window to navigate to page 2. Press Ctrl+0 (zero) (Windows) or Command+0 (Mac OS) to fit the page in the window.
  2. Using the Direct Selection tool (directselectiontool.jpg), position your pointer over the picture of the red sun, which is only partially visible. Notice that the pointer changes to a hand, indicating that you can select and manipulate the content of the frame. Drag the picture to the right, making the entire sun visible. With the Direct Selection tool, you can reposition a graphic within its frame.
  3. Using the Selection tool (selectiontool.jpg), click the picture of the blue hand on the upper-left side of the page.
  4. Drag the top-center handle upward to expand the size of the frame. By making the frame larger, more of its contents becomes visible.
  5. Choose File > Save.

Using the Position tool

The dynamic Position tool (positiontool.jpg) lets you work with the content of a frame, whether it’s a graphic or text. When you place the Position tool over a graphic, it changes to a hand icon (handtool.jpg), indicating that you can manipulate the content within that frame. When you place the Position tool over a text frame, the pointer changes to an I-beam, indicating that you can add or edit text.

  1. Select the Position tool by holding down the mouse button on the Direct Selection tool 02-40.jpg in the Tools panel. When the Position tool appears, select it.
  2. Press Ctrl+J (Windows) or Command+J (Mac OS) and type 3 in the Go To Page dialog box, and then press Enter or Return. This keyboard shortcut takes you to page 3. Roll over the text “Exploring Mexican Folk.” Notice that your pointer changes into the text I-beam.
  3. Triple-click the text to select it.
  4. In the Character Formatting Controls area of the Control panel, drag to select the value in the Font Size box. Type 20 and press Enter or Return.
  5. Choose File > Save.

Targeting layers when placing objects

InDesign CS4 lets you place objects on different layers. Think of layers as sheets of transparent film that are stacked on top of each other. By using layers, you can create and edit objects on one layer without affecting—or being affected by—objects on other layers. Layers also determine the stacking position of objects.

Before you import a photograph of an armadillo into your design, you’ll make sure that you add the frame to the appropriate layer.

  1. In the Pages panel, double-click the page 3 icon to center it in the document window.
  2. Choose Window > Layers to display the Layers panel.
  3. Click the word “Photos” in the Layers panel to target the Photos layer. Do not click the boxes to the left of the Photos layer because that hides or locks the layer.
  4. Using the Selection tool (selectiontool.jpg), click the pasteboard to make sure that nothing is selected.
  5. Choose File > Place. If necessary, navigate to the Lesson_02 folder. Click 02_Armadillo.tif, and then Shift+click 02_Gecko.tif. Click Open.
  6. A loaded graphics icon (loadedgraphicicon.jpg) appears with a preview of the armadillo. The number 2 next to the pointer indicates how many graphics will be imported.

  7. Click in the white area above the word “Mexico” to place the armadillo at the top of the page. You’ll move the graphic later, after you crop it.
  8. Click at the bottom of the far-right column of text to place the gecko graphic.
  9. Notice that the two new frames are the same color as the Photos layer in the Layers panel. An object’s frame color describes the layer on which it resides.

  10. With the gecko graphic still selected in the Control panel, type 15 in the Rotation Angle box. Press Enter or Return.
  11. In the Layers panel, click the box to the left of the Text layer name so that the layer lock icon appears.
  12. Locking the Text layer prevents you from selecting or making any changes to it or any objects on the layer. With the Text layer locked, you can edit the frame containing the armadillo without accidentally selecting the frame containing “Hecho en Mexico.”

  13. Choose File > Save.

Cropping and moving the photograph

You’ll now use the Selection tool to crop and move the photo of the armadillo.

  1. Choose Edit > Deselect All.
  2. Using the Selection tool (selectiontool.jpg), click the armadillo.
  3. Position the pointer over the middle handle on the right side of the armadillo frame and hold down the mouse button. Drag the frame toward the center of the armadillo to crop it.
  4. Using the Selection tool, position the pointer over the center of the armadillo frame, and drag the object so that it snaps to the bleed guide at the right edge of the page.
  5. Notice that the edge of the armadillo is behind the decorative border. This is because the Photos layer is below the Graphics layer in the Layers panel.

  6. Choose View > Screen Mode > Preview to see the finished pages.
  7. Choose File > Save.
  8. Choose File > Close.
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