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Working with Objects

Chapter Description

In this sample chapter from Adobe InDesign CC Classroom in a Book (2018 release), learn how to work with layers, create and edit text frames and graphics frames, adjust the space between frames, modify and align objects, create a QR code, and more.

Transforming and aligning objects

Various tools and commands in InDesign let you modify an object’s size or shape and change its orientation on the page. All transformations—rotating, scaling, shearing, and flipping—are available in the Transform and Control panels, where you can precisely specify transformations. You can also align or distribute objects horizontally or vertically along the selection, margins, page, or spread.

You’ll experiment with some of these features now.

Rotating an object

InDesign offers several methods for rotating objects. In this part of the lesson, you’ll use the Control panel to rotate one of the logos you imported earlier in the lesson.

  1. Use either the page box at the bottom of the document window or the Pages panel to display page 4 (the first page of the document; the back page of the newsletter). Choose View > Fit Page In Window.

  2. Using the Selection tool (icon1.jpg), select the “evolve” logo you imported earlier in the lesson. (Make sure you select the graphics frame and not the graphic within.)

  3. At the left end of the Control panel, make sure that the center point is selected on the Reference Point locator (icon47.jpg) so that the object rotates around its center. Choose 180° from the Rotation Angle menu in the Control panel.

Rotating an image within its frame

You can rotate the content of a graphics frame with the Selection tool.

  1. Using the Selection tool (icon1.jpg), select the image of Jeff G. (top right) by clicking within the content grabber. The arrow pointer changes to a hand when it’s within the doughnut shape.

  2. Move the pointer slightly outside the resizing handle at the upper-right corner of the picture. The rotate pointer (icon48.jpg) is displayed.

  3. Click and drag clockwise to rotate the image until the head is approximately vertical (about –25°), and then release the mouse button. As you drag, the angle of rotation is displayed along with the image.

    p0116_01.jpg
  4. In the Control panel, make sure that the center point is selected in the reference point locator (icon49.jpg).

  5. After being rotated, the image no longer fills the frame. To fix this, first make sure that the Constrain Proportions For Scaling icon (icon35.jpg) to the right of the Scale X and Scale Y Percentage boxes in the Control panel is selected, and then enter 55 in the Scale X Percentage box and press Enter or Return.

  6. Choose Edit > Deselect All, and then choose File > Save.

Aligning multiple objects

Precise alignment is made easy when you use the Align panel. Next, you’ll use the Align panel to horizontally center multiple objects on a page, and then you’ll align multiple images.

  1. Choose View > Fit Page In Window, and then choose page 2 in the page box at the bottom of the document window.

  2. Using the Selection tool (icon1.jpg), click the text frame at the top of the page containing the “Partial Class Calendar” text and Shift-click the “evolve” logo above it. (Unlike the two logos you imported earlier, this logo is a group of InDesign objects. You’ll work with this group later in the lesson.)

  3. Choose Window > Object & Layout > Align to open the Align panel.

  4. In the Align panel, choose Align To Page from the Align To menu, and then click the Align Horizontal Centers button (icon50.jpg). The objects are now aligned to the center of the page.

  5. Click a blank area or choose Edit > Deselect All.

  6. Use the scroll bar at the bottom of the document window to show more of the pasteboard on the left of page 2. You’ll see seven software application icons.

  7. Using the Selection tool (icon1.jpg), select the graphics frame at the upper-left corner of the calendar, and then Shift-drag-select the seven graphics frames in the pasteboard.

  8. In the Align panel, choose Align To Key Object from the Align To menu. Notice that the first graphics frame you selected now has a thick blue border, indicating it’s the key object.

  9. Click the Align Right Edges button (icon51.jpg).

  10. Choose Edit > Deselect All, and then choose File > Save.

Scaling multiple objects

InDesign lets you scale multiple selected objects.

Next you’ll select two of the icons and resize both of them at once.

  1. Use the Zoom tool (icon8.jpg) to zoom in on the two Acrobat icons on the left side of the page.

  2. Using the Selection tool (icon1.jpg), click the first of the icons to select it, and then Shift-click the second icon to select both.

  3. Press Shift+Ctrl (Windows) or Shift+Command (macOS), and then drag the handle at the upper-left corner down and to the right to make the two icons the same width as the Adobe Photoshop icon above or the Adobe Illustrator icon below the selected icons. A Smart Guide is displayed when the left edges of the selected frames align with the frame above. Note that you may have to repeat the scaling more than once to get the size correct.

    p0118_01.jpg
  4. Choose Edit > Deselect All, and then choose File > Save.

Transforming multiple objects

InDesign lets you apply a transformation to multiple selected objects.

Next, you’ll duplicate the icons, apply a transformation to one of them, and then apply the same transformation to the rest of them at once.

  1. Choose View > Fit Page In Window.

  2. Using the Selection tool (icon1.jpg), select the InDesign logo and press Alt (Windows) or Option (macOS) while dragging it up to the area between the table and the calendar headline. This technique makes a copy of the object. Align the left edge of the graphic with the vertical guide above the word “Class.”

  3. Drag-copy the Photoshop, Illustrator, and Acrobat icons to the same area. Align the Acrobat icon with the vertical guide on the right above the word “Platform.” Notice how the Smart Guides show you when the objects are aligned.

  4. Select the InDesign icon again. Set the Reference Point in the Control Panel to the center position. Choose 200% for the scale and then choose 30° for the angle.

  5. Drag across the other three icons (because the Background layer is locked, you won’t select the background box). Then choose Object > Transform Again > Transform Sequence Again Individually. InDesign applies the same scale and angle that you applied to the InDesign icon to the other three icons without you having to apply them one at a time to each object. A sequence of many transformations can be applied to other objects using this command.

  6. Select all four icons and nudge all four icons up or down using the keyboard arrow keys so that they are approximately centered between the table and the calendar headline. Then, in the Align panel, choose Align To Selection and choose Distribute Horizontal Centers (icon52.jpg).

  7. Choose Edit > Deselect All, and then choose File > Save.

11. Selecting and modifying grouped objects | Next Section Previous Section

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