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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.

Creating and modifying graphics frames

Now you’re ready to add the company logo and the employees’ images to the spread. In this section, you’ll focus on different techniques for creating and modifying graphics frames and their contents.

Because you’ll be working on graphics rather than text, your first step is to make sure that the graphics appear on the Graphics layer rather than on the Text layer. Isolating objects on different layers streamlines your workflow and makes it easier to find and edit elements of your design.

Drawing a new graphics frame

To begin, you’ll create a frame for the logo at the top of the cover page (the page on the right in the first spread).

  1. If the Layers panel is not visible, click the Layers panel icon or choose Window > Layers.

  2. In the Layers panel, click the lock icon (Locked1.jpg) to unlock the Graphics layer. Lock the Text layer by clicking the box to the left of the layer name. Select the Graphics layer by clicking the name of the layer so that the new elements are assigned to this layer.

    p0098_01.jpg
  3. Choose View > Fit Spread In Window, and then use the Zoom tool (icon8.jpg) to zoom in on the upper-left corner of the front page (page 1).

  4. In the Tools panel, select the Rectangle Frame tool (icon32.jpg). Move the pointer to the corner where the top and left margin guides intersect, drag down until the pointer reaches the horizontal guide, and then drag across to the right edge of the first column.

  5. Switch to the Selection tool (icon1.jpg) and make sure that the graphics frame is still selected.

Placing a graphic within an existing frame

Now you’ll place the company logo within the selected frame.

  1. Choose File > Place, and then double-click logo_paths.ai in the Links folder in the Lesson04 folder. The image appears in the graphics frame.

  2. To ensure that the graphic is displayed at the highest possible resolution, choose Object > Display Performance > High Quality Display.

Resizing a graphics frame to crop a graphic

The graphics frame you created isn’t quite wide enough to show the entire logo, so you’ll widen it to reveal the hidden portion.

  1. Using the Selection tool (icon1.jpg), drag the center-right handle until the entire logo is visible. If you pause just after you start to drag, you’ll see the cropped portion of the image as you drag—a feature called Dynamic Preview—and easily determine when the frame edge is beyond the edge of the logo. Make sure you drag the white handle and not the yellow one. The yellow handle lets you add corner options, and you’ll learn more about them later in this lesson.

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

Placing a graphic without an existing frame

The design of the newsletter uses two versions of the logo—one on the front cover and one on the back cover. You could simply use the logo you just placed and the Copy and Paste commands (Edit menu) to add the logo to the back cover, and you’ll do that later in this lesson, but instead you’ll import the logo graphic without first creating a graphics frame.

  1. Choose View > Fit Spread In Window, and then use the Zoom tool (icon8.jpg) to display the lower-right quarter of the back page (page 4).

  2. Choose File > Place, and then double-click logo_paths.ai in the Links folder in the Lesson04 folder. The pointer changes to a thumbnail of the graphic you have chosen with a loaded graphics icon in the upper-left corner. (The icon changes depending on the file format of the graphic.)

  3. Position the loaded graphics icon at the left edge of the rightmost column slightly below the rotated text frame that contains the return address. Drag until the pointer reaches the right edge of the column, and then release the mouse button. Notice that as you drag, a rectangle is displayed. This rectangle is proportional to the logo image.

    You don’t need to resize the frame as you did earlier because the frame already shows the entire image. The graphic still needs to be rotated, but you’ll do that later in the lesson.

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

Placing multiple graphics in a grid of frames

The back cover of the newsletter should contain six photos. You could place the photos one by one and then position each one individually, but because they will be arranged in a grid, you can place all the photos and arrange them in a grid at the same time.

  1. Choose View > Fit Spread In Window.

  2. Choose File > Place. Navigate to the Links folder in the Lesson04 folder, click the graphic file named 01ShauneenH.tif to select it, and then press Shift and click the file named 06HannahB.tif to select all six photos. Click Open.

  3. Position the loaded graphics icon (LoadedGraphicsIcon1.jpg) at the intersection of the horizontal ruler guide at the top margin and the left edge of the third column.

  4. Drag down and toward the right margin. As you drag, press the up arrow key once and the right arrow key twice. As you press the arrows, the proxy image changes to a grid of rectangles to indicate the layout of the grid.

  5. Continue dragging until the pointer snaps to the intersection of the right margin guide and the lower horizontal ruler guide, and then release the mouse. A grid of six graphics frames displays the six photos you placed.

    p0101_01.jpg
  6. Choose Edit > Deselect All, and then choose File > Save.

Resizing and moving images within frames

Now that you’ve placed the six photos, you need to resize and reposition them so that they fill the graphics frames and are cropped correctly.

The image and the frame for any placed graphic are separate elements. Unlike text frames, a graphics frame and its content each have their own bounding box. To resize the image (without resizing the frame), select the content by choosing Object > Select > Content, or use the content grabber (Donut.jpg), which displays as you hover over the graphic. You can see the different bounding boxes when either the content or the frame is selected.

  1. Using the Selection tool (icon1.jpg), position the pointer over the content grabber within the image of Shauneen H. (the top-left photo). When the pointer is within the content grabber, a hand icon (icon4.jpg) is displayed. Click to select the frame’s contents (the image itself).

  2. While holding down the Shift key, drag the center-bottom handle to the bottom edge of the graphics frame. Do the same with the center-top handle and drag it to the top edge of the frame. The Shift key maintains the proportions of the graphic so that it is not distorted. Remember that if you pause briefly just after you start dragging, you’ll see a ghosted image of the cropped graphic contents. Make sure that the image entirely fills the graphics frame.

    p0102_01.jpg
  3. The image in the middle frame on the top row is too narrow to fill the frame. Click the content grabber with the Selection tool to select the image. While holding down the Shift key, drag the center-left handle to the left edge of the graphics frame. Do the same with the center-right handle and drag to the right edge of the frame. Make sure that the image entirely fills the graphics frame. Notice that the handles of the image bounding box extend beyond the frame’s bounding box. This tells you that the image is bigger than the frame.

  4. The image now fills the frame but is poorly cropped. To fix this, position the pointer over the content grabber within the image, and while holding down the Shift key, drag downward until the top of the photo aligns with the top of the frame.

    p0102_02.jpg
  5. Repeat step 2 for the remaining photo in the top row to fill the frame with the image.

    You’ll use a different method to resize the other three photos.

  6. Use the Selection tool to select the graphic on the left of the second row. You can select either the frame or its content.

  7. Choose Object > Fitting > Fill Frame Proportionally. This increases the scale of the graphic so that the frame is filled. Small portions of the graphic are now cropped by the left and right edges of the frame.

  8. Repeat steps 6 and 7 for the remaining two photos in the bottom row.

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

You can simultaneously resize a graphics frame and its content by selecting the frame (rather than the content) and holding down Shift+Ctrl (Windows) or Shift+Command (macOS) as you drag a handle of the frame. The Shift key maintains the proportions of the bounding box so that the graphic is not distorted. Using the Shift key is optional if distorting the graphic doesn’t matter to your design.

Next, you’ll adjust the space between some of the photos to give the grid arrangement a visual tweak.

Adjusting the space between frames

The Gap tool (GapTool.jpg) lets you select and adjust the space between frames. You’ll use it to adjust the space between two of the photos in the top row and then two of the photos in the bottom row.

  1. Choose View > Fit Page In Window. Hold down the Z key to temporarily access the Zoom tool (icon8.jpg), zoom in on the two photos at the top left, and then release the Z key to return to the Selection tool.

  2. Select the Gap tool (GapTool.jpg), and then move the pointer into the vertical gap between the two pictures. The gap is highlighted—all the way down to the bottom of the two photos below.

  3. Hold down the Shift key and drag the gap one gutter width to the right, making the graphics frame on the left one gutter width wider and the one on the right one gutter width narrower. (If you don’t hold Shift while dragging, you’ll move the gap between the two photos below as well.)

  4. Choose View > Fit Page In Window.

  5. Using the Selection tool (icon1.jpg), drag-select the pictures in the top row. Set the Reference Point in the Control panel to the lower left (icon24_1.jpg). Click after the number in the Y: entry, type –p4, and then press Enter. InDesign does the subtraction for you, and by selecting the reference point you control the direction of the move. In this case, the photos move up by 4 points.

    p0104_01.jpg
  6. Choose View > Fit Page In Window, and then choose File > Save.

You’ve completed the grid of images on the back page (page 4).

5. Adding metadata captions to graphics frames | Next Section Previous Section

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