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Working with Frames in Adobe InDesign CS2

Chapter Description

InDesign frames may contain either text or graphics. As you work with frames, you’ll notice that InDesign provides a great amount of flexibility and control over your design. This chapter introduces you to working with frames in InDesign.

Modifying graphics frames

In this section, you’ll focus on different techniques for modifying frames and frame contents. To start, you’ll import an image and place it in your document spread. Because you’ll be working on graphics rather than text, your first step is to make sure that the graphics appear on the Art layer rather than on the Text layer. Isolating items on different layers helps your work process so that it’s easier to find and edit elements of your design.

  1. In the Layers palette, click the second-column box to unlock the Art layer. Lock the Text layer by clicking in the second column box. Then select the Art layer by clicking on the name of the layer so that new elements will be assigned to this layer.
  2. To center page 4 in the document window, choose 4 from the Pages pop-up menu at the bottom of the document window.
  3. Choose File > Place and in the Place dialog box deselect “Replace Selected Item” and then double-click 03_c.tif in the Lesson_03 folder.

    The cursor changes to a loaded graphics icon (graphics.gif).

  4. Click near the top left corner of page 4, but not on the yellow bar, to place the graphic. It doesn’t matter exactly where you place it, nor that the purple image may cover some of the story text. You’ll fix that later.
  5. Press V to select the Selection tool (select.gif). Then drag the image so that it snaps into place at the top of the page and on the left side of the column gutter. The left edge of the graphic should fit snugly against the yellow bar of the title column, with no gap between them.

Resizing a graphics frame

The design for this page calls for the purple background image to extend across the page from the title panel to the right edge of the page. Although this image is not yet the right size or shape to do that, you’ll start making those adjustments now.

First, you’ll stretch the frame to fit the width of your spread.

  1. Choose View > Fit Spread in Window so that you can see all of pages 4 and 5 in the document window. If necessary, scroll horizontally so that you can see the right edge of page 5 and hide the Layers palette by clicking on the Layers tab.
  2. Using the Selection tool (select.gif), click the purple-texture graphic. Drag the lower right handle until the right side of the bounding box snaps into place against the horizontal guide at the 32-pica mark on the vertical ruler and to the last column of page 5.

    Notice that only the frame bounding box changes, not the purple image itself.

Resizing and moving an image within a frame

You have just finished resizing a graphics frame, but the content image remains unchanged. You’ll now resize just the image so that it fills the designated area.

The content and frame for any placed graphics are separate elements. Unlike text objects, the frame and content for a graphic each has its own bounding box. Resizing the graphic contents is exactly like resizing the frame, except that you work with the bounding box for the contents using the Direct Selection tool (selectiontool1.gif).

  1. Press A to switch to the Direct Selection tool (selectiontool1.gif), then position the cursor over the purple background image until the cursor appears as a hand icon (hand.gif), then click to select the frame contents (the image itself). The bounding box changes to a brown color, indicating that the frame is no longer selected, but the contents are.
  2. Select the handle in the lower right corner of the graphic bounding box, and then hold down the Shift key and drag to enlarge the image. Continue dragging until the image dimensions are even larger than the frame, so that the handle is off the page and onto the pasteboard.

    Dragging bounding box of contents, and view after dragging.

  3. Move the Direct Selection tool over the purple image so that you see the hand icon. Click and drag the image with the hand icon, and notice how the area of the image that is visible within the frame changes as you drag. If you drag too far to the right, notice that the image no longer covers the left side of the frame area.
  4. Make sure that the image entirely fills the frame, and then click a blank area of the page to deselect the purple image. Save your work.

Changing the shape of the frame

When you resized the frame using the Selection tool, the frame maintained its rectangular shape. Now you will use the Pen tool and the Direct Selection tool to reshape the frame.

  1. Press A for the Direct Selection tool (selectiontool1.gif). Then move the tip of the cursor over the edge of the purple-image frame, and click when the cursor appears with a small diagonal line (diagonalline.gif). This selects the path and reveals the anchor points and center point for the frame. Leave the path selected.
  2. Press P to switch to the Pen tool. Carefully position the cursor over the lower edge of the frame path where it intersects with the right margin of page 4. When you see the Add Anchor Point Pen tool (penplustool.gif), click. A new anchor point is added. The Pen tool automatically changes to the Add Anchor Point tool when it is crossed over an existing path.
  3. Move to page 5, where the lower side of the path intersects with the left margin, and using the Add Anchor Point Pen tool, click again to add another new anchor point.

    Both anchor points are solid, indicating they are selected.

  4. Switch to the Direct Selection tool and drag upwards, holding down the Shift key as you drag from either one of the new anchor points or the path segment between them. When both anchor points snap into place on the next guide (at 22p on the vertical ruler), release the mouse button and the Shift key.

    The graphic is now properly shaped and sized for the design.

  5. Press V to switch to the Selection tool (select.gif), and select the purple graphic. Then choose Object > Arrange > Send to Back, so that the graphic appears to be behind other elements in the Art layer.
  6. While the graphic is still selected, choose Object > Lock Position. This will help avoid accidental repositioning of the graphic.

Modifying a frame within grouped objects

You can select individual elements of a grouped object using the Direct Selection tool. The black and gray rectangles behind the sidebar story in the lower right corner of page 5 are grouped, so that you can select and modify them as a unit. You’ll now change the fill color of just one of the rectangles without ungrouping or changing the other elements of the group.

  1. In the Layers palette, make sure the Text layer is locked and that the Art layer is selected.
  2. Using the Selection tool (select.gif), click either the gray or the black background behind the sidebar story. The entire sidebar background is selected, showing the usual eight handles in the bounding box. Notice that a question mark appears in the toolbox Fill box (indicator.gif), indicating that the grouped items do not all have the same fill color.
  3. Press Ctrl+Shift+A (Windows) or Command+Shift+A (Mac OS) to deselect the group.
  4. Press A to switch to the Direct Selection tool (selectiontool1.gif), and click the black fill in the upper part of the sidebar background. Now the four anchor points and center point for the black rectangle appear. Notice that the Fill box in the toolbox is black and that Black is highlighted in the Swatches palette.
  5. Make sure that the Fill box is still selected in the toolbox. Select Window > Swatches to open the Swatches palette. Then scroll down the Swatches palette and select the Black 80% tint. Now the upper rectangle behind the text block has a dark gray fill but the lower one remains filled with light gray.
  6. Save your file.

    When you have the smaller rectangle selected, notice what happens if you switch back to the Selection tool: The handles appear, but only for the upper rectangle, not for the entire group, as they appeared when you did step 2, above. This can be handy when you have nested objects and want to adjust the frame without ungrouping.

Wrapping text around a graphic

You can wrap text around the frame of an object or around the object itself. In this procedure, you’ll see the difference between wrapping text around the bounding box and wrapping text around the graphic.

Your first task is to move the graphic, which couldn’t be easier; you just select it and drag. For precise positioning, you can also use the arrow keys to nudge a frame, or you can type exact position coordinates on the Transform palette.

  1. Using the Selection tool (select.gif), select the eight-pointed graphics frame with the image of an origami crane that is on page 4. Being careful not to select one of the handles, move the frame down so that the bottom of the graphic snaps into alignment with the lower guide, at 42 picas on the vertical ruler. Make sure that the center point of the graphic is aligned with the middle of the gutter between the two columns of text. The frame should not have changed size, but it should have moved on the page.

    Notice that the text appears on top of the image. You’ll change this by applying text wrap.

  2. Choose Window > Text Wrap to open the Text Wrap palette, and select the second wrap option so that the text wraps around the bounding box, not around the star-shaped frame.

    Text wrapped around bounding box.

    Result

  3. Next, select the third wrap option so that the text wraps around the contour of the image frame instead of the bounding box. Click a blank area to deselect all, or choose Edit > Deselect All.

    Text wrapped around content.

    Result

  4. Leave the Text Wrap palette open for now, and choose File > Save.
4. Creating new frames and adjusting the contents | Next Section Previous Section