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Getting to Know Indesign

Chapter Description

In this sample chapter from Adobe InDesign Classroom in a Book (2020 release), authors Tina DeJarld and Kelly Kordes Anton walk you through the basics of InDesign. You'll learn about the building blocks of an Adobe InDesign layout: objects, text, and graphics.

Working with objects

The building blocks of InDesign pages are objects: text frames, graphics frames, lines, and more. In general, you move and resize objects with the Selection tool. Objects can have a fill color (background color) and a stroke color (outline or border), which you can customize by specifying the width and style. You can move objects around freely, snap them to other objects, and place them with precision according to guides or values you enter. In addition, you can resize and scale objects and specify how text wraps around them. You will learn more about objects in Lesson 4, “Working with Objects.” Here, you will experiment with a few object-related features.

Moving and rotating an object

A flower graphic created by converting flower characters from the Zapf Dingbats font into outlines (Type > Create Outlines) is on the pasteboard to the left of the page. You will move this graphic to the right of the restaurant name, “edible blossoms.” Then, you will rotate the object and adjust its placement.

  1. Choose View > Fit Page In Window to center the page in the document window. If necessary, scroll left to see the flower graphic on the pasteboard.

  2. Using the Selection tool (selectiontool.jpg), click the flower graphic.

  3. Drag the graphic to the right of the headline, “edible blossoms.”

    With the object still selected, you will fine-tune the placement using the Properties panel.

  4. In the Transform controls of the Properties panel, click the More Options button (moreoptions.jpg). To specify the object’s placement, type the following values in the fields:

    X: 1.85 in

    Y: .05 in

    Rotation angle (rotatefield.jpg): –10

    You can tab between the fields, and then press Enter (Windows) or Return (macOS) to apply the changes.

  5. Choose File > Save.

Changing an object’s stroke and fill

When an object is selected, you can change its stroke (outline or border) weight and color. In addition, you can apply a fill (or background) color.

  1. Choose Edit > Deselect All to make sure nothing is selected.

  2. To better focus on the objects, choose Type > Hide Hidden Characters.

  3. Click the Direct Selection (directselectiontool.jpg) tool on the Tools panel, and then click the white flower in the graphic to select it.

  4. In the Appearance controls of the Properties panel, click the Fill box (propertiesfill.jpg) to display the document’s swatches. Click the Green-Dark swatch.

  5. Press the V key on the keyboard to switch to the Selection tool (selectiontool.jpg). Click to select the black horizontal line at the bottom of the page.

  6. In the Appearance controls of the Properties panel, click the Stroke box (propertiesstroke.jpg) to display the document’s swatches. Click the Green-Medium swatch.

  7. Click the pasteboard to deselect all objects.

  8. Choose File > Save.

7. Working with object styles | Next Section Previous Section

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