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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.

Creating new frames and adjusting the contents

So far in this lesson, you’ve changed the size, shape, position, and color of frames and the contents within the frames. In this section, you’ll experiment with different ways to create new frames quickly, with a minimum of effort. These include duplicating existing frames, drawing new frames, and replacing the existing contents of a frame. Because frames are independent of their contents, you can replace the contents of any frame with either graphics or text. You’ll get experience doing both in these procedures.

Duplicating a frame and its contents

Using the familiar copy-and-paste technique, you can quickly duplicate objects in your design. In this procedure, you’ll also use a keyboard shortcut to duplicate and move an object in one action.

  1. Using the Selection tool (select.gif), select the crane graphic, and choose Edit > Copy.
  2. Choose Edit > Paste. A duplicate of the crane and its frame appears in the center of the window.
  3. Drag the new crane graphic up into the purple background area on page 4so that the lower edge snaps into position with the guide at 22 picas on the vertical ruler.
  4. Choose View > Fit Spread in Window.
  5. Hold down Alt (Windows) or Option (Mac OS) and drag the crane graphic to page 5. When you release the mouse, you’ll see that by using the Alt or Option key, you have moved a new copy of the graphic, as the original remains in place.
  6. With the crane graphic selected on page 5, hold down the Shift key and click the crane on page 4. Turn off the text wrap option for both these graphics by selecting the No text wrap button in the Text Wrap palette.
  7. Choose Edit > Deselect All.

Replacing the contents of graphics frames

After you create the two duplicates, it’s easy to replace the contents with other graphics or text. Your next task is to resize the new star-shaped frames and replace the crane images with other images. Because the frame and contents are independent, it’s easy to swap out one image for another.

  1. Using the Selection tool (select.gif), select the new crane graphic you placed in the upper area of page 4. Hold down the Shift key to maintain the symmetry of the frame, drag up from the upper right handle to above the top edge of the spread so that part of the image bleeds off the page. Leave the frame selected.
  2. Choose File > Place, and browse as needed to find the 03_d.tif file in your Lesson_03 folder. Select “Replace Selected Item” in the Place dialog box.
  3. Double-click the 03_d.tif to place the new image directly into the selected frame, replacing the crane image.
  4. With the frame still selected, choose Object > Fitting > Fill Frame Proportionally. InDesign resizes the graphic so that it fits into the frame.
  5. Select the duplicate crane image on page 5.
  6. Choose File > Place, and select the 03_e.jpg file in your Lesson_03 folder. Select Open. The image of an origami box replaces the image of the origami crane.
  7. With the box graphic still selected, choose Object > Fitting > Fit Content to Frame.

    Now you’ve used a single frame shape three times to hold three different images.

Converting shapes

You can now change the shape of an existing frame by using the Object menu in InDesign. The shape of a frame can also be converted, even if the frame already contains text or graphics.

  1. Using the Selection tool (select.gif), be certain the graphic you placed in the upper area of page 5 is selected.
  2. Select Object > Convert Shape > Ellipse. Click and drag the Ellipse to the right of the page. Exact position is not important.
  3. Select the graphic on page 4 and select Object > Convert Shape > Triangle.

Graphic on page 4converted to triangle.

Graphic on page 5 convertedto circle.

Using the Position tool

The Position tool allows you to manipulate a frame’s graphic content and the frame itself using one tool. You would typically use the Direct Selection tool in order to move a graphic within a graphics frame. You could then manipulate the position of the frame by switching to the Selection tool and moving the frame to its new position. The Position tool now allows you to perform either task without switching between two tools. The Direct Selection tool can still be used to select and modify individual points of frames.

  1. Choose Edit > Deselect All.
  2. Using the Direct Selection tool (selectiontool1.gif), click onto the edge of the triangle-shaped graphics frame on page 4.
  3. Click onto the topmost point of the triangle and drag down to match the shape of the graphic.
  4. Repeat step 2 with the two remaining points of the triangle frame, cropping the graphic to reveal only the origami shape.
  5. Select the Position tool in the toolbox by clicking and holding on the Direct Selection tool.
  6. Click into the graphic on page 4. Notice that your cursor changes into the Hand tool (hand.gif when you put your cursor over the graphic contents of the frame.
  7. Position your cursor just over the edge of the origami art, noticing that your cursor changes to a triangle with a dot (selectdot.gif). This indicates that you will be selecting a frame if clicked. Click on the frame and drag it to the left-hand side of the page so that its center point aligns with the margin of the first column.

    The Position tool can be used to manipulate content or a frame without switching tools.

Drawing a new graphics frame

Until now, you’ve used only frames prepared for you for this lesson. Now it’s time to create a frame on your own, using the Drawing tools in the toolbox.

  1. In the toolbox, hold down the mouse on the Rectangle tool (rectang.gif) until you see other options, and select the Polygon tool (polygontool.gif).
  2. Double-click the Polygon tool to open the Polygon Settings dialog box, and specify the following:
  3. Hold down the Shift key and drag to draw a four-pointed star that is 12p x 12p. Use the H and W values in either the Control or Transform palette as a reference as you draw the star. If you have difficulty getting the values exactly at 12 picas, leave the star selected, type the values in the W and H boxes of the Control or Transform palette, and press Enter or Return.
  4. Press V to switch to the Selection tool (select.gif) and then drag the new star into position in the purple background on page 5, so that it is slightly off center and entirely within the purple background image. Leave the star selected.
  5. Make sure that the Fill box (fillbox.gif) is selected in the toolbox.
  6. Click the Swatches palette tab (or choose Window > Swatches) and select the color named C=0, M=28, Y=100, K=0 to fill the star with a mustard yellow color.
  7. In the toolbox, select the Stroke box (strokbox.gif) and then click the Apply None button (none.jpg) to remove the black stroke color.

Placing and coloring text in a color-filled frame

You can place text in a frame of any closed shape, and the text will flow in to fill the shape from the top. You can even replace a graphic in a frame with text. In this case, however, the frame does not have a graphic as its contents, just a fill. The fill color simply appears as a background for the imported text.

  1. Using the Selection tool (select.gif), select the four-point star and then hold down Alt (Windows) or Option (Mac OS) and drag a short distance to create a duplicate frame.
  2. In the toolbox, select the Fill box (fillbox.gif), and then in the Swatches palette, select 80% black as the fill color for the new frame.
  3. In the Layers palette, click the layer lock icon (layrlock.gif) to unlock the Text layer.
  4. With the 80% gray star selected, drag the dot from the Art layer to the Text layer to move the star to that layer. Leave the star selected.
  5. Choose File > Place, and then browse to the Lesson_03 folder and double-click the 03_f.doc file. The text appears in the star, with the same text formatting that it had in the original .doc file. The out port on the bounding box is empty, indicating that all the text for the pull-quote fits into the 12-pica star shape.
  6. Using the Type tool (type.gif), select the text inside the frame. Center-align the text by selecting Ctrl+Shift+C (Windows) or Cmd+Shift+C (Mac OS).
  7. Make sure the Text Fill box (toolboxt.jpg) is selected in the Swatches palette, then click to select C=0, M=28, Y=100, K=0 so that the text is also mustard-colored.
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