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How to Work with Frames in InDesign CS

Chapter Description

In this self-paced lesson, you'll work on a two-page article for a magazine about origami paper folding. In the process, you'll learn how to use Adobe InDesign CS to resize and reshape text and graphic frames, crop graphics, scale an image contained in a graphics frame, wrap text around an object, and more.

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 on your part. 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 4 so that the lower edge snaps into position with the guide at 22 picas on the vertical rules.
  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. Select the Selection tool (select.gif) and click to select the crane graphic on page 5. Hold down Shift, and click the corner handle, dragging to enlarge it slightly. Then let go of the shift key, click and drag the graphic as needed so that it is approximately centered over the far right column of the page.

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 Shift 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 ID_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 > Fit Content to Frame. 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 browse as needed to find the 03_e.jpg file in your ID_03 folder. 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.

Drawing a New Graphics Frame

Until now, you’ve used only frames prepared for you for this lesson. Now it’s time for you 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 until you see other options, and select the Polygon tool (polygon.gif).
  2. Double-click the Polygon tool to open the Polygon Settings dialog box, and specify the following:
    • For Number of Sides, type 4.
    • If necessary, type 20% for Star Inset and then click OK.
  3. Hold down Shift and drag to draw a four-pointed star that it is 12p x 12p, using the H and W values in either the Control or Transform palette as a reference as you drag 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 Transform palette, and press Enter or Return.
  4. Press V to switch to the Selection tool 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.gif) 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 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 Text 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 03_ID 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. Select the frame containing the imported text.
  7. Make sure the Text Fill box (textfill.gif) 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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