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How to Work with Frames in InDesign CS

  • Sample Chapter is provided courtesy of Adobe Press.
  • Date: Oct 20, 2006.

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.

Orienting Objects in Space

You’ve already seen how you can move, reshape, and resize elements on your document layout. In this section, you’ll use various features that adjust the orientation of objects on the page and in relationship to each other. To begin, you’ll adjust the inset between text and the frame that contains it. Then you’ll work with rotation techniques and alignment of selected objects.

Adjusting Text Inset within a Frame

Your next task is to finish up the pull quote items by fitting the text nicely into the star frame. By adjusting the inset between the frame and the text, you make it easier to read.

  1. Click to select the Selection tool (select.gif) in the toolbox, and then select the star with the pull-quote text.
  2. Choose Object > Text Frame Options to open the Text Frame Options dialog box. If necessary, drag the dialog box aside so that you can still see the star as you set options.
  3. In the dialog box, make sure that the Preview option is selected. Then, under Inset Spacing, change the Inset value to shrink the text area until it fits nicely in the frame. (The sample uses 0p4.) Then click OK to close the dialog box.

Rotating an Object

There are several options within InDesign for rotating objects. In this topic, you’ll use the Transform palette.

  1. Using the Selection tool (select.gif), select the four-pointed yellow star.
  2. In the Transform palette, make sure that the center point is selected on the proxy icon (proxyctr.gif) so that the object rotates around its center, and then select 45° from the rotation angle pop-up menu.

Aligning Multiple Objects

Now that the two four-pointed stars are set at a 45° angle from each other, you can position one on top of the other so that all eight points radiate from the same center-point position. Precise alignment is easiest when you use the Align palette.

  1. Using the Selection tool (select.gif), select the yellow star and then hold down Shift and click the gray star so that both four-pointed stars are selected.
  2. Choose Window > Align to open the Align palette.
  3. In the Align palette, select the Align Horizontal Centers button (alignvertcenter.gif). The two stars are now lined up exactly side by side.
  4. Again, in the Align palette, click the Align Vertical Centers button (vertalignctr.gif). The two stars are now centered on the same location in the layout.
  5. Click a blank area to deselect all, and then save your file.

Rotating an image within its frame

You can rotate both the frame and contents in one action by selecting the object with the Selection tool and then dragging one of the handles with the Rotation tool (rotate.gif). However, sometimes you just want to set the image at a jaunty angle. That process is just a slight variation on the procedure.

When you rotated the yellow star, you used the Transform palette to set a precise rotation angle. In this procedure, you’ll use the rotation tool to rotate the graphic freely.

  1. If necessary, press V to switch to the Selection tool, and then position the pointer over the origami box image in the star on page 5 and then click.
  2. In the Transform palette, make sure that the center proxy icon (proxyctr.gif) is selected.
  3. Press R to select the Rotation tool (rotate.gif).
  4. Move the pointer over the corner handle, so that it appears as crosshairs (croshair.gif).
  5. Move the pointer over one of the corner handles and hold down the mouse button and then drag handles counterclockwise to rotate both the image and the frame, stopping when you like the look of the results. The sample uses a rotation of 25°.

Finishing Up

  1. Choose Edit > Deselect All.
  2. Choose View > Fit Spread in Window.
  3. In the toolbox, click the Preview Mode button to hide all guides and frames.
  4. Press the Tab key to close all palettes.
  5. Save your file one more time, and then choose File > Close to keep InDesign open or File > Exit to end your InDesign session.

    Congratulations. You have finished the lesson. Now it’s time to admire your work.

6. On Your Own | Next Section Previous Section

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