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When you want to have finer control over what InDesign does to the objects on your pages, when you change page sizes or create an alternate layout that has a different page size, then you want to look at a layout rule called Guide-based or Object-based, and in this video we're going to use Guide-based. So let's see how you do that. First to get into the liquid layout mode, you need to switch to the Page tool. And just let me quickly review that by default, all pages are controlled by their master.
Yes we know that, but also the liquid Page rule is controlled by master. So if you're wondering what page rule is currently in effect for here, you probably need to go your Pages panel, get the master active, and see, oh, it's nothing. Nothing is happening. So if we go back to the document page and I resize the page, by dragging on any of these handles, you can see nothing is happening. Now let's see what happens when you choose Guide-based. Switch to Guide-based and then I drag the corner and nothing happens, right, because you actually have to have a guide. All right! I just want to make it we're clear on that, that just because you switched to Guide-based doesn't mean that you've done anything.
You need to add what's called a liquid guide and when you are working in Page mode, as we are now, when you drag a guide out from the vertical or horizontal ruler and drop it on the page, it looks different, because it is now a liquid guide. They are dashed this way, and even if we got out of Page mode and we went to normal Editing mode, this is still a liquid Guide. Now the snap-to still works. If I drag something over, it will still snap to it, but it's a liquid guide.
Now if I hover my cursor over the guide, you'll see little icon appear at the top, indicating that it is a liquid guide. And I could click it to turn it into a normal guide. That's what that icon means. This is a ruler guide. Click to make a liquid guide. So I click again and now it's a liquid guide. Only liquid guides affect liquid page rules, not regular guides. So you can still keep all your normal ruler guides on your page. When you switch to Page mode, by pressing Shift+P or selecting the Page tool, only the liquid guides will actually affect pages. So, let's just see, what does it do? Well, any page object that touches a liquid guide will be affected.
In this case, I have dragged a vertical rule and it's touching this picture at the top. Now when I resize the page, all the objects move as I drag the page around, but the object that the guide touches is also resizing. Now, it's not scaling. Notice that just the frame is resizing, and it's only resizing one way. The frame is getting wider and narrower. If I drag the page up, nothing happens. So a vertical liquid guide makes the objects that touch it able to be resized horizontally. And I think that that's probably one the most backward things I've ever encountered, but this makes a lot of sense apparently, to some people who are accustomed to working with something called 9-slice scaling in Illustrator and Flash, I believe.
In my mind, the only way that I've been able to keep it straight is either A, it works backwards, right, or B, imagine that this guide is cutting through this object. And so where it cuts the lines on either side of the cut, they fall down the well or they come back out of the well. That's how I think of it. Watch. They go down, they come out. They go down, they come out. Now, the contents of the frames are completely unaffected by the liquid guide; it's just the frames themselves. If I want the image to scale in response to my manipulations with the Page tool, then I need to turn on Auto-Fit for that image.
So I'll switch to the Selection tool, select the image, and I can turn on Auto-Fit here in the Control panel. It makes the content resize as the frame resizes. This was something that was introduced a couple of versions ago. Also, if I open up the liquid layout panel, which is available under the Window menu--go to Interactive and choose Liquid Layout--you'll see that there is an Auto-Fit checkbox there as well, because this is something that you do quite a bit as you are experimenting and seeing what would be the best settings for your document with liquid layout rules. You might want to turn Auto-Fit on and off.
So now I have Auto-Fit turned on, and I am going to add a horizontal rule so that this item scales both horizontally and vertically. And by the way, you are probably thinking, Oh, what is that big blue thing around it? Does that mean that Auto-Fit is turned on? No, it just means that it was selected. All right! So if I click here and deselect and go back to the Page tool, then we don't see that big blue outline. I thought that was interesting. All right! So now we have Auto-Fit turned on, and we have two guides affecting that object, and now we drag, and there it goes.
And it is scaling as we change the dimensions of the page because the frame itself is resizing. Well, I still don't like that empty area, so I'm going to come back here and then right-click on this guy with my normal selection tool, go to Fitting > Frame Fitting options, and now I am going to make sure that Fill Frame Proportionally is turned. I like that one better. Fit Content Proportionally is the default now, so if you want it to automatically fill as you are resizing, you need to turn on Fill Frame.
Okay, let's try it one more time. There we go. Now it's doing what I expect it to do. Now it makes no difference where you put the guide. It does not make a difference if I put this guide in the middle of the object, on the side of the object, touching a little corner of the object. If it touches the object at all, it's going to be affected in that dimension. If I want this text frame to be resized horizontally but not vertically, this would be the wrong guide, right. I just wanted to make sure that you're paying attention, because if we want it to be resized horizontally--let me select this and delete it--we need to add a vertical guide, which cuts the frame in half and allows it to resize left and right, just like how we start out here.
Now notice I am not in Page mode and yet I'm adding a liquid guide. How am I doing that? Well, I am going to click right up here and turn it into a liquid guide. So you don't have to only go into Page mode to add liquid guides; you can add them whenever you want. Let's go back to Page mode and I'll drag a handle. And now you can see that the text frame is resizing horizontally but not vertically. I can drag it down. I can make the page much shorter, but the frame stays the same height. But if I change the page's width, the frame resizes.
So you are not going to all this trouble with placing guides and turning on Auto-Fit and all that just for fun, just to see the cool little show, when you start dragging the page boundaries. Remember, you're doing this because you're setting up a document to be able to be easily repurposed into alternate layouts or different size for different purposes, to turn into a tablet publication, to create both a horizontal and vertical version of a magazine, for example. InDesign Magazine, if you subscribe to it, always comes as a PDF as both portrait and landscape, so that you can read it onscreen in landscape, but if you want to make a printout, the portrait one is easier.
The Guide-based liquid page rule definitely takes more work, and I think maybe it's best for certain kinds of projects. Like, for example, if you have a layout that just about everything that happens, happens because of what's on the master-- now here that's not true; the master is empty. But if you have, say, a master with a logo at the top and some text down here on the side, and so on, you might want to just change the master to liquid page rule Guide-based and then drag your liquid guides there.
Now remember, all your individual document pages are by default based on the master, so that might be the fastest way, depending on your document, to have InDesign automatically manipulate the objects as you create alternate layouts or resize pages.
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