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Another little handy production helper is the ability to do smart math in calculation fields, in dialog boxes, and panels in InDesign. Now as an intrepid InDesign user, I am sure that you already know that you can do basic math. For example, when I select this image here, I see in the Control panel that it is 18 picas, six points from the left edge of the page. And if I want to move it over so that it is to 2 picas more from the left edge of the page, I don't need to add 2 to 18 and retype this; I can just type +2 and it jumps over.
So you just need to type plus or minus. Or if you want to use multiplication, that is the asterisk, or division is the slash. So if I want to, or move it more to the right twice as much so I can just type an asterisk and 2, so now it's 41 picas. You don't need to add the p or anything like that if you're staying in the same units. If I wanted to move it over--let me undo-- 1 inch, I could just type +1 inch or in, and it would move over 1 inch, and recalculate it out to picas.
If I wanted to move this box over, say three eighths of an inch, I can say +3/8, and I will put my little inch mark in, and it recalculates it. We are essentially doing two math fields at once. We are doing addition and division. That's the slash. Let me switch the ruler, and you know that you can just right-click on the intersection here and change both rulers at the same time, so I will change to inches. Let's change the width of this frame half the size.
So we come to the Width field and type times--that's the asterisk--1/2. You can do this, by the way, before or after the field, like I could type here one half, times, 1 inch and it goes 50% less, and this works in any field that takes any kind of math calculation. So there you go, a little bit smarter math in InDesign CS6.
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