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071 Moving an object: Ten ways!

From: InDesign Secrets

Video: 071 Moving an object: Ten ways!

One reason that I'm so efficient in InDesign is that I know how to do the same thing several different ways. That sounds boring, but it turns out to be really helpful because I can pick the most efficient way to do something in any situation I find myself in. Take moving an object, everyone knows you can select an object and just drag it around your page. But did you know there are at least nine more ways of moving an object precisely on your page? Let me show you. First, if you want really precise movement, you can use the arrow keys on your keyboard.

071 Moving an object: Ten ways!

One reason that I'm so efficient in InDesign is that I know how to do the same thing several different ways. That sounds boring, but it turns out to be really helpful because I can pick the most efficient way to do something in any situation I find myself in. Take moving an object, everyone knows you can select an object and just drag it around your page. But did you know there are at least nine more ways of moving an object precisely on your page? Let me show you. First, if you want really precise movement, you can use the arrow keys on your keyboard.

Every time you hit the Arrow key, it's going to move 1 point. I'm pressing the Up Arrow on my keyboard and it moves it up 1 point at a time, left, right, down, and so on. If you need to move it in larger increments, try holding down the Shift key, Shift+Arrow key moves 10 times that increment or 10 points. If you need really tiny fine increments, then use Command+Option or Ctrl+Alt on Windows. Now, it's moving in 10-point increments. It's so small, you can barely see it on the screen, but you can see the measurements move in the Control Panel.

Now, why do the arrow keys move in 1-point increments? Because that's the way the Preferences are set up. You can change that. Press Command+K or Ctrl+K on Windows, choose the Units & Increments pane, and change the Cursor Key setting. If you want it to be quarter-point, change it to quarter-point, if you want 10 millimeters, change it there. It's up to you. I'm going to leave it set to 1 point though. I like that. Okay, method number three to move an object is to double-click the Selection Tool. When you double-click, you get the Move dialog box, and you can type in exactly where you want things moved.

I want to move this over, let's say, 4 millimeters, and I want to move it down 10 centimeters. Hit OK, and boom, it does it, very precise. Another precise way to move objects is to use the Control Panel. Just change the X and Y fields at the top here. You can change this to any value you want. I'll change it to 400 points, or you can even do math if you want. Down here in the Y field, I'll just type +3 inches, hit Enter, and it moves it down and over. What if I wanted to center that circle in the page? Easy, cut it to the clipboard with Command+X or Ctrl+X on Windows.

From the View Menu, choose Fit Page in Window, or press Command+0 or Ctrl+0, and then paste, Command+V or Ctrl+V. Because pasting always pastes in the center of the window and because the Fit Page in Window always centers the page in the window, that centers the object on the page. Method number six: use the alignment features. There are normally alignment buttons up here in the Control Panel, but because of the size of my screen right now, I don't see them. So, I'm going to have to go to the Window menu, choose Object & Layout, and then choose Align.

And inside the Align Panel, I can align this object to anything on my page. I need to use the Align To pop-up menu here to tell it what to align to. If I had more than one object selected, I could choose Align to Selection, or I could choose Align to Margins, Page, or Spread. Let's say I want to align this to the left edge of my page. Just choose that and click Align Objects, and it moves it exactly to that location. In InDesign CS6, you can also align to any key object. For example, I'll Shift-click on this group of objects over here, so now both of those things are selected, and I want to align the top of the circle to the top of this group.

To do that, I change this to Align to Key Object, and then I click on the thing that I want to be the key object, in this case, this group. You'll see that it's highlighted in blue. Now, when I click on the Align to Top button, the circle aligns to the top of the key object. Okay, let's look at the seventh way you can move an object on your page. I'm going to use the Gap Tool. I love the Gap Tool because it allows me to resize or move an object based on the space around the object rather than the object itself. As I move the cursor between the circle and the edge of the page, you'll see that space highlights, and I see this arrow.

That indicates that I'm changing the amount of space between the circle and the edge of the page. If I simply click and drag here, I'm going to resize the circle. Oops, I don't want to do that, and in fact, I move my page. Let's re-center that again. There we go! Instead, why don't I undo that, Command+Z or Ctrl+Z on Windows. Instead, I'm going to hold down the Option or Alt key when I drag. That's a secret trick for move the object instead of resize the object, Option or Alt-drag, it moves that object by changing the amount of space between the object and the side of the page.

Moving an object, number eight, you can use the Transform Panel, Window > Object & Layout > Transform. If I select the object with the Selection Tool, you'll see the X and Y positioning of that object here in the Transform Panel. But honestly, this X and Y is the same as the X and Y in the Control Panel. So, I'm not sure why you would use the Transform Panel. I suppose if it happened to be right in front of your face, you might use it. So there you go, now you know. Moving object number 9 is to transform it using Rotation or Skew.

In this case, I'm going to rotate this object so that it shows up on the other side of the page. First, I go to the reference point on the left edge of the Control Panel here, and I make sure the reference point is on the right side middle point. That's the point that's going to be locked when I rotate my object. Now, I can go over here and click on the rotate 90 degrees counter-clockwise. You could choose either one if you want, or in this case you could say Flip Horizontal if you want. Flip Horizontal, and it's going to flip it around the reference point. There you go.

It flipped it over and kept what was the center right side, exactly where it was, and now it's the center, left side. The tenth way to move an object is kind of stretching the rules a little bit. It's using a script. Now, I don't know how to write the script myself, but I do know how to run scripts. You go to the Window menu, you choose Utilities and then choose Scripts. Inside the Scripts Panel, you'll find some folders, for example, the Application folder here. Inside the Application folder, scroll down to the Samples folder, open that, and you'll find the JavaScript folder, and inside that JavaScript folder, there is a script called AdjustLayout.

The problem is that the AdjustLayout script that ships with InDesign is actually broken in InDesign CS6. So I have a modified version that I use. And the modified version, you can find it InDesignSecrets.com. You can just go to the site and look for this blog post that I wrote and then download it from there, install the script, there are instructions on how to do that, and then run it. After you install the script and come back to your document, you'll see your script, this one is called AdjustLayout_modified, just double-click on it, and it will run. In this case, it doesn't just move the one object that's selected.

It moves all the objects on the page, and so I'm going to say just move page 1 to page 1, which is an odd page, so I'm going to say move it over 3 centimeters and move it vertically about a quarter inch. You click OK, and it moves everything over. So, it's kind of cheating. I'm not moving just one object, but you get the point. You can move an object with a script. Okay, sure, some of these are rare cases. But remember, the more you know about InDesign, the more fun it is, and the more efficient you become.

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This video is part of

Image for InDesign Secrets
InDesign Secrets

175 video lessons · 80371 viewers

Anne-Marie Concepción and David Blatner
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 2m 34s
    1. 175 How to sort text in InDesign NEW
      2m 34s
  2. 51s
    1. 001 Welcome to InDesign Secrets
      51s
  3. 7m 7s
    1. 173 Making a character style change only the tint of your text
      2m 27s
    2. 174 Editing table set up from the keyboard
      4m 40s
  4. 12m 59s
    1. 170 All about All Caps (change case, open type option)
      4m 36s
    2. 171 Batch convert InDesign files to IDML and other formats
      2m 35s
    3. 172 Fun with placeholder text
      5m 48s
  5. 11m 52s
    1. 167 Creating blank entry spaces on forms
      3m 53s
    2. 168 Creative uses of the Slug area
      4m 45s
    3. 169 Change the UI languaging in InDesign CS6 and CC
      3m 14s
  6. 21m 11s
    1. 162 Keeping page numbers on top of master items
      3m 55s
    2. 163 Adding automatic currency symbols in a table cell or before text
      3m 50s
    3. 164 Make a pop-up footnote for your ebook
      3m 48s
    4. 165 Deleting tabs at the beginning of paragraphs and applying a paragraph style
      3m 10s
    5. 166 Five InDesign Presentation tips
      6m 28s
  7. 19m 54s
    1. 158 Sharing swatches (PS/IL/ID and ID to ID)
      3m 36s
    2. 159 Convert rounded corners to editable paths
      3m 15s
    3. 160 Convert local formatting to character styles
      5m 14s
    4. 161 Sort an index by page number
      7m 49s
  8. 16m 58s
    1. 154 When InDesign ignores your leading values
      4m 5s
    2. 155 Extracting images from a Word document
      3m 42s
    3. 156 Uncommon uses for Quick Apply
      6m 2s
    4. 157 Uncovering InDesign's magic font folders
      3m 9s
  9. 28m 47s
    1. 149 Cropping with paste into
      5m 18s
    2. 150 Using vertical justification to spread out text in a frame automatically
      5m 16s
    3. 151 Rotate text inside a frame, or the frame around the text
      2m 30s
    4. 152 Looking at snippets vs. libraries
      6m 49s
    5. 153 Import a folder full of pictures, one per page
      8m 54s
  10. 19m 1s
    1. 145 Lay out a front, back and spine for a book jacket
      6m 12s
    2. 146 Ghosting area of image behind text
      2m 53s
    3. 147 Make a transparency mask in InDesign
      3m 45s
    4. 148 Using preflight to find common document errors
      6m 11s
  11. 22m 35s
    1. 140 Faking bold and italic when the font family doesn’t have one
      5m 2s
    2. 141 Keeping the same scale size when updating or relinking to images
      3m 9s
    3. 142 Inserting glyphs
      6m 42s
    4. 143 Building richer, bolder color gradients
      3m 7s
    5. 144 Finding the right font with InDesign’s font menus
      4m 35s
  12. 21m 28s
    1. 136 Fitting text to a specific size
      4m 45s
    2. 137 Quick tips for making a small PDF file size
      6m 9s
    3. 138 Sharing presets, workspaces, and custom shortcuts sets
      5m 17s
    4. 139 Making a multi-level numbered list
      5m 17s
  13. 17m 21s
    1. 132 Changing the shape of polygons and starburst as you draw or afterward
      4m 17s
    2. 133 Contextual text and images that you only want sometimes visible
      4m 55s
    3. 134 Creating nav points in a movie
      4m 31s
    4. 135 Adding effects to your rule above and rule below
      3m 38s
  14. 22m 44s
    1. 128 Making automatic jump lines
      6m 52s
    2. 129 Turning off allow pages to shuffle in order to separate facing pages
      3m 40s
    3. 130 Dealing with parentheses around text size
      4m 19s
    4. 131 Make a fill in the blank label for contracts and forms
      7m 53s
  15. 23m 25s
    1. 123 Allow text frame to resize with text
      2m 43s
    2. 124 Mapping Word styles to InDesign styles
      5m 48s
    3. 125 Make two automatically threaded text flows
      3m 37s
    4. 126 Saving for Web in InDesign
      6m 7s
    5. 127 Numbering rows in a table
      5m 10s
  16. 13m 50s
    1. 120 Making alternative body text styles for fast typesetting
      5m 4s
    2. 121 Making InDesign patterns with the free PatternMaker
      3m 45s
    3. 122 Creating pull quotes the easy way
      5m 1s
  17. 13m 56s
    1. 117 Selecting text with the InDesign keyboard dance
      2m 0s
    2. 118 Including a total page count in your page numbers
      6m 19s
    3. 119 Making a custom arrowhead
      5m 37s
  18. 21m 53s
    1. 112 Packaging images on the pasteboard
      3m 32s
    2. 113 Automatically updating figure references for books
      6m 9s
    3. 114 Adding Tool Tips to your form fields in InDesign
      3m 21s
    4. 115 Setting poetry, flush left, center on longest line
      3m 54s
    5. 116 Use bookmarks to navigate long documents in production
      4m 57s
  19. 18m 26s
    1. 108 Using the same keyboard shortcut for two different commands with the Context feature
      5m 22s
    2. 109 Making a text highlighter
      3m 33s
    3. 110 Updating an interactive PDF without losing work done in Acrobat
      5m 31s
    4. 111 Adding custom text at the beginning of each line automatically
      4m 0s
  20. 25m 3s
    1. 104 Converting text to outlines the right way
      4m 30s
    2. 105 Turning InDesign into a speed demon
      8m 31s
    3. 106 Working with MiniBridge
      5m 45s
    4. 107 Customize your QR codes
      6m 17s
  21. 16m 34s
    1. 100 Aligning Objects tips and tricks
      5m 10s
    2. 101 Applying corner options to any shape
      2m 17s
    3. 102 Converting footnotes to endnotes with a free script
      4m 49s
    4. 103 Making tab leaders pretty
      4m 18s
  22. 24m 41s
    1. 096 Managing changing pages with primary text frames
      5m 23s
    2. 097 Secrets of the Info panel
      7m 31s
    3. 098 Surprising ways to do a word count
      5m 29s
    4. 099 Placing an object where you want it with an object style
      6m 18s
  23. 30m 33s
    1. 090 Three great Object Styles for any designer
      8m 1s
    2. 091 Choosing alpha channel image transparency
      2m 25s
    3. 092 Adding and reading metadata for InDesign files
      3m 25s
    4. 093 Adding ALT tags to your images
      6m 59s
    5. 094 How to Place & Link a text frame's text but not its formatting
      7m 4s
    6. 095 Setting the baseline position of a caption
      2m 39s
  24. 17m 58s
    1. 086 Using Illustrator to create InDesign gradient swatches
      4m 49s
    2. 087 Building a simple grep style to change character size
      3m 45s
    3. 088 Exporting a grayscale PDF
      3m 16s
    4. 089 Three ways to cheat text outside of its frame
      6m 8s
  25. 28m 38s
    1. 082 Creating a custom cross-reference format
      13m 53s
    2. 083 Putting different-sized pages on a single spread
      3m 7s
    3. 084 Formatting prices with nested and grep styles
      6m 21s
    4. 085 Checking out the Gridify tricks
      5m 17s
  26. 19m 15s
    1. 078 The secrets of formatting objects with Find/Change
      6m 34s
    2. 079 Using ruler guides: 10 great tricks
      5m 3s
    3. 080 Converting a clipping path to a frame
      4m 24s
    4. 081 Adding a drop shadow to a single word inside a frame
      3m 14s
  27. 31m 18s
    1. 074 Working with sets in the content conveyor tool
      10m 40s
    2. 075 Running text along the top and the bottom of a circle
      3m 51s
    3. 076 Creating a list using the Table of Contents feature
      3m 25s
    4. 077 Quickly threading frames together and unthreading frames
      13m 22s
  28. 29m 32s
    1. 070 Ten uses of the Story Editor
      11m 39s
    2. 071 Moving an object: Ten ways!
      7m 18s
    3. 072 Understanding optical margin alignment (and the quote trick)
      4m 23s
    4. 073 Changing the shape of any frame with the pen tool
      6m 12s
  29. 17m 47s
    1. 066 Customizing the story editor preferences
      6m 4s
    2. 067 Setting the size of text exactly with this free script
      3m 28s
    3. 068 Using Gravity to simulate perspective
      3m 15s
    4. 069 Fixing the overflowing text frame problem in EPUBs
      5m 0s
  30. 23m 37s
    1. 062 Embedding images
      7m 43s
    2. 063 Adjusting leading inside a paragraph
      4m 31s
    3. 064 Placing one InDesign file inside another
      3m 58s
    4. 065 Creating bookmarks for PDFs
      7m 25s
  31. 29m 16s
    1. 058 Text wrapping
      6m 54s
    2. 059 Inserting pages: Understanding the Pages panel
      4m 20s
    3. 060 Copying paths between Illustrator and InDesign
      5m 14s
    4. 061 Automating Find/Change with the Find/ChangeByList script
      12m 48s
  32. 35m 12s
    1. 052 Five things that should be in every new file
      5m 19s
    2. 053 Forcing EPUB page breaks with invisible objects
      6m 21s
    3. 054 Understanding component information
      6m 39s
    4. 055 Creating running heads using section markers
      4m 16s
    5. 056 Making a font with InDesign using the IndyFont script
      5m 20s
    6. 057 Finding where that color is used
      7m 17s
  33. 23m 41s
    1. 048 Specifying an exact amount of space between objects
      5m 17s
    2. 049 Fixing last lines that are too short
      8m 16s
    3. 050 Creating web graphics from your InDesign artwork
      7m 20s
    4. 051 Using “No Language” to suppress unwanted hyphenation, spell-checking, and smart quotes
      2m 48s
  34. 21m 30s
    1. 044 Formatting fractions correctly
      8m 11s
    2. 045 Fixing unwanted hyperlinks in an imported Word file
      5m 57s
    3. 046 Inline graphic tricks with invisible paragraphs
      4m 21s
    4. 047 Ensuring the first line of every chapter starts in the same spot
      3m 1s
  35. 29m 56s
    1. 038 Updating a linked table without losing formatting
      5m 38s
    2. 039 Creating electronic sticky notes
      4m 49s
    3. 040 Moving master page items to the top layer for visibility
      2m 48s
    4. 041 Five guide tricks that will impress your coworkers
      6m 18s
    5. 042 Letting InDesign add the diacritics
      4m 21s
    6. 043 Using single-cell table cells for custom paragraph formatting
      6m 2s
  36. 28m 19s
    1. 034 Importing a custom dictionary
      7m 8s
    2. 035 Changing document orientation and page size
      6m 45s
    3. 036 Numbering instead of using auto page numbers
      6m 23s
    4. 037 Setting story order with the Articles panel
      8m 3s
  37. 37m 59s
    1. 028 Creating running heads using variables
      5m 1s
    2. 029 Live Caption tips and tricks
      8m 3s
    3. 030 Making professional drop caps
      10m 37s
    4. 031 Making two-state buttons in interactive documents
      5m 5s
    5. 032 Moving pages from one document to another
      3m 15s
    6. 033 Wrapping bulleted text around a curve
      5m 58s
  38. 23m 50s
    1. 024 Using layer comps in Photoshop files to show alternates in InDesign
      4m 19s
    2. 025 Adding custom HTML tags to EPUB/HTML exports
      5m 32s
    3. 026 Tracking down type issues with the composition highlighter
      8m 13s
    4. 027 Managing your InDesign panels
      5m 46s
  39. 21m 34s
    1. 020 Using multiple windows for comparisons
      3m 35s
    2. 021 Putting images on a stroke
      5m 23s
    3. 022 Making your own motion path
      5m 43s
    4. 023 Copying objects between Illustrator and InDesign
      6m 53s
  40. 23m 9s
    1. 016 Aligning numbered lists by decimal points
      3m 10s
    2. 017 Running a script
      9m 33s
    3. 018 When text disappears from a text frame
      6m 18s
    4. 019 Preview and Presentation modes (changing color, etc.)
      4m 8s
  41. 25m 19s
    1. 012 InDesign's Easter eggs
      5m 0s
    2. 013 Three cool GREP styles everyone can use
      7m 35s
    3. 014 A field guide to special characters
      8m 2s
    4. 015 Trashing the application preferences to solve weird behaviors
      4m 42s
  42. 26m 7s
    1. 008 Selecting through and into objects using cmd-click and Select Above/Below
      5m 46s
    2. 009 Some great tips and tricks for the Swatches panel
      9m 40s
    3. 010 Saving down for backward compatibility with INX and IDML
      5m 55s
    4. 011 Using the INX and IDML formats to fix problems
      4m 46s
  43. 23m 26s
    1. 004 The indispensible Quick Apply feature
      5m 29s
    2. 005 Customizing the Links panel
      6m 53s
    3. 006 Magically building graphs with the Chartwell font
      7m 43s
    4. 007 Using the Eyedropper tool to pick up character or paragraph attributes
      3m 21s
  44. 9m 6s
    1. 002 The hidden "auto-expand text" feature
      5m 51s
    2. 003 Letting InDesign do the math for you
      3m 15s

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