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099 Placing an object where you want it with an object style

From: InDesign Secrets

Video: 099 Placing an object where you want it with an object style

Here's a request that I've heard for years. going to grab another text frame, go back to the I'll click OK, and let's try it out.

099 Placing an object where you want it with an object style

Here's a request that I've heard for years. I want an object style to set the size and position of a frame on my page. Now I'm not sure why Adobe hasn't offered this feature in Indesign yet. But I do know a kind of workaround that sometimes helps. This is a nice design here but let's put a bird on it. I'll choose the Place command, grab an image. And place it in my document. Excellent. Now I'd like to set up an object style that whenever I click on it, it will automatically move that object to the right place on the page.

The trick to doing this is turning this object into an anchored object. So I'm going to grab a text frame, just draw out a little one here, go back and grab my Selection tool. Click on my object, my graphic here, and drag this little blue box, the one in the upper-right corner, I'm going to drag that into my empty text frame. Doesn't have to go into an empty text frame, it can go into any text frame, but it does need to be anchored into a text frame. You'll see that little blue box turn into a ship anchor, and that means it's anchored in a text frame somewhere on my page.

The cool thing about anchoring objects is that you can determine exactly where they should be on the page. To do that, I'm going to choose my Object Styles panel, choose New Object Style, and I'm going to call this my happy. Anchored object. You can call it anything you want really, but I'm going to choose that. Now, I'm going to choose the Anchored Object Options pane. This is a little bit overwhelming, so let me go through it one step at a time. First, we need to determine what part of the object, the graphic frame in this case, that we're talking about.

And I'm going to say I want the upper-right corner of this frame, this bird. To be in a particular place on the page. Then I'm going to say, what part of the page, should it be attached to? So first I need to say, X Relative To Page Edge. And Y Relative To Page Edge. Next I choose what part of the page. And I'm going to say, right corner. In other words, I'm putting the upper-right corner of the object in a position relative to the upper-right corner of the page. And where should it go? Well, I'm going to say, minus 20 pixels, and 20 pixels.

That means, move it in from the edge of the page 20 pixels. And down from the top of the page 20 pixels. Let's see if it worked. Click OK and there it is, the upper-right corner is just where I wanted to put it. Now remember, this image is anchored in this text frame, so if I want to put the same image onto another page, all I have to do is select a text frame. Copy it to the clipboard with a Cmd or Ctrl+C. Jump to the other page. I'll just jump a couple pages in, and then paste. The text frame moved to the middle of the page, but the graphic's in the same place.

In fact, it doesn't matter where, on my page, this text frame is. I can even make it smaller or bigger. The graphic is still going to be in the same place relative to the page, not the text frame. Let's try it on another page. I'll jump to the next page. I'm going to import my bird again. Click Open. I'm going to make this one smaller. I'm going to grab another text frame, go back to the Selection tool, and anchor this bird into that text frame. It hasn't been moved into position yet, because I haven't applied my object style. So all I need to do is click on the object style and, boom, it's in the right place.

Upper-right corner is exactly where I wanted to put it. Now one of the coolest things about object styles is that you can redefine them. And in this case I'm going to redefine where on the page this should be. A right-click or Ctrl+click with a one button mouse. Edit my style. First thing I'm going to do is change my Style Name. I don't know how that got messed up. I'll call this my happy little object style. You can call it anything you want, I suppose. And I'm going to go in here and say that I want the upper-left corner of the object.

To be in the upper-left corner of the page. I can change the offset values if I want to, but in this case, I'll leave them the same. Note that it still says minus 20 pixels, even though it's plus 20 pixels in. That's just a weird thing about InDesign and how it deals with anchored objects. A minus 20 pixel X offset means move it in from the edge of the page. Click OK. And let's see if it worked on the other pages too. I'll move back to the previous spread, yep it moved there, and it moved here. So we have an object style that can determine where on a page an object should be.

What about the size of an object? I want an object style to make a frame that's always 10 picas wide by 20 picas tall. Can I do that? Well, I can, but not to any kind of frame. It'll only work on text frames. Let's jump in, and I'll show you how to do it. In the Objects Styles panel menu, I choose New Object Style. I'm going to call this, my text frame. And I'm going to say, this is going to have a fill of some color. I'll pick kind of a yellow color, and a Stroke of None. You don't have to set Fill in Stroke, but it's just going to help for the demonstration.

Next, I'm going to choose Text Frame Auto Size Options. This is a new feature in InDesign CS6, and it lets me set the minimum size of my frame. I'm going to choose Height and Width. And I'm going to say, enlarge this frame from the upper-left corner. And finally, I need to set my minimum height and width. I believe I said 10 picas by 20 picas. It's converting those to pixels because that's the measurement in this document. I'll click OK, and let's try it out. I'll make a frame, any size I want, over here on the Paste Board, select it with a Selection tool, and then choose my text frame.

There we go. It set the size of my frame exactly the way I specified. However I think I specified it backward so I better go edit that. A right-click on this object style, choose Edit my text frame, chose Text Frame Auto Size Options and yes, the height was supposed to be 20 picas and the width was supposed to be 10 picas. There we go. Perfect. Once again, all I need is a text frame. Select it with a Selection tool, which you can do by pressing the Escape key. And then, click on the object style.

It'll always be exactly that size, unless you start putting text into it. In which case, it may start growing. So okay granted, this is a cluge, I admit it and it may not work in your situation, but still, isn't it kind of cool to know that InDesign can do it?

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This video is part of

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InDesign Secrets

153 video lessons · 71341 viewers

Anne-Marie Concepción and David Blatner
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Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 8m 54s
    1. 153 Import a folder full of pictures, one per page
      8m 54s
  2. 13h 58m
    1. 001 Intro to InDesign Secrets
      51s
    2. 002 The hidden "auto-expand text" feature
      5m 51s
    3. 003 Letting InDesign do the math for you
      3m 15s
    4. 004 The indispensible Quick Apply feature
      5m 29s
    5. 005 Customizing the Links panel
      6m 53s
    6. 006 Magically building graphs with the Chartwell font
      7m 43s
    7. 007 Using the Eyedropper tool to pick up character or paragraph attributes
      3m 21s
    8. 008 Selecting through and into objects using cmd-click and Select Above/Below
      5m 46s
    9. 009 Some great tips and tricks for the Swatches panel
      9m 40s
    10. 010 Saving down for backward compatibility with INX and IDML
      5m 55s
    11. 011 Using the INX and IDML formats to fix problems
      4m 46s
    12. 012 InDesign's Easter eggs
      5m 0s
    13. 013 Three cool GREP styles everyone can use
      7m 35s
    14. 014 A field guide to special characters
      8m 2s
    15. 015 Trashing the application preferences to solve weird behaviors
      4m 42s
    16. 016 Aligning numbered lists by decimal points
      3m 10s
    17. 017 Running a script
      9m 33s
    18. 018 When text disappears from a text frame
      6m 18s
    19. 019 Preview and Presentation modes (changing color, etc.)
      4m 8s
    20. 020 Using multiple windows for comparisons
      3m 35s
    21. 021 Putting images on a stroke
      5m 23s
    22. 022 Making your own motion path
      5m 43s
    23. 023 Copying objects between Illustrator and InDesign
      6m 53s
    24. 024 Using layer comps in Photoshop files to show alternates in InDesign
      4m 19s
    25. 025 Adding custom HTML tags to EPUB/HTML exports
      5m 32s
    26. 026 Tracking down type issues with the composition highlighter
      8m 13s
    27. 027 Managing your InDesign panels
      5m 46s
    28. 028 Creating running heads using variables
      5m 1s
    29. 029 Live Caption tips and tricks
      8m 3s
    30. 030 Making professional drop caps
      10m 37s
    31. 031 Making two-state buttons in interactive documents
      5m 5s
    32. 032 Moving pages from one document to another
      3m 15s
    33. 033 Wrapping bulleted text around a curve
      5m 58s
    34. 034 Importing a custom dictionary
      7m 8s
    35. 035 Changing document orientation and page size
      6m 45s
    36. 036 Numbering instead of using auto page numbers
      6m 23s
    37. 037 Setting story order with the Articles panel
      8m 3s
    38. 038 Updating a linked table without losing formatting
      5m 38s
    39. 039 Creating electronic sticky notes
      4m 49s
    40. 040 Moving master page items to the top layer for visibility
      2m 48s
    41. 041 Five guide tricks that will impress your coworkers
      6m 18s
    42. 042 Letting InDesign add the diacritics
      4m 21s
    43. 043 Using single-cell table cells for custom paragraph formatting
      6m 2s
    44. 044 Formatting fractions correctly
      8m 11s
    45. 045 Fixing unwanted hyperlinks in an imported Word file
      5m 57s
    46. 046 Inline graphic tricks with invisible paragraphs
      4m 21s
    47. 047 Ensuring the first line of every chapter starts in the same spot
      3m 1s
    48. 048 Specifying an exact amount of space between objects
      5m 17s
    49. 049 Fixing last lines that are too short
      8m 16s
    50. 050 Creating web graphics from your InDesign artwork
      7m 20s
    51. 051 Using “No Language” to suppress unwanted hyphenation, spell-checking, and smart quotes
      2m 48s
    52. 052 Five things that should be in every new file
      5m 19s
    53. 053 Forcing EPUB page breaks with invisible objects
      6m 21s
    54. 054 Understanding component information
      6m 39s
    55. 055 Creating running heads using section markers
      4m 16s
    56. 056 Making a font with InDesign using the IndyFont script
      5m 20s
    57. 057 Finding where that color is used
      7m 17s
    58. 058 Text wrapping
      6m 54s
    59. 059 Inserting pages: Understanding the Pages panel
      4m 20s
    60. 060 Copying paths between Illustrator and InDesign
      5m 14s
    61. 061 Automating Find/Change with the Find/ChangeByList script
      12m 48s
    62. 062 Embedding images
      7m 43s
    63. 063 Adjusting leading inside a paragraph
      4m 31s
    64. 064 Placing one InDesign file inside another
      3m 58s
    65. 065 Creating bookmarks for PDFs
      7m 25s
    66. 066 Customizing the story editor preferences
      6m 4s
    67. 067 Setting the size of text exactly with this free script
      3m 28s
    68. 068 Using Gravity to simulate perspective
      3m 15s
    69. 069 Fixing the overflowing text frame problem in EPUBs
      5m 0s
    70. 070 Ten uses of the Story Editor
      11m 39s
    71. 071 Moving an object: Ten ways!
      7m 18s
    72. 072 Understanding optical margin alignment (and the quote trick)
      4m 23s
    73. 073 Changing the shape of any frame with the pen tool
      6m 12s
    74. 074 Working with sets in the content conveyor tool
      10m 40s
    75. 075 Running text along the top and the bottom of a circle
      3m 51s
    76. 076 Creating a list using the Table of Contents feature
      3m 25s
    77. 077 Quickly threading frames together and unthreading frames
      13m 22s
    78. 078 The secrets of formatting objects with Find/Change
      6m 34s
    79. 079 Using ruler guides: 10 great tricks
      5m 3s
    80. 080 Converting a clipping path to a frame
      4m 24s
    81. 081 Adding a drop shadow to a single word inside a frame
      3m 14s
    82. 082 Creating a custom cross-reference format
      13m 53s
    83. 083 Putting different-sized pages on a single spread
      3m 7s
    84. 084 Formatting prices with nested and grep styles
      6m 21s
    85. 085 Checking out the Gridify tricks
      5m 17s
    86. 086 Using Illustrator to create InDesign gradient swatches
      4m 49s
    87. 087 Building a simple grep style to change character size
      3m 45s
    88. 088 Exporting a grayscale PDF
      3m 16s
    89. 089 Three ways to cheat text outside of its frame
      6m 8s
    90. 090 Three great Object Styles for any designer
      8m 1s
    91. 091 Choosing alpha channel image transparency
      2m 25s
    92. 092 Adding and reading metadata for InDesign files
      3m 25s
    93. 093 Adding ALT tags to your images
      6m 59s
    94. 094 How to Place & Link a text frame's text but not its formatting
      7m 4s
    95. 095 Setting the baseline position of a caption
      2m 39s
    96. 096 Managing changing pages with primary text frames
      5m 23s
    97. 097 Secrets of the Info panel
      7m 31s
    98. 098 Surprising ways to do a word count
      5m 29s
    99. 099 Placing an object where you want it with an object style
      6m 18s
    100. 100 Aligning Objects tips and tricks
      5m 10s
    101. 101 Applying corner options to any shape
      2m 17s
    102. 102 Converting footnotes to endnotes with a free script
      4m 49s
    103. 103 Making tab leaders pretty
      4m 18s
    104. 104 Converting text to outlines the right way
      4m 30s
    105. 105 Turning InDesign into a speed demon
      8m 31s
    106. 106 Working with MiniBridge
      5m 45s
    107. 107 Customize your QR codes
      6m 17s
    108. 108 Using the same keyboard shortcut for two different commands with the Context feature
      5m 22s
    109. 109 Making a text highlighter
      3m 33s
    110. 110 Updating an interactive PDF without losing work done in Acrobat
      5m 31s
    111. 111 Adding custom text at the beginning of each line automatically
      4m 0s
    112. 112 Packaging images on the pasteboard
      3m 32s
    113. 113 Automatically updating figure references for books
      6m 9s
    114. 114 Adding Tool Tips to your form fields in InDesign
      3m 21s
    115. 115 Setting poetry, flush left, center on longest line
      3m 54s
    116. 116 Use bookmarks to navigate long documents in production
      4m 57s
    117. 117 Selecting text with the InDesign keyboard dance
      2m 0s
    118. 118 Including a total page count in your page numbers
      6m 19s
    119. 119 Making a custom arrowhead
      5m 37s
    120. 120 Making alternative body text styles for fast typesetting
      5m 4s
    121. 121 Making InDesign patterns with the free PatternMaker
      3m 45s
    122. 122 Creating pull quotes the easy way
      5m 1s
    123. 123 Allow text frame to resize with text
      2m 43s
    124. 124 Mapping Word styles to InDesign styles
      5m 48s
    125. 125 Make two automatically threaded text flows
      3m 37s
    126. 126 Saving for Web in InDesign
      6m 7s
    127. 127 Numbering rows in a table
      5m 10s
    128. 128 Making automatic jump lines
      6m 52s
    129. 129 Turning off allow pages to shuffle in order to separate facing pages
      3m 40s
    130. 130 Dealing with parentheses around text size
      4m 19s
    131. 131 Make a fill in the blank label for contracts and forms
      7m 53s
    132. 132 Changing the shape of polygons and starburst as you draw or afterward
      4m 17s
    133. 133 Contextual text and images that you only want sometimes visible
      4m 55s
    134. 134 Creating nav points in a movie
      4m 31s
    135. 135 Adding effects to your rule above and rule below
      3m 38s
    136. 136 Fitting text to a specific size
      4m 45s
    137. 137 Quick tips for making a small PDF file size
      6m 9s
    138. 138 Sharing presets, workspaces, and custom shortcuts sets
      5m 17s
    139. 139 Making a multi-level numbered list
      5m 17s
    140. 140 Faking bold and italic when the font family doesn’t have one
      5m 2s
    141. 141 Keeping the same scale size when updating or relinking to images
      3m 9s
    142. 142 Inserting glyphs
      6m 42s
    143. 143 Building richer, bolder color gradients
      3m 7s
    144. 144 Finding the right font with InDesign’s font menus
      4m 35s
    145. 145 Lay out a front, back and spine for a book jacket
      6m 12s
    146. 146 Ghosting area of image behind text
      2m 53s
    147. 147 Make a transparency mask in InDesign
      3m 45s
    148. 148 Using preflight to find common document errors
      6m 11s
    149. 149 Cropping with paste into
      5m 18s
    150. 150 Using vertical justification to spread out text in a frame automatically
      5m 16s
    151. 151 Rotate text inside a frame, or the frame around the text
      2m 30s
    152. 152 Looking at snippets vs. libraries
      6m 49s

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