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Video: 3. AutoFit

I want to show you an extraordinary plug-in which is so amazing, I can't believe that it's free. It does two basic things. It lets you auto-expand text frames and it lets you set up relationships between different objects on your page. I will show you what I mean. I'm going to select this text frame and zoom in to 200% so we can see it a little bit better. Then I'm going to go to the Window menu and choose from the Typefi submenu, AutoFit. The AutoFit panel lets me do various things but the main thing I'm going to focus on is this popup menu at the bottom. Right now it's set to Keep Frame Size. I'm going to change it to Resize From Top.
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Watch the Online Video Course InDesign CS4: 10 Free Must-Have Plug-ins
34m 55s Appropriate for all Apr 09, 2009

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For designers who want to get more out of InDesign CS4, plug-ins offer a great option for adding to the finished project. With InDesign CS4: 10 Free Must-Have Plug-ins, instructor and InDesign guru David Blatner shows designers how to tap into some of the best free plug-ins to boost productivity and streamline page layout and workflow. From the practical Keyboard Shortcuts to the engaging Tetris plug-in, David introduces a batch of quick solutions for getting more out of InDesign.

Topics include:
  • Acquiring and installing plug-ins
  • Using AutoFit to automatically expand and move frames
  • Enhancing pages with PatternMaker
  • Building puzzles with a single click using Sudoku
  • Enabling multiple undos with MultiDo
Subject:
Design
Software:
InDesign
Author:
David Blatner

3. AutoFit

I want to show you an extraordinary plug-in which is so amazing, I can't believe that it's free. It does two basic things. It lets you auto-expand text frames and it lets you set up relationships between different objects on your page. I will show you what I mean. I'm going to select this text frame and zoom in to 200% so we can see it a little bit better. Then I'm going to go to the Window menu and choose from the Typefi submenu, AutoFit. The AutoFit panel lets me do various things but the main thing I'm going to focus on is this popup menu at the bottom. Right now it's set to Keep Frame Size. I'm going to change it to Resize From Top.

Resize From Top means, keep the top of the text frame exactly where it is, but let the bottom of the text frame expand or contract as necessary. Check this out. I'm going to Double-Click to switch the Type tool and then select all of this text and delete it. Did you see what happened? See how the bottom of the text frame just snapped right up to the bottom? This is incredible. Now what happens if I start typing in here? As I type I don't get that overset mark, instead the text frame just gets bigger, I love that. Now I'm going to undo a few times just to put that text back in there and this time I'm going to set this to Resize From Bottom. This is really useful if I want to make sure the bottom of the text frame stays where it is and let the top of the text frame move.

Once again, I'll just grab some text in here and delete it. Did you see that, that top of the text frame snapped down so that the bottom stayed exactly in the same place. That's an incredible feature! Now I'm going to scroll over to the other side of the page here and show you the other main thing that AutoFit does. It lets you set the relationship between one point on an object and another point. This is easier to show than it is to explain. So I'm going to come over here and choose this new tool that AutoFit added to the bottom of the tool panel. It's a double-headed arrow, and the way it works is, you Click on one point of an object. You don't even need to see the point, I know there is a center point in the middle here.

So I'm going to click on that and now I'm going to come down and Click on the center point of this next object down. These are not threaded or grouped or connected in any way, but as soon as I do that, you will see that there is a black dashed line indicating the relationship between these points. Now I'm going to do the same thing from this center point to the center point of the last frame. So what's going on here? Well, if I use the Selection tool to move the right side of this top frame, they all move. They all expand. Because I have set the relationship between one point and the next. If I make it narrower, then they all get narrower. Isn't that amazing? Let me make it little wider again. Then I'll set the relationship for the left side as well, this left side to that left side and this left side to this left side, just clicked from one to the next and I'm good to go. Let's go ahead and try it on this side. I'll make this one narrower and they all become narrower.

Isn't that amazing? Here is one other use for the AutoFit tool. I'm going to put a line between each of these, just a big thick line. Let's make this thick so you can see it better and I'll duplicate that with the Alt+Shift or Option+Shift key to drag it down here and now I want these lines to also expand or contract while the text frames do. So I'll go get my AutoFit tool and Click from this point to the side of that line and from this point to the side of this line and you get the idea. I don't have to do the other side.

You will see that if I select this text frame and I move this point over, then all the points move over, because this center point is forcing this one to move. This center point is moving this one over. Of course, this one down here is not connected to anything. It's just a receiver of information. So if I move this one over, it has no effect on those. It's a receiver of where it should be. So I'm going to undo that, Command+Z or Ctrl+Z on Windows to undo. I think, it's amazing that any plug-in can add this kind of functionality to InDesign, much there is a free one. [00:04.01.76]

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