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Here is a feature that's going to come in handy some point in your InDesign career and that is working or overwriting the measurement system that's currently in play and also doing math in the Control panel. So, let me give you some examples of what I'm talking about. Here is an image that I've got selected, a frame with an image inside it. And I can currently see the Width and Height and the X, Y position. Let's say that I needed this frame to be exactly four inches wide. While my measurement system right now was currently set to picas or points, so it's 29p6.
Now, I can try to do the math. I can say, okay, there are 72 points to an inch. So 72 times 4, that would give me 4 inches, right? Yikes! How about we just type in 4in for inches in our Width field? And when I hit Return, it's going to make the Width of that exactly 4 inches and convert it to the current measurement system for me. So, in this case it's 24 picas. Pretty easy, right? Well, what if I need it to be 20 millimeters? Okay, fine, just type in 20mm, hit Return and it's going to convert it to the current measurement system.
So, I'm going to undo that. What if I want it to be something like twice as big as it's currently sized? So, I want the Width to be twice as long. Well, I can probably do the math pretty easy there. I can do 24 times 2 equals 48. So, I can just type in 48 there or you can actually use math operators in these fields. So, if I use the multiplication symbol, which would be the asterisk key, and I type in 2 so the times 2, if I hit Return, it's now going to be twice as wide. Pretty cool. What if I want it to be half as wide? Well, then you can do divided by, which is the slash sign, and let's just say it's going to be divided by 3 so it's one-third. There you go.
So, you can override the current measurement system by using the abbreviation, so in for inches, mm for millimeters and in fact if you hover over the field, then pause for a second you will actually get a little tooltip and hey, I just learned something new! You don't actually have to type 'in.' You can just type in I for short, for inches, so that's kind of cool. And you can also use percentages, which is even easier than doing math. So, sometimes you can get exactly what you want just by entering numbers and having InDesign do either the conversion to a different measurement system for you or by doing the math.
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