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In InDesign CS4 Power Shortcuts, Adobe product manager and designer Michael Ninness reveals hundreds of tips to boost productivity, including the top 20 power shortcuts every InDesign user must know. From placing multiple images to the hidden power of Quick Apply, each one of these videos covers an important topic, and includes just the right amount of information to make anyone a true InDesign power user. InDesign users are always looking for faster, more efficient ways to do everything, and this course offers just what they're looking for. Exercise files accompany the course.
There is another method for resizing or scaling multiple items that doesn't require you to group them first, and that's to use the Control panel. So let's go ahead and select these three items by drag placing. I have got them all three selected here and you have got a bunch of different options here. If you look at the Control panel, you've got your resize widgets, Width and Height, and you've got your scale widgets. Now by default scale is meant to scale proportionally. So there is a little link Lock icon there. So if you change one dimension, the other one is going to change proportionally. Scale works that way. Resize on the other hand is, I believe, turned off by default.
So that's the broken link, meaning you can go ahead and do non-proportional. Now, because the height of all four of these objects is the same, so it's 4 picas there. So with the constrain turned off and the height being the same, if I typed in 6 picas and hit Return or Enter, all three get taller and they're getting taller from the center, because the proxy point in the Control panel is set to be the center, called the Reference Point, and the Reference Point means the reference point for transformations. So I am going to undo that. If I wanted the transformations to happen from the say lower left-hand corner, I go ahead and just target that dot right there, right on the Control panel, in that widget.
Now if I type in 6 picas for the height, and hit Return or Enter, they all get taller from that corner and work up. So you have got a lot of flexibility there. Now if I took a look at the width, the width is actually showing me the total width of three objects as they are selected including the spaces in between them. So that's if I took a ruler and measured from here, the left corner and to the right corner across those three selected objects, so that's why the number may look a little funny. If I click on just one of them, it's 6 picas wide. When I select all three, that's the total width of all the objects combined.
Now if I change the width to say something like 30, this is kind of cool. It actually resizes the width and the spaces in between the objects proportionately to fit that new width. So if I type in 30 picas and hit Return, you will see that happened here and because I had the left-hand corner as my target, it kept the object on the left fixed, and everything worked over to the right. So that's really handy if you happen to know say the width of a column or the width of a page and you want certain objects to stretch out or be as wide as possible, to maintain the same relative amount of space between them or proportional amount of space between them.
You can use the Width field in that way with multiple selected items, pretty handy. So I will undo that, Command+Z. Now, you can also scale multiple items when they are selected. So if I type in 150% for the width here, and because I have Lock Proportions turned on or Constrain Proportions turned on, we will go ahead and choose the center transformation point in the Control panel, type in 150, and hit Return. They now scale. So the image got bigger, not the frame itself, but both and then the strokes got bigger as well. So you can pretty much accomplish whatever you want. Just use the appropriate widgets and pay attention to some of the details there.
It's kind of nice, the flexibility that you have in terms of scaling versus resizing. I am going to go ahead and undo this, Command+Z or Ctrl+Z. Now, let's say that I wanted them to be 50% smaller, but from a resize perspective, not from a scale perspective. Does that make sense? So if I take a look at the Control panel again, these are percentage-based values. InDesign keeps track of what 100% is for this particular object, and if I scale it up to 150, I can always type in 100 to get this back to where it started from.
But you can also mix and match. So if I use percentages in the Width field, I can still do a resize, but using percentages to figure out how I want to go. So if I want this to be 50% narrower, but not do a scale, I can just type in 50% into the Width field, using the Percentage sign, hit Return, and I get what I want. Notice that the strokes themselves did not get skinnier as they would have, had I done a scale. So you have the flexibility to use and mix and match the measurement systems between the width and height widgets and the scale widgets.
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