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Author David Blatner provides in-depth training on InDesign CS5, Adobe's print and interactive page layout application, in InDesign CS5 Essential Training. The course shows how to create new documents with strong and flexible master pages, precisely position text and graphics, prepare documents for print, and export designs as interactive PDF or Flash SWF files. Exercise files are included with the course.
It's a golden law of page layout. Nothing is ever the size you needed to be on your page. But fortunately there are number of ways to scale graphics, text and other page items in InDesign. Let's look at a couple of them. Let's say I want to scale this image larger. I'll select it with my selection tool and then I'll go grab my Scale tool, which is hiding underneath the Free Transform tool in the Tool panel right there. Now it is little hard to see but there is a tiny little crosshair in the upper left corner of this image frame.
That's there because in the Control panel the upper left corner node is selected in the reference point. That means when I scale it's going to scale from that point. If I want to scale from the lower right corner, I'll simply select on that and the crosshair moves down here. Now I can click and drag away from that point to scale it. Of course that scales it disproportionally so that's not very useful. Let me undo that, Command+Z or Ctrl+Z on Windows, and instead I'm going to start dragging with my scale tool and I'll hole down the Shift key.
Shift-dragging with the Scale tool keeps it height/width proportional so you don't get all these squished images. While the scale tool is pretty helpful I tend to use the Selection tool, just the regular black arrow tool, which also lets me scale images and text frames. To scale this image down with a selection tool simply hold on the Command+Shift on the Mac or Ctrl+Shift on Windows while you drag a corner point. This works on text frames as well. If I want this text frame to be larger I just Command+Shift+Drag a corner, or Ctrl+ Shift on Windows, drag that corner out and it scales the whole thing up.
This works on multiple objects as well. For example if opportunity want to scale both this flower and its caption larger, I just select both of them with the Selection tool, I clicked on one and then Shift+Click on the other, and now I'll Command+Shift+drag on the lower right corner to drag it larger. And now Alt+Command+Shift-drag or Ctrl +Shift-drag in the lower right corner handle to scale it larger. The last scaling technique I want to show you is the Control panel. The Control panel gives you incredible precision of your scaling.
Let me show you what I mean. I'll grab this image again of this boy and girl and I want to scale this up by exactly 120%. It's easy to do because I just changed the 100% in this field here to 120%. Now because this link icon is turned on, it will automatically link together the Horizontal and Vertical scaling so I only need to change one of them. Press Return or Enter and it scales it to 120% of what it was. I am going to set this back to a zero degree rotation because I want to show you how I can use the Control panel in a not so intuitive manner to scale this exactly to fit my column.
I know this column is 158 points wide. I just know that about this template and I want to scale this image so that it fits into that column exactly. It might be tempting to change the width field to 158 points and do this from the left edge, of course not the right edge. Right edge 158 points and hit Enter. But that does not scale the image. That simply crops it. It changed the width of the frame but not the image inside of it. So that's not right. I am going to press Command+Z or Ctrl+Z on Windows to undo that and instead, this is the secret little trick for scaling, I'm going to change the percentage to 158 points.
And you might say "you can't do that!" "That's a percentage." "You have to use a percentage in there" and I say, not so fast. All you have to do is replace the percentage with an absolute value. In this case, 158 points. When I hit Return you see that it actually scales it from the reference point down to be exactly 158 points wide. You'll find that knowing these several different ways to scale your images and text will serve you well as you lay out your documents.
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