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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.
One of my favorite aspects of the Frame Fitting options available in InDesign is the fact that they can be setup ahead of time. This is really handy if you are creating a template and you just want the fitting behavior to happen automatically when you drop images into existing frames. So let me give you an example of this. Let's go to the File > Place command, Command+D, and we will bring and choose Garden.jpg, go ahead and click Open. I am going to go ahead and drop it into this existing frame by clicking. Now, there have been no Frame Fitting options applied to this frame in advance, so the image just gets dropped in. The image is much larger than that frame, so it's getting cropped.
So let's undo that and we will just go ahead and cancel the Place by hitting the Escape key. If I select the frame ahead of time, I can go to Object > Fitting > Frame Fitting Options dialog. Before I go there, you will see those are the individual Frame Fitting Option commands. Those are also available as buttons in the Control panel, and you can see each one of them has its own unique keyboard shortcut. The one that you use a lot is the Fit Frame to Content, which is Command+Option+C or Ctrl+Alt+C. But that just applies it to an existing frame after you have already got content in it.
The Frame Fitting Options dialog is what you use to kind of predetermine the behavior. So this dialog allows you to capture these settings as an attribute of the frame itself. So one of the things you can do is determine a Reference Point. So do you want the image to be anchored to the frame from its upper left-hand corner, or do you want it to be centered? So you can choose that right away. What Fitting option do you want? Do you want to Fit the Content to the Frame, Fit the Content Proportionally, or Fill the Frame Proportionally? Most often you are probably going to choose Fill Frame, because you don't want the image to get distorted.
You want the image to stay proportional. If it is larger than the frame, then Fill it Proportionally, starting from the center out, and then you can always recrop and reposition it later if you want. So that's the one I am going to choose here, Fill Frame Proportionally, and I am going to go ahead and click OK. So now this frame knows what it's supposed to do to any image you place inside it, because you have set that attribute on the frame itself. If I go ahead and get my Place command again, choose Garden.jpg, click Open. Now when that image gets dropped into that frame, since it was selected, it went ahead and went in there anyway, and you can see I get a much different behavior now.
Now that image is centered in the frame and its filling it proportionally, so it doesn't get stretched. Most of the time you are going to be really happy if that just knows how to do that in advance. So to guarantee that, if you want all your frames to act this way, you can do one of two things. You could actually set this option under the Frame Fitting Options dialog when there is no document open. So every new document and every new frame you created after that point would just have this behavior, or if you want a little more flexibility, you can save this as an Object Style. If I open up my Window menu and pull down to the Object Styles panel, you can actually create a custom object style that captures the Frame Fitting Options in it.
So if I go ahead and click New and I am going to hold down the Option key, because if I click just the New button, I just get a default Object Style 1, not a very useful name. So I am going to hold down the Make Better key, Option or Alt, and click the New button. That gives me a chance to name it. So I can call it My Glorious Frame Fitting. Then if I go down to the basic attributes on the left, you can see I have those same options available to me, Frame Fitting Options, and its captured what I have already got on this selected object, but I can of course change that.
So I have built a frame style that just does what I want it to do. Very, very handy. I can now apply that frame style to any other frame. You can see that affected that image in that frame when I applied that Object Style to it. So lots of flexibly, lots of power. Hopefully this opens your eyes to the possibilities and it can really automate a lot of your workflow.
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