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A scientists like to say, if you can measure it, it must be there, but how do we measure things in InDesign? Measurements show up in a number of locations in InDesign, including the Control panel and in the Rulers. But what if these measurements show inches and you work in millimeters or in this case, this document is setup to points and I want to work in centimeters. How do we change it? No problem. The trick is to right-click on one of the rulers or Ctrl-Click with a one-button mouse. Here we can change this ruler to any one of a number of different measurement systems.
In this case however, I want to change both rulers, the horizontal and the vertical ruler, so instead of right-clicking there, I'm going to right-click on this little square where the two rulers intersect and by doing that I can change both at the same time. Now whenever I select an object on my page, all my measurements show up in centimeters instead of points. So this is great, but it only applies to this one document. What if I wanted to change all the new documents I create from now on? Well, here's the trick. First, close all your documents and when no documents are open you can change some preferences, and we can't right-click on a ruler because there is no rulers to be found, so instead, we go to the Preferences dialog box which you can get to on the Mac under the InDesign menu and on Windows it's under the Edit menu or you can just press Command+K or Ctrl+K on Windows.
Inside the Preferences dialog box you'll want choose Units & Increments. InDesign lets you change all kinds of Preferences and we'll be talking about a few more of these in later chapters, but for right now we're just going to focus on the Rulers & Increments. I'll change this to Centimeters here and click OK and now it doesn't look like anything has changed, but the next time I create a new document, it's automatically set to Centimeters. You can see that all these values are centimeters now. I'll click OK and now the rulers are in centimeters as well.
This does not change old documents, any document that's already been created, but it does change all the documents that you create from now on. By the way, you can also find measurements in one other place in the Info panel. I'll open the Info panel from the Window menu and hiding inside here this little tiny black triangle and if you click on that you will once again see all the measurements. I can change this from Centimeters to let's say Ciceros or Pixels or I'll try Inches. Very few people know about that secret feature with that little triangle there.
InDesign is full of these little hidden, but useful features that just makes it more rich and more fun to use.
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