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Resizing and rotating items in QuarkXPress 8 is a whole lot more fun than it's ever been before. Let me show you what I mean here. Let's take this little picture here from the Shapes document. Using the Item tool, we simply click-and-drag on the corner and you'll see that you're resizing the box itself. Now, if you wanted to resize the box along with the content, you'd hold down the Command key or the Ctrl key on Windows, click-and-drag and you could see it's resizing the whole thing. Now, if you don't want to smoosh your picture like that, you can hold down the Shift key and that will constrain it so the aspect ratio stays the same.
If you want to rotate an item, you'll notice that the cursor changes to a slightly curved arrow around the outside. Then you just click-and-drag to rotate it to whatever angle you like. You could also type in a rotation angle down here in the Measurements palette. I'll take it back to zero, in case you want to rotate it to an exact angle. Now the one thing you may run into is if you don't have the Item tool selected, instead if you have one of the Content tools selected, you'll notice that the outline of the Item becomes quite a bit different from before. It's got these new blue little half circles on it.
Well, if you start clicking-and- dragging, you'll see, oh gosh! I'm changing the size and shape of the picture inside the picture box. But again, if you just hold down that Command or Ctrl key on Windows, you can still use it the same way you did before, even though you have the Content tool selected, instead of the Item tool. Similarly, if you resize the Item within the box, you can change the angle of the picture inside by simply clicking-and-dragging as we saw before. Now, if you're resizing a line, it's a little bit different situation, in that, as you click-and-drag on the end of the line, you can also accidentally or on purpose rotate it.
So, if you want to maintain the angle of the line as you resize it, just hold down the Shift key and it will stay at whatever angle it was before and just get longer or shorter as you drag. There may be a situation where you want to flip the content within a box. So, for example, this box containing this dog here, if you look down in the Measurements palette, you'll see little arrow left and right, up and down. They're Flip Horizontal and Flip Vertical. So if I click it, suddenly, he's looking in the opposite direction. That's a really handy thing in a lot of layouts. The same is true with up and down. We can flip him over up and down within the box.
I really like the way Quark has simplified the tools, so that when you're resizing and recropping and rotating and flipping content within picture boxes, you only have to use one tool. All-time QuarkXPress users may find that challenging, but with just a few minutes of practice, I think, you'll find it's way better than it was before.
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