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QuarkXPress has always been the perfect tool for creating and publishing documents. In QuarkXPress 8 Essential Training, Jay Nelson—the publisher of Design Tools Monthly and a QuarkXPress expert—covers all the tools and features in this updated version of the program, from basic page layout to Flash integration and web page creation. Throughout this comprehensive training, Jay shows what's needed to produce professional-quality projects that integrate text, pictures, graphics, and tables. He also offers real-world page layout techniques that designers can apply to their own projects. Exercise files accompany the course.
Moving, cropping, resizing, rotating and skewing pictures in QuarkXPress 8 is dramatically easier than it was in previous versions. You can do just about all of it without taking your hands off your mouse or your keyboard. I am going to import a picture right now into QuarkXPress from the Finder and as I drag it on it creates a picture box for me and you will notice that it switches to the Picture Content tool. Now my preferred way of working is to type the V key to get the Item tool real quick, drag it into the position I want, change its Preview Resolution from Low Resolution to Full Resolution, so I see everything that I'm working with and then now I feel comfortable with cropping the picture and resizing it and rotating it.
To crop it, you just drag the little handles in from the outside edge. You can drag the corners or the sides. You can also rotate the picture, which you may have noticed when this icon became a little curled arrow. Just click and drag outside any corner to rotate your picture box. I'm going to undo that and put it back to straight again. If you want to resize the box from the corner, you can hold down the Command or Control key on Windows and drag.
Now notice that I can change its aspect ratio by dragging it around this way. But if I hold down the Shift key, it constrains it so that I never wind up stretching my picture in either direction. If you held the Option or Alt key you can resize it from its center. Now if you want to work with the content within the box, the quickest way is to simply double-click it. That changes your tool from the Item tool to the Picture Content tool and shows these little blue handles that indicate where your picture is in the box.
To move it in the box, you simple drag it around, to resize it within the box, you click on one of the handles on the corner or on the sides. And again, if you hold down the Shift key, that constrains it so that you don't accidentally stretch it vertically or horizontally and if you want to rotate it within the box, you just move your mouse cursor outside one of the corners, click-and-drag. One other thing you can do to your picture is skew it, and to do that down in the Measurements palette, you will see this icon right here Picture Skew.
You can either click the Up and Down arrows to watch it skew or type in an amount that you want to see it skewed out. I don't want to skew my dog, so I'm going to leave it at 0. Believe it or not, those are the simple steps to modifying pictures in QuarkXPress. By using the Item tool and the Picture Content tool, you can quickly resize, crop, rotate and move your picture box around to wherever you need it, all without taking your eye off of the picture to use a dialog box or a palette.
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