Join David Blatner for an in-depth discussion in this video Crop and fit graphics to the frame, part of InDesign CC 2018 Essential Training.
- [Instructor] When you place an image into an empty frame it often doesn't appear the correct size on your page. For example, I'm going to zoom in to the top of this page and I'm going to use the rectangular frame tool to drag out a frame. Now, I'll go to the file menu and chose "place" and I'm going to place one of these images. For example, I'll chose this "Blur of Activity" image. When I click "open" you can see that InDesign places the image into that frame. Now, I can tell immediately that this image is not fitting this frame.
It's much larger than the frame. Now it's important to remember that the frame is not the same as the image, they're two separate things, one inside the other. So if I come back over here and chose my selection tool and then double click on top of this image I select the image inside the frame. Let me zoom back a little bit by pressing command minus, or control minus, and you can see that way out here there's this blue line and that's the edge of my image. Remember double clicking selects the image inside the frame, now if I double click again, or press the escape key on my keyboard InDesign selects the frame and the image inside it.
So, I'm going to show you how to change the size of the image inside this frame. But first, I do want to point out that sometimes you can change objects on your page even without selecting them. For example, I'm going to deselect this frame by clicking out here on the page. And now I'm simply going to move my cursor over and then click, and then drag. You can see that I actually moved this image inside the frame even though I never selected the image or the frame, and that's because I clicked and dragged in front of the content grabber.
That's this little thing here in the middle of the frame that looks like a Lifesaver candy or a bagel. If you click and drag on that content grabber it will move an image even without selecting it. And some people think that's kind of a cool feature, but I have to tell you it drives me crazy because I'm always accidentally moving images when I don't mean to. Some people love it, but I'm going to undo that by pressing command, Z, or control, Z, on Windows and I'm going to show you how to turn off that content grabber. You just go to the view menu, scroll down to extras and then chose "hide content grabber".
Now it won't show up any more. Of course I can still move the image inside the frame, but I can't do it accidentally, I have to actually select it now. Okay, now in this case what I really want to do is fit this image, scale it down so that it fits inside this frame. To do that I want to select either the image, or the frame itself and then I'm going to go to the object menu and chose fitting. Inside the fitting sub-menu there are a bunch of options. "Fill frame proportionally", means make sure that the image fills the frame even if some of the image is going to be cropped out, it fills the frame.
"Fit content proportionally", means scale the image up or down until it fits inside the frame but make sure none of it gets cropped out. "Fit frame to content", is kind of the opposite, it changes the size of the frame so that it matches the current size of the image. In this case the frame would get much bigger. "Fit content to frame", scales the image inside the frame to fit, even if it means scaling it disproportionately. I almost never use that. And finally, "center content" is, well it's obvious, it just centers the image inside the frame.
In this case, I want to make sure that I get the whole image so I'm going to go up here and chose "fit content proportionately". Once again, this scales the image so that it fits inside the frame, nothing's getting cropped out but you'll notice that in this case I do have some extra blank space on the left and right side of my image. So, in order to make the frame the same size as the image I'm going to go back and chose "fit frame to content". Actually, I should point out that the control panel actually includes all of these frame fitting features, but only when your screen is wide enough to show them.
Right now I'm on a kind of small screen so I can't see those features and I would have to use the object menu instead. Or, actually, I use the "fit frame to content" so often that I've memorized the keyboard shortcut for it, you probably should too. It's command, option, C or on Windows control, alt, C, and when you press that it fits the frame to the image. Now, of course I can still come in here and use the selection tool to crop the image further by clicking and dragging on one of these side or corner handles, but when I do that I like to use a little trick, I want to click and hold on a corner or side handle and I wait just a moment or two before I drag.
When you do that you enter what's called "the live screen mode". Now when I start to drag I can see the whole image where the cropped out portions are kind of ghosted back. That can be very useful when you're cropping an image because you can get clear about what should and shouldn't be in the frame. InDesign's cropping and fitting features are essential for getting your images to look just the way you want them on your page. Take a few minutes to practice each of these techniques and you'll find yourself really heading toward InDesign mastery.
- Creating a new layout
- Inserting pages
- Adding text
- Inserting graphics
- Applying color and transparency
- Drawing and editing frames and paths
- Formatting objects
- Formatting text
- Creating styles for uniform formatting
- Building tables
- Adding links and interactivity
- Printing and exporting InDesign documents