Join David Blatner for an in-depth discussion in this video Guides and measurements, part of InDesign CC 2018 Essential Training.
- [Instructor] Designers love adding guides to their pages to define zones and manage the space. Production folks love adding guides because it maintains consistency and it helps you lay out pages fast. Whatever the reason you want to add guides, InDesign lets you do it in a number of different ways. Now the basic way to add a guide on your page, is to simply drag it out of one of the rulers. For example, I'll click on the ruler and start dragging out. Now if I let go of the mouse button when it's on top of the page, I get what's called a page guide.
But if I drag a guide out and then let go of the mouse button while it's over the pasteboard, then I get a pasteboard guide. Some people call this a spread, because it goes across all the pages in my spread. Now, once I have a guide on my page, I can select it, just like any other object. And then I can move it up or down. I'm going to drag out one more spread guide, and this time I'm going to let go when I'm kind of near that tick mark in the ruler right around three inches. The problem is that sometimes it's difficult to get it exactly where I want it.
Fortunately, because guides are like objects on my page, I can simply click on the guide and then set the measurement up here in the Control Panel to exactly what I want. In this case, exactly three inches. When I press Return or Enter, it moves to exactly three inches down the page. Okay, now let's zoom in on this little picture down here. In an earlier chapter, I mentioned how you can press Command or Control + to zoom in. But I'm going to use a different trick. I'm going to hold down the Command + spacebar on the Mac or Control + spacebar on Windows.
When you do that on the Mac, you sometimes get this Spotlight Search. But I'm just going to ignore that. Now this gives me a temporary zoom tool. And that let's me click and drag out a marquee, just like a rectangle. Then, when I let go, InDesign will zoom in on that area. Now, I should point out that this zoom trick works slightly differently, for technical reasons, on some computers. If you have a high resolution monitor and a fast display card in your computer, then dragging with the zoom tool to the right, just zooms in automatically.
You don't have to draw a rectangle. And if you drag to the left, it zooms out. Anyway, now I'm going to select this image and I'll drag it down to that guide. You'll see that as I drag it to the edge, the frame snaps to the guide. That's what guides do. They snap objects to them. I'll go ahead and move these over as well. Snap and snap. Now, as you can see, guides, both the kinds I've been adding and also the margin guides on the side of the page, they're all kind of magnetic. And that's usually very helpful.
But sometimes you want to get close to a guide and not snap to it. Fortunately, you can turn off that snapping behavior. To do that, go to the View menu, choose Grids & Guides, and then turn off Snap to Guides. That's a toggle. It goes on or off. If you have a lot of objects on your page, you might also need to come in here and turn off Smart Guides. Now, your objects won't snap to anything on your page. For example, I can select this and move it in very small increments, without worrying about snapping.
But Snap to Guides and Smart Guides are my friends. So, I'm going to go ahead and turn those back on. I'll go back to the View menu, choose Grids & Guides and turn on both Snap to Guides and Smart Guides. There we go. Now, you know I should mention something important about these rulers that we've been dragging guides out of. See how they're all set to inches? But what if you wanted to work in millimeters or centimeters? No problem. The trick is to change your document preferences by going to the Preferences dialog box.
And you can get there on the Mac by going to the InDesign menu up here. On Windows, you'd go to the Edit menu. Then simply choose the Preference submenu and then choose Units & Increments. Now InDesign lets you change dozens of different preferences inside this dialog box. And we'll be talking about a few more of them in later chapters. But for right now, I'm just going to focus on the Units & Increments pane. I'm going to change the horizontal and the vertical popup menus to something different, let's say centimeters.
Now, when I click Okay, you'll see that the rulers have changed. And not just the rulers, all the fields in the Control Panel and anyplace else you see a measurement in InDesign. Now you have to change that for each document that you create. But if you get tired of doing that for each one of your documents, here's a little tip. If you change that preference while no documents are open, it will change it for all new documents that you make.
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