Join David Blatner for an in-depth discussion in this video Positioning objects with the Page Gap tool, part of InDesign CS5 Essential Training.
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Anyone who's ever taken an art class has heard the teacher say pay attention to the negative space. That is the places where there's nothing on the page is sometimes even more important than the text and graphics. In fact, this white space is so important that Adobe gave it its own tool, the Page Gap tool. You can get to that in the Tool panel. It's fourth down, that little tool right there, or you can press the letter U to jump to it. When I take that Page Gap tool and place it on my page in between objects or between objects and the side of the page, it highlights it with kind of a little bit darker gray area.
That means the Page Gap tool is ready to do its work. I'm going to place this in between this text frame and the image frame to the right of it and you'll notice that the Page Gap highlighting extends all the way down the page because all of these objects have been aligned. Now when I click and drag, something magical happens. InDesign actually grabs all the objects, all the frames on either side of that gap, everything that the gap is touching, and resizes them. You'll also notice that a couple of these images are actually changing their size as well. That's because I've turned on the Auto Fit feature.
That's a feature I've talked about in an earlier chapter. But the main thing I want you to notice is how the frames change their size on both sides of the gap. That looks pretty good. Now I want to try changing the gap between these images at the bottom of the page, but I only want to change those. I don't want to change the frames above them. When I place the cursor between them, the whole column highlights all the way up the page. In order to restrict that column down to just these two objects, I hold down the Shift key. Now when I Shift+drag, only those two objects change.
I'll move this a little bit to the left. That looks pretty good. Of course, I'll also need to do the same thing between the two captions. Shift+drag over and now that's looking really nice. There is a couple of other modifier keys that you should pay attention to when working with the Page Gap tool. The Command key or Ctrl on Windows resizes the gap instead of moving it. For example, I'll move between these two images over here in the middle of the page and hold down the Command or Ctrl key and drag and you'll see that I'm actually changing the size of the gap to make it larger or smaller just by dragging to the left or to the right.
So the Command key changes the size of the gap. One more modifier, the Option or Alt key. That tells InDesign to move the objects, not resize any of them. So I'm going to place my cursor in the left column here in between the spine of the page and the text frame and I'll hold down Option or Alt and drag and you'll see that I'm actually moving all of those objects. It's like I'm telling InDesign grab objects on all sides of this gap and move them at the same time. In those famous words at the London Underground, mind the gap.
Now you can mind all the gaps in your document with this really great Page Gap tool.
- Navigating and customizing the workspace
- Managing documents and pages
- Rotating pages and spreads
- Adjusting and mixing page sizes
- Overriding master page items
- Putting text on a path
- Threading text frames
- Applying strokes, fills, and other formatting effects
- Nesting, grouping, and locking objects
- Formatting: character-level and paragraph-level
- Packaging, printing, and exporting