Join David Blatner for an in-depth discussion in this video Scale, rotate, duplicate, and transform, part of InDesign CC 2018 Essential Training.
- [Instructor] Now that you know all about making frames and lines, you should learn how to duplicate them, scale them, and rotate them on your pages. And this is tricky, only because InDesign gives you so many different ways to do the same things. For example, there are more than a dozen ways to copy something. Now my favorite is to simply grab it with the selection tool, then hold down the Option or Alt key and drag. There's my duplicate. Now in this case I want to make my copy exactly aligned with the ones above it, so I'm going to hit the Delete key on my keyboard to delete that.
And this time I'll select it, hold down Option + Shift, or Alt + Shift and drag. When I do that it duplicates it and keeps it in perfect vertical or horizontal alignment. And when I see those little green smart guide arrows, I can see that the space between my new object and the one above it matches the space between the other objects on the page. Now, another way to copy an object is simply by copying it and pasting it, right? But there's another paste feature that you should know about. Check this out.
I'm going to select all of these objects on my page by Shift + Clicking on them, and I'll copy them to the clipboard by pressing Command + C or Control + C on Windows. Now, I'm going to jump to my next page by pressing Shift + Page Down. Now I want to put these same objects in exactly the same place on the page here, but when I press Command + V or Control + V, it doesn't put them in the right place. It centers them on the screen. That's really annoying. So I'm going to delete that by pressing the Delete key, and instead I'm going to head up to the Edit menu and I'm going to choose Paste in Place.
Paste in Place tells InDesign to remember where those objects were on the page before I copied them. Now I should point out that if this were a facing pages document, one that has a left-hand page and a right-hand page, then the same location means the same place on the same side page. That is, the same side of the spread. So if I copied this off a right-hand page, and then tried to use Paste in Place on a left-hand page, well those objects are probably going to go off onto the pasteboard.
But in this case, it's a single sided document, so I don't have to worry about that. Okay, one more way to duplicate objects, because it's really important. Let's go to the next page and I'm going to select this object, and I want to turn this into a grid of objects, a grid of images. So I'll go to the Edit menu and choose Step and Repeat. Now, Step and Repeat is a great way to make a lot of copies at the same time. First, I need to tell InDesign how far down I want the copies to go on the page.
I'm going to change the vertical offset to 213 points. Of course, you could use centimeters or inches, or whatever you want. In this case, I happen to know that it should be exactly 213 points. Now, how many copies do I want? I'll click on this up arrow here, and I can see, there's my first copy. There's another one, here's another one, and that's too many, so let's go back down to two. Now the only reason I'm seeing these copies being made is because I have the Preview checkbox turned on inside this dialog box.
Now if I want a grid, like a second column of these images, I could turn on the Create as a grid checkbox. Now it's going to ask me how many rows and columns do I want? I want three rows and two columns. I'm not seeing the second column because currently my horizontal offset is set to zero, so I better change that. I'll say 307 points, and as soon as I click OK, you'll see I have my grid of objects. Okay, now let's learn how to rotate our page objects, like this image down here.
I'll select that and zoom in to 200% by pressing Command + Two or Control + Two on Windows. Now the easiest way to rotate an object is to select it, then head up to the control panel and click on these buttons up here. This one rotates it 90 degrees clockwise. This one rotates it back. Or, if I want to rotate more precisely, I could choose an angle out of this popup menu, or even type a value in here, like 25 degrees, and when I hit Return or Enter, it rotates it exactly 25 degrees.
But why did it rotate around the upper left corner? Why was it anchored there and not someplace else like the middle? Well the answer to that can be found on the far left side of the control panel. Way over here. Let me undo this rotation with a Command + Z or a Control + Z on Windows, and you can see that this field over here is the reference point, and right now it's set to the upper left corner. This reference point tells InDesign where the anchor should be. What should stay still while everything else moves around it.
Right now it's set to the upper left corner, but if I click on the lower right corner, now when I change my angle, it'll rotate around a different place. Now, if you like working more interactively, you can also select an object with a selection tool, then move the cursor just outside any one of the corners, and when you do that, the cursor changes into this little double-headed arrow, and that indicates that if you click and drag, you'll be able to rotate it. But in this case it always rotates around the object's center point.
Now, for the most precision, you could use the Rotate tool, and you can find that tool inside the tool panel hiding underneath the Free Transform Tool. To get to it, you simply need to click and hold for a moment. Now, inside this popup menu, you can choose the Rotate Tool. Now, if you look really closely, you'll notice that in the lower right corner of this image, there's a little crosshair. That reflects the reference point that was setup in the control panel. But with the Rotation Tool, I can put that anywhere I want just by clicking.
For example, I'm going to click at the end of this woman's foot. Now the crosshair shows up there. To rotate, I simply click and drag anywhere on my page, but you'll notice that when I do that it rotates around that point. Okay, so now that we know how to copy and rotate, let's look at how to scale objects. To do that, I'll jump to my next page with Shift + Page Down, and now I'm going to zoom back to fit the whole page in the window by pressing Command + Zero or Control + Zero on Windows.
Now on this page, the artwork just isn't the right size. I need to scale it down. So, most of the time when I want to scale an object, I grab it with the selection tool, and now I click and drag on one of the corner handles. But that does not scale an image, that just resizes the frame. So let's undo that. Instead, to make it scale the image, I'd have to remember to hold down a couple of modifier keys on my keyboard. The Command key on the Mac or the Control key on Windows tells InDesign to scale the frame and the contents.
The Shift key tells InDesign to do it proportionally. So I'm going to hold down Command + Shift on the Mac, or Control + Shift on Windows, and then drag on any one of my corner handles. That way, I'm scaling proportionally. Now, if I need more precision, instead of just dragging and eyeballing it, I'll probably come up here and scale it in the control panel using one of the scale features. You see up here in the control panel, there are two scaling percentages, the width and the height. Next to them, there's a little link icon.
When that's turned on, which it is by default, the height and the width will always scale proportionally. They'll scale together. But before I'm going to use either of those, I want to make sure that the reference point is set properly. Right now it's set to the lower right corner, and that's not what I want. I want it set to the upper right corner. That is, I want that point to remain anchored, and the other points to move toward it. So I'll click on that, and then I'm going to come over here and change this to, say 75%.
Now an interesting thing happened here. It did scale down, but notice that this still says 100%. What is going on here? Well, by default when InDesign scales a frame, it always sets it back to 100%. But remember, that's just the frame. The image inside the frame is not necessarily 100%. And remember, you can double-click on an image to select the image inside the frame. And when I do that, I can see that up here in the control panel, the scale of the image is just over 50%.
So the image is scaled to 50%, but the frame is still set to 100%. I can see that by double-clicking again. Now of course, you can scale your text and vector art, like Illustrator art, all you want, but scaling bitmapped images, like this Photoshop JPEG image here, that does have an effect on its quality. If you scale a bitmapped image up, its resolution goes down. Scale it down, and the resolution goes up. It's just something to keep in mind when you're scaling objects on your page.
- 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