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Adobe InDesign CC for Beginners

Lesson 21 of 34

Specialty Frames


Adobe InDesign CC for Beginners

Lesson 21 of 34

Specialty Frames


Lesson Info

Specialty Frames

Let's create a new page. I did Command + Shift, or Control + Shift + P to create a new page in the same document, and I want to create a series of rectangles. Now I can do this, I did this when I placed multiple images, we made a grid using the secret Gridify option that was here. We can also do it on frames that don't have any content yet, that we put content in later. Because it's not creating anything special, that grid of images that we created was just as if we'd drawn them out separately and dropped images into them, it's just we did it all at once. We created the grid, we created the frames, and I put the images in. It's just saved us a lot of time. But we can also create a grid of frames that doesn't have any content. We can do that ahead of time and then drop images in later. So I just chose the F Frame tool, so the graphics frame here, and I'm going to do the same thing, start drawing it out, use the up or down arrow keys to create that grid. I can hold down the Shift key and...

we'll get a nice grid of squares as well. I can change the space in between. Everything we already did, it's just there's nothing in there. So when I let go, I just have a set of individual graphics frames. Now I know that it's a graphics frame because it has the X in it, and that says "Okay, you're going to put images in there eventually," at least that's what it's hoping for. If I do a Command or Control + D to place those images... I'm just gonna grab everything that's here. I don't know what I have, six of 'em I believe, and I'll say Okay. Now I can come in and I can roll over each of these and, you probably can't, again, see that icon, but the icon looks different. It's hard to see with an image in there. Fact, let's see if I can get, that's a little bit easier to see maybe, but it's a square icon in the upper left of that loaded place cursor. When I roll over an image, it turns to these rounded brackets, which basically says "Oh, you want to take what's in the cursor "and place inside that frame," so let's actually do that. I'm just gonna roll over each one and just click. So if I've set up this frame ahead of time, and now I just click on each of these items, I can drop each of those images inside there. Now, they're awful big. They put 'em in at 100 percent, and we slipped all of those. Go back up to that Object menu, and Fitting, and say Fill Frame Proportionally. So at least it's a good starting point. Again, each one we're gonna have to decide if we like the way that it's cropped, and I'll move that over with my arrow keys, select this one and show a bit more of the flowers, maybe a little bit more of the tree, so we can put that inside a grid. Now that grid is just as if we drew those all separately and lined 'em up with Smart Guides even, but we did it with the Gridify, just to put them in there really quickly, in that grid. But, what we can do is we can also create a specialty frame with these same size frames, so I'm going to just Undo. I'm going to step through everything I just did, deleting those and even placing all the images in there. I'm gonna go back to this state where I just created this grid and I have a set of these nine different frames, but what I want to do is create a specialty frame where this is actually one frame. Now, if you have stroke on these, you can see that that kind of looks like a window, right, with window panes in it. I want to put an image back there that looks like it's sitting behind this window pane, so I'm gonna go ahead and just turn my edges back on so I can see it. I can see that those are individual frames. If I select all of them and go up under the Object menu, and go down to Path, and choose Make Compound Path, I now have one big X that basically took all of those and created one object out of it, so it's going to act as one item even though it still looks like separate items and I can see it's got room for one image sitting in there. So let's go ahead and do the Command or Control + D for Place; let's grab that tree that's here. Now we'll say Okay, and then I'm going to roll over that, and it doesn't matter which one I roll over, because it's actually one shape. So I'm gonna click on that, and suddenly I have the entire image back behind there. I have one grabber, so I'm gonna click and grab, and actually I'm gonna size this down. I'm gonna hold the Shift key so I can strain proportionally, and I'm gonna hold the Option or the Alt key so it does it from the center inward, and just enough to fit inside and not have any white gaps there, and then I'm going to just go ahead and grab this manually, and just move it over 'til it looks kinda how I want it here. I can use my arrow keys as well, and I'm gonna go ahead and turn off my edges so I can see what that looks like. So it's one item, but it looks like several different ones. It started as separate items, and we created what's called a compound shape, or a complex path, and so now it acts as one item. If I were to select all of these items, or this one item, and come back down to Paths and Release that Compound Path, it goes back to its individual shapes, and the first one is where that image actually lives now, so it's still there. We haven't lost it, it just doesn't look as good any more, but these are now individual items again as well. So that's compound paths. It's a great way to just have a nice design without having to really draw a lot of stuff. We draw the item first, create a compound path, drop an image back behind it. You can do the same thing with text. You could create text, and then create outlines of that text, and that's compound path, and drop image inside the text as well. That's something for you to explore on your own. So that's how we place images, how we manipulate images, and a couple of fun things that we can do to liven up the images so that we don't just have blocks of images sitting in our document.

Class Description

Learn Basic Design Skills.

Adobe® InDesign CC® is the industry's go-to tool making for layouts that combine images and text. Learn the most efficient way to work with this indispensable software in Adobe InDesign CC for Beginners with Erica Gamet.

In this beginner-friendly class you’ll learn how to:

  • Navigate the Adobe InDesign CC workspace
  • Work with text, images, and color
  • Export and Print

Erica will show you how to execute layouts that include text, graphic elements, and images. You’ll learn basic design skills you can use to create professional-looking magazine layouts, newsletters, flyers and more.

If you want to take charge of your graphic design, Adobe InDesign CC for Beginners with Erica Gamet will get you started.

Level: Beginner, No prior Adobe InDesign experience required.

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Adobe InDesign CC 2018



Fantastic course. I have used Illustrator and photoshop, but learned when under tight deadlines. We are going to begin using inDesign to publish a more extensive multipage newsletter, and I wanted to build a better knowledge foundation of this tool, rather than just diving in. The course was comprehensive and I feel that I'll be able to make a better product after taking the course.


Have loved Erica since I was a baby designer. She is a great educator, and even though I have been using ID for about 8 years, I just changed from CS6 to CC. This was a great refresher as well as a mental upgrade to new options and effects.

Gilbert Beltran

I enjoyed these classes. Learned the Indesign toolbox and picked up a few smart tricks. Erica is great at keeping up the pace and being very clear and easy to follow.