Adobe® InDesign® Creative Cloud® Intermediate: Beyond the Basics


Lesson Info

Manipulating Images

Some of the other options that we have is to just center the content, which obviously right now, it is centered, it's centered and filled completely. We can also, instead, fit the content to the frame. So if we have object like this, like a frame like this size, let's move this on to the page, and we come down here and say fit content to the frame, well, it did. It fit it to the frame. Not proportionally, so it looks pretty ugly and we don't want to do that. So, again, we can always work with the frame. Sometimes we're limited by the frame, sometimes the picture itself dictates what the frame looks like. It just depends. Well, that's kind of a pain to have to do every time we put an image inside our document. So what I want to do is, I want to set up some pre-sets so that when I set it, I don't have to tell it fit the - fill it proportionally. Fill it proportionally for each one. Because in this original concept here, I was going to place all these - and I didn't grab all of them, let'...

s grab Mesa Verde and that. And that. And we got a couple there. And we'll say open for that. And I want to place all these, and if I do, I notice that if I create a tall frame, it's doing that same sort of thing. We'll do this one wide since because it's a tall photo. So now nothing fits in there and I have to go back and tell it each one to fit it. Now, I could select all of them at once, of course, and do object fitting and say fill frame proportionally and they all fit and that's great. But what I really wanted to do - let's go backwards 'til I have all four of these in my cursor - is that I want to actually - I want to set that up so that before I import those, I've told it fill frame proportionally so I don't have to do it after the fact. So under the Object menu, again, with nothing selected - now, because I'm doing this in a document with nothing selected, this will become the default behavior for this document only. If I close this document and have no document whatsoever open, and choose these items, it will be the default behavior for all new documents. And actually, let's do that. So that that becomes the setting. So now, every time that we place an image, it will automatically do whatever we set here, which I'm going to tell it fill proportionally. So with no document open, go up to the Object menu, and go to Fitting, and Frame Fitting Options. So what I want to tell it is, I want to fit the content - I want it to fill the frame proportionally. Right? So no matter what size frame I have, there will be no white space on either side. It's going to do it proportionally instead of distort it. And just like we did before, it's going to do that automatically. And I'm also going to tell it where to align from. Well, by default, it's set to align from the center of the image outwards, which makes sense. So it means it's going to be centered inside the frame, so, of course, it doesn't look at what it is it's cropping, it just crops it from the center outwards. Now, if you know all that your good stuff - maybe you went and took portraits, and your portraits, you're all leaning against a wall on the left side, and there's sort of the extraneous stuff on the right side, maybe you want to align from the left side. You know? Maybe you know that you have some information written on the bottom of each one. Maybe they're old scans and they're from transparencies or something, you've scanned them, and they've got hand-written notes on the bottom. So you might want to align it at the top. So it depends on what your usage is. You can also tell it to crop a certain amount out. If you always want to have it cropped just a teeny little bit - amount out, instead of having it come right to the edge of the frame, you can do that as well. I'm not going to, I'm going to leave it like that. And I can also choose to auto-fit. And we'll see what auto-fit does for us. We can actually turn that on and off on a case-by-case basis afterwards if we want to as well. So say okay. So now, all new documents I create from this point forward, not ones that I've already used or already created, but all new ones, from this point forward, when I bring in an image, it will fill the frame proportionally. So let's again grab those images, I know I keep grabbing them and then not placing them, like a tease on a home improvement show or something. I'm going to bring those in and now when I place those, whether I draw a tall frame, a really tall, skinny frame there, and we'll draw kind of a squarish frame here, and then this one's a tall one, so let's do a wideframe just to be obnoxious. And then we'll do this one also wide as well. So you notice each one filled. Now, how did that crop? Well, as I look at each one, you can see each one is completely centered inside that frame. Because that's where I told it to do, was center inside there. This one's so big, it's such a tall one that it comes off the edge of the page there. And again, this item is here. So it went ahead and filled it proportionally. Well, that's helpful, except for obviously some of them aren't cropped so well. This one's a little skinny, let's actually just pull this a little bit more. So we have something to work with. But again, I can then select the item with the direct selection tool, or using the content grabber, or the translucent bagel. We can roll over that and I can see the image and I can see it's butted up right against the frame. Now, if you used that crop amount and had it off, it would just be sitting up a little bit above and that's kind of helpful. If you're going to move it back and forth, because sometimes it slips, but the nice thing is if you hold down the shift key, it will constrain it pretty well. At least get rid of the coffee jitters. But if you push it hard enough, it will actually jump out of that plane. It's moving it left and right right now but if I hold down the shift key I can at least move pretty quickly and not worry about it slipping out of the frame. So I'm going to do that. So just kind of get used to holding down your shift key. And we'll look at this one, this one actually looks pretty good. I'm just going to leave that as is. And this one's not showing anything I want to look at so we've got to zoom around and see what we have. Something interesting to look at at least. Let's do that. We gave ourselves some pretty impossible frames to work with actually, on purpose. But I want to show you that that's there, and what the auto-fit does, so I can look at each image and I can see up top in my control panel - I see auto-fit is turned on. So I can say okay, great. I've told it to fill the frame proportionally, but if I don't have auto-fit on - for instance, let's turn this off - if I don't have auto-fit on and I change the size of the frame, well, the image didn't change so now I have to go back to the fitting menu and tell it fill frame proportionally again. If I undo that, and we turn auto-fit back on, now, when I change the size of the frame, the image grows with it. So it's automatically always filling that frame proportionally, no matter what I do. We'll come up here - up here. And you notice it just keeps changing. So you never get that white space. And this is kind of cool. If you know you have a picture, you're not sure how you want to crop it, you know, you think, oh, I might do it wide, or maybe tall would look better. I can just move it 'til I find a spot that looks good. So this is kind of like a nice rubber band. I always think, oh, that looks good, no, we'll do this, and it just always sticks together and snaps back together. So that's something we can set ahead of time. Now I set that so all new documents are that way. So now I don't even have to worry about the fitting anymore. And this comes in super handy when you're doing things like placing a bunch of them at a time and you're using, let's say, the gridify tool. Well, actually, the gridify mystic feature. Because there's no tool, and there's no menu option for it. You just have to kind of know the keyboard shortcuts to it. So I'm going to grab a few more items here - we'll just grab a few here - and I don't know how many I have. What do I have? I have six. Great. That's perfect. And I'm going to use the gridify feature. The old mystic gridify feature. And what I'm going to do is I'm going to start drawing out that frame, but I'm going to use my up and down arrow keys to add rows so I know I need six frames instead of placing each one separately. I want them to appear in a nice, neat grid. Or maybe even just a line, it doesn't have to be in a grid, I could start drawing this out and use the up and down arrow keys. So I just hit up twice. When I did that, I ended up with two extra rows. And I'm going to use the right arrow key once and get myself an extra column. So now I have sort of this shape. I can make them narrow or tall, whatever I need to do. I can also change the amount of gap in between there as well. So we're going to do that. Before I let go, I'm still holding the mouse key down, by the way. So I'm drawing that out. I'm going to hold down - this is what I call bring a friend shortcut, because I can't even reach it on this - let's see if I can do it over on this keyboard. What I want to do is I want to hold down the command key, or the control key on a PC, and then hit the up and down arrow keys. And sometimes it doesn't work right away. It actually worked for me. Sometimes it adds an extra row and I have to stop. So I'm holding down the command key, or control key on a PC, and hitting the up arrow keys. And what that's doing is giving me more gap in between to, say, maybe put captions or whatever. Or maybe I just want to add extra space. Now, if you notice, I don't really have a way to tell how big those spaces are. I can count how many times I've hit the key, or I can just eyeball it and say that looks pretty even, right? So we'll do that. And now, as I move this around, it still keeps that same amount of gap. And when I let go, everything magically fits in those frames. Because I've already told it fill frames proportionally. Again, I might have to come in here and say let's find something a little more interesting on that. That looks pretty good. Let's see what else we have over here. Not much to choose from. But I can make this frame bigger, or this picture bigger, if I wanted to. Just because I told it to fit frame proportionally to start with, doesn't mean I can't make it bigger and find something more interesting to crop on. Right, so I can look at that and now I know I have those items already there and they're all in a nice grid. The other thing that I can do - oh, I just wanted to show you. The reason it started out with such a small gap between the grid: that's based on your original document that you've set up. So when you create a new document and you tell it how many columns, even though most of us just leave it at one, I can tell it how much gutter is in between there. So if I said a quarter of an inch on this document, when I start using the grid feature on that, it automatically puts that amount of gap in between. And that's whether or not I'm placing images or I'm drawing a shape. I can draw the shape first and put images in later or not, if I want. Drawing out just a rectangle shape using the up and down arrow keys, and now it's putting that quarter-inch gap in there instead of that smaller amount that we had. So that's where it gets that number from to start with. But let's say we've created that and we've created it really fat and we realize we didn't really want them that fat. We want to actually change that. We want to use what's called the gap tool. So we'll come over here and show the gap tool. Click on it - it's right next to the page tool on your toolbox - and as I roll over each gap, you can see that it changes color. And see - here's a gap between items, here's a gap. Here's a gap. Right? And it continues all the way down the page. Even the outside gaps are accounted for. So with that, I can change where that gap sits. So I can just click and hold with the gap tool and move that gap down. And when I do that, you notice the pictures are growing and shrinking. That's because I have that auto-fit turned on so they're constantly staying fit in that proportion. So I can change that. I can also do it this way. If I hold down the shift key, it only moves the two items on either side of the - immediately on either side of the gap, there. So I can do that. I can go back and then change this gap. Now they're two separate ones, of course, but, if you notice, I have these little green lines popping up everywhere. Those are my smart guides. And if you don't have smart guides turned on, you'll want to turn those on. But I can move them back and forth and see when I've got the gap actually lined up. But I don't like the size of that gap. We said the gap wasn't that good. I'm going to actually bring this back so I don't have to maintain so many gaps. There we go. I want to actually make that gap smaller. Well, I need to use the gap tool with some modifier keys. But I can't remember what modifier keys I need, so I'm going to open up a handy panel. It's under Window Utilities. Tool Hints. And what that does is, if you have a tool that has a lot of different options available to it, it will tell you what the modifier keys and what each one does. And the gap tool is one of those that has several options but I can't remember what they are. I know that shift lets me use just the one - the two items on either side of the gap. But I want to change the gap size so let's look over here. Oh, the command key - in addition to the gap key - resizes the gap instead of moving it. So let's do that. So the command key, that'd be the control key on a PC, when I hold the gap tool on that and change that, now I'm changing the size of the gap. So I'm going to change the size of the gap 'til it gets down to .475. That's perfect. We're going to do the same thing here, holding down the command key, and I'm using the on-screen prompt so I know that they're the same. We're going to do the same thing here. So let's go to .475. There we go. So I've just narrowed the gap there. All right, so I can also see that I can use the shift key or I can use the arrow keys, and there's also the option key. The option key actually moves everything off of the gap. All right, so again, that's the tool-ins that kind of give you those little - the other things that the tools can do when you add in your modifier keys. All right? So that's the gap tool. And that's just a quick way, like I say, to get things lined up on here. We can just grab the gap tool and move this gap. So we'll pull this one over. Pull this one...and this one, until we get everything lined up nicely. And then we've got just a nice, quick layout of our images in one sheet. So again, if you were doing something like a photo book and you just wanted a collage, or you wanted to randomize it, you can do that. If you want something really random, there's actually some scripts that are built in that let you build a grid. You can tell it how many items you want it to have. There's also a plug-in called Albums In Design. I think they're still making it. And it lets you just choose, oh, I want to make 13 different ones. Well, 13 doesn't fit in a nice grid. In Design wants to work in a grid. It'll just randomly make 13 rectangles that fit all in one big rectangle. And put a gap in between. And then you can just drop pictures in there. So, again, it's just a little more automation. It's just an extra thing you purchase on top of that. But it's pretty cool. So, that's what I do, is I set up my pre-sets so I don't have to do that over and over and over again. I don't want to have to think about that. Now, I've got it set for every new document. I don't even need to think about it at all.

Adobe® InDesign® Creative Cloud® enables you to create rich documents and layouts that combine graphic elements, images, and text. Advance your design skills with Adobe® InDesign® Creative Cloud® Intermediate: Beyond the Basics with Erica Gamet.

In this class, Erica will help you tackle complex design projects and share best practice techniques in Adobe® InDesign® Creative Cloud®

You’ll learn how to:
  • Manage multi-page documents and use master pages
  • Automate your workflow and save time
  • Select character and paragraph styles
You’ll learn about advanced exporting options and she’ll offer tips on taking advantage of the extensive selection of assets in the Creative Cloud® Libraries.

If you’ve mastered the basics are are ready to advance your design skills, don’t miss Adobe® InDesign® Creative Cloud® Intermediate: Beyond the Basics with Erica Gamet.

Level: Intermediate/Advanced. Recommended prerequisite: Adobe® InDesign® Creative Cloud® for Beginners

Software Used: Adobe InDesign CC 2015.1



  • As an absolute beginner to InDesign, I purchased both of Erica's classes and man was she helpful. I highly recommend this course to anyone unfamiliar with the software to give them some great footing. Thank you Erica and thank you Creative Live!
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