Image Frames

Martin Perhiniak
A free video tutorial from Martin Perhiniak
Yes I'm a Designer
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Learn more from the full course

InDesign CC 2020 MasterClass

Master the Industry-leading Page Design and Layout Application

10:23:35 of on-demand video • Updated November 2019

  • Learn InDesign from the start the way a professional would use it.
  • Test your knowledge with quizzes at the end of each chapter.
  • Practice everything you learn with provided Exercise Files.
  • Learn useful keyboard shortcuts and best practices.
  • Advanced automation techniques like GREP and Data Merge
  • Working with Text and Image Frames
  • Creative Page Layouts and Compositions
  • Mastering Character and Paragraph Styles
  • Typographic and typesetting techniques
  • Creating Table of Contents
  • Working with Books and Long Documents
  • Print and Digital Publishing
English In InDesign everything that you place into your documents will be contained within Frames whether it's text or images. We also refer to Frames as Containers. What you have inside the frame is also referred to as Content. It is very important to remember these terms and to understand the concept of the relation between the two of them. When you select an image with the black arrow or Selection Tool you will get the control points showing up around the edges. These will always highlight the boundaries of your Frame or Container. Now what's different in InDesign compared to Photoshop and Illustrator is that when you start moving these Control points around you are not actually resizing the image but you are cropping it. So when I start dragging any of these Control points you will notice straight away that I'm hiding details from the original image and showing them again. So Control points are for cropping and the good thing is that you can always reset them by simply double click on a corner point. So that will show again everything from the original image. If I want I can drag these Control points further out as well, which might be useful in some cases but once again if I double click on any of these control points it will snap back and realign itself around the content, which is the image in this case. Now let me zoom a little bit closer to this image. So that's Cmd + or Ctrl + and because the image was selected it immediately centers it also to the screen. So if I crop this image again. Let's just say I crop it from below, then while it's being cropped, I would be able to now move the image within the Container by double clicking on it and then start dragging it around. So what you see now happens is that the Container stays in place and the Content is moving. So it's similar to before but now we are editing the Content and not the Container and the way InDesign is telling us that this is happening is by showing the Hand Tool instead of the black arrow, so the cursor is changing but also color of the bounding box changes to brown or like at orange color instead of showing the current layers color which is normally by default blue. So if I double click again on the image I can switch back to again editing the Container. So now I can move the image around together with its Container or continue cropping it as before. And don't worry you will never lose Content when you are doing the cropping with the actual Container. So the details that you are hiding will never disappear. Now if I change my crop to something like this. Let's say I can then quickly realign the content to this new aspect ratio by right-clicking on the image and choosing one of the fitting options. One of my favorite ones is Fill Frame Proportionally which will make sure that the image doesn't get distorted but it will quickly be resized to show as much as possible within this new Bounding box or Container. So coming back to the previous page just to make sure that you understand whenever you work with images you will be able to switch between editing the Container or the Content by using the double click technique. So that's how you enter editing the Content and then exit back into editing the Container always make sure that you know in which mode you are currently editing and how that's going to affect your images. One mistake that a lot of InDesign users run into in the beginning is that they accidentally double-click on the image and then they start dragging these Control points now what happens then is something you would like to avoid because this is going to distort the image. So when you are editing the Content the Control points will be used for scaling and stretching the image. So that's just something I'm going to undo and I would recommend not to get used to doing this because for scaling that is a much better technique, which I'm going to show you in a second. Just remember when you see the brown outlines you wouldn't necessarily want to work with the Control points you just want to drag the image around within the bounding box, or there is an even better way of controlling the content and I'm going to show you that here on this page there is a feature called Content Grabber Tool, so you don't actually even need to double click on an image Frame you can just hover over to the Center point where you see this Circle or disk and that's called the Content Grabber Tool with which you can just click and start dragging to move the image inside the Frame. So this actually saves you time you don't even have to double click once and then double click again, you can just start dragging the content immediately without switching between the modes. So whenever you use the circle remember that the image will stay in place, so the frame itself doesn't move just the content inside it. If you ever feel like it's in the way that circle or the Content Grabber Tool you can hide it from the View Menu, Extras and there you will find Content Grabber. So it can be turned off if you prefer not to see it. Now another very basic thing that you need to learn about working with images is Rotation and this can be done in many different ways. One of which is just simply selecting an image and going close to a corner point and then click and dragging will allow you to rotate it. Now if you hold down the Shift key while rotating you can do the rotation with 45 degree increments, so that can be useful as well. And if you want you can also do a rotation much faster by using these rotate 90 degrees clockwise or 90 degrees anti-clockwise options. So with that I can also do the rotation and in these cases the rotation will be based on whichever reference point is selected here on the left in the Options bar. So I prefer to keep the center one highlighted because if I have that you see the image is spinning around its center point, while if I have maybe the top left reference point selected, then the image is going to rotate around the top left point or control point. So it's best to keep it in the center and then continue rotating. You can also use for rotation this tool called the Rotate Tool. R is the shortcut if you quickly want to select it and with this first of all you can click anywhere to set up a center of rotation point and then start dragging the image around that point, so that can be also useful if it's important to rotate an object around a certain point in your design. Another thing you can do from the Options Bar is Reflecting images, so you have the flip horizontal option and you have the flip vertical option as well and notice when I do that this letter here is changing by default it should show a P sign, but once you start flipping and rotating images that P sign will follow the changes and you will be able to tell immediately when you look at it, whether the image has its original orientation or not. So that's a very useful indicator up there. If you rotated an image, and you want to reset it back to its original orientation. You find the angle up here and you can very easily just set it to zero decrease to set it back to the way it was. And last but not least another very important basic transformation is Scaling images or Frames in general and that is done by using the shortcut Ctrl Shift or Cmd Shift and dragging one of the corner points of an image and that task here on this page is to make sure that we get the same size for both this image and this one here at the bottom. So we need to align it to the one on the right. So once again I'm holding down Cmd Shift dragging it down and then up from here, and then we have it aligned in size. There are other ways of scaling images as well, which I explained here in the workbook but I prefer if you learn this method because this is the fastest and most convenient way and to be honest the safest way of scaling images because the others might again distort the images and mess up the proportions on them, but let me show you a very useful thing if you accidentally forget to hold down the Shift key for example and only hold down Ctrl/ Cmd you can also accidentally distort an image. So what can you do if you notice this later on and first of all how can you tell that the image has been distorted. When having an image selected to check whether it's distorted or not you can go to the Links Panel, which we have here on the right and in the link info area. You will find an option called effective PPI, now we will come back to this and I will explain what that means but as long as you see a single number here then it means your image is not distorted like let's select this image here you will see one single number, doesn't matter how big or small it is as long as it's one number then it is not distorted so the image is in its original proportions, but if I select this other image which we intentionally distorted. We will see two separate numbers, and there's an X in the middle. So this image has a different resolution for its width and for its height, so that indicates that the image has been distorted. So how do we fix it? Well luckily there is an easy fix by right-clicking on the image choosing Fitting and then Fill Frame Proportionally will immediately set back the proportions and notice that the effective PPI went back to one number now. If I now want to show the full image again, all I have to do is to double-click on one of the corner points and there you go, we have the original image. So we managed to remove the distortion and see everything again and then using the proper way of resizing the Cmd Shift, I am going to make the image smaller again. So these are the basic and most important features you need to know about working with Image Frames and in the next video I will show you how you can place in new images into your InDesign documents.