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Moving, Resizing, and Deleting Objects in InDesign CS2

When working with InDesign CS2, the most common tasks you'll do with objects is rearranging them — both moving them and changing their dimensions, plus deleting the ones you don't want or no longer need. In any case, you must first select the object with the Selection tool.

Moving objects

The easiest way to move an object is by using the mouse. With the Selection tool, click an object and drag it to a new location. When you release the mouse, the object will be deposited in the new location.

If you want to more precisely move an object, you can enter specific X: and Y: coordinates in the Control palette or Transform pane.

Be sure to select the correct control point when entering coordinates. The little squares at the top left of the Control palette and Transform pane represent the object's control points (corners, side midpoints, and center). Click a control point to make it active (it will turn black); all coordinates are now based on this point.

Resizing objects

You resize objects in pretty much the same way you move them: by using the mouse for inexact sizes or the Control palette or Transform pane for precise sizes.

To resize an object with the mouse, click and drag one of the frame's handles. (Hold the Shift key as you drag to maintain the proportions of the frame.) Drag a corner handle to resize both the width and height or a side handle to resize just the height or width.

You can also enter new value in the W: and H: fields (for width and height) of the Control palette or Transform pane. Remember those control points for positioning an object (see the section named "Moving objects")? They come into play for resizing objects as well. Basically, the object will grow or shrink starting from the selected control point. So if the upper-left control point is selected and you enter greater W: and H: values, the object will add the extra width to the right and the extra height below. But if you choose the center control point, it will grow on both sides as well as on the top and bottom, spreading the extra size evenly.

Another way to resize a graphic is to enter percentage values in the Scale X Percentage and Scale Y Percentage fields of the Control palette or Transform pane. This is a handy technique for empty frames and shapes, but there are some issues that affect graphics and text that you need to understand fully. (In a nutshell, these Scale fields usually resize the contents of the frame, not just the frame itself.)

Deleting objects

Alas, not all the objects you create will survive all the way to the final version of your publication. Some will wind up on the cutting room floor. You can always move an object to the pasteboard if you're not sure whether you want to get rid of it altogether (objects on the pasteboard don't print). But when it's time to ax an object, oblivion is just a keystroke or two away.

If you delete a text or graphics frame, the contents are removed as well as the frame.

Here's how to delete objects: Using either selection tool, select the object or objects you want to delete and then press the Delete key or Backspace key. You can also delete a selected item by choosing Edit --> Clear.

Choosing Edit --> Cut or pressing Command+X or Ctrl+X also removes a selected object. However, in this case a copy of the object is saved to the Clipboard and can be pasted elsewhere (by choosing Edit --> Paste or by pressing Command+V or Ctrl+V) until you cut or copy something else or you shut down your computer.

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