InDesign Creative Suite 5 Transform Panel Options - dummies

InDesign Creative Suite 5 Transform Panel Options

By Jennifer Smith, Christopher Smith, Fred Gerantabee

With InDesign CS5 Transform panel you can change the way an image or graphic looks and change the scale, rotation, or skew of selected objects. You can choose from a range of values for some of these modifiers or manually set your own by typing them. You can access the Transform panel at Window→Object & Layout→Transform.

The Transform panel makes it easy to resize, rotate, and reposition selected objects.
The Transform panel makes it easy to resize, rotate, and reposition selected objects.

The Transform panel offers the following information and functionality:

  • Reference point: Indicates which handle is the reference for any transformations you make. If the reference point is in the center, the center square is solid. If it is in one of the corners, the corner square will be solid. And, if it is at the center top, center bottom, center right, or center left, the corresponding square will be solid.

  • Position: Change these values to reset the X and Y coordinate position of the selected object.

  • Size: The W and H text fields are used to change the current dimensions of the object.

  • Scale: Enter or choose a percentage from the Scale X Percentage and Scale Y Percentage drop-down lists to scale (resize) the object on either of these axes.

  • Constraining proportions: Click the Constrain Proportions button to maintain the current proportions of the object being scaled.

  • Shearing: Enter or choose a negative or positive number to modify the shearing angle (skew) of the selected object.

  • Rotation angle: Set a negative value to rotate the object clockwise; a positive value rotates the object counterclockwise.

When you’re scaling, shearing, or rotating an object in your layout, it transforms based on the reference point in the Transform panel. For example, when you rotate an object, InDesign considers the reference point to be the center point of the rotation.

Click a new reference point square in the Transform panel to change the reference point of the graphic to the equivalent bounding box handle of the selected object.

You can open dialog boxes for each kind of transformation by choosing Object→Transform. These dialog boxes have similar functionality to the Transform panel.