like many InDesign features, the flexibility and power of the control panel is not immediately apparent. for example, it’s not obvious that you can type a measurement, instead of a percentage, into the scale fields. now why would you do that, rather than just type that measurement into the width field? because, if you’re working with a graphic frame, whacking it in the scale field will scale the graphic as well as the frame (not just the frame) :

but you probably already knew that. here’s a couple of other groovy tricks … control panel fields can handle mathematical calculations. do you want to move that frame to the right by exactly 10mm? or decrease the height of a frame by exactly 6mm? you don’t have to do the maths in your head :

you can use whatever kind of calculation suits you best. here are three examples that all give the same result. note that, just as you can add a measurement to a percentage field, you can also add a percentage to a measurement field :

but that’s not all … you’re not restricted to using the measurement units you specified in your application preferences. picas = p; points = pt; centimetres = cm; inches = in; etc. this can be handy, for example, if you need to do a quick conversion between metric and imperial units. exactly how many millimetres are there in three inches? :

the only restriction is that the units you use really must make sense. this one is never going to work :