InDesign tip : #02

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) :

control panel grab 1

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 :

control panel grab 2a
control panel grab 2b

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 :

control panel grab 3b
control panel grab 3c
control panel grab 3d

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? :

control panel grab 4a
control panel grab 4b

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

control panel grab 5

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