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Working with Objects in Adobe InDesign CS4 for Macintosh and Windows

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While InDesign is not a full-fledged drawing program such as Adobe Illustrator, you can use InDesign’s tools to create a wide variety of effects by distorting, moving, resizing, duplicating, and aligning objects. This chapter shows you how.

Back in the old days of board mechanicals, advertising agencies and design studios had a production area called the bullpen. It was the people in the bullpen—called bullpen artists—who actually created the mechanical. Most of them were kids just out of design school; the bullpen was usually their first step up the ladder in advertising or design.

The kids in the bullpen were amazing. Although not professional illustrators, they could create all sorts of artwork for the layout.

The same is true with InDesign. While InDesign is not a full-fledged drawing program such as Adobe Illustrator, you can use InDesign’s tools to create a wide variety of effects by distorting, moving, resizing, duplicating, and aligning objects. It’s your electronic bullpen.

Types of Frames

Frames are the containers in which you place graphics or text. Frames can also be used as graphic shapes. There are three types of frames you can create: unassigned, graphic, and text.

Unassigned frames

Unassigned frames are created with the Rectangle, Ellipse, and Polygon tools square_1.gif. These frames are useful for adding color to your layout or a stroke around an area without inserting a graphic or text.

04_frame_comparison.jpg

square_1.gif The three different types of frames: unassigned, graphic, and text.

Graphic frames

Graphic frames are created with the Rectangle Frame, Ellipse Frame, and Polygon Frame tools. When you create a graphic frame, diagonal lines inside the frame indicate that you can insert a graphic inside the frame square_1.gif.

Text frames

Text frames are created using the Text tool or by converting frames. When you create a text frame, two link boxes appear on the sides of the frame in addition to the bounding box handles. Text frames also display a blinking insertion point when they are selected square_1.gif.

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