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Grouping and Pasting Into Objects

You can group objects so you can easily select and modify them as a unit.

To group objects:

  1. Select the objects you want to group.
  2. Choose Object > Group. A dotted-line bounding box encloses all the objects square66.gif.

    square66.gif When selected with the Selection tool, grouped items display a bounding box around the entire group.

You can also create groups within groups. This is called nesting.

To nest groups:

  1. Select the grouped objects.
  2. Hold the Shift key and select another object or group.
  3. Choose Object > Group.

Once you have grouped objects, you can select individual objects within the group.

To select groups or objects within groups:

  • Click once on any item in the group. The group is selected as a whole.


    Double-click to select a specific item in the group square67.gif.


    square67.gif When selected with the Direct Selection tool, a single item in a group is displayed on its own.

To use commands to select objects within groups:

  1. Use the Selection tool to select the group.
  2. Choose Object > Select > Content. This selects the topmost object in the group.
  3. Choose Object > Select > Previous Object. This selects the object that is layered below the selected object.


    Choose Object > Select > Next Object. This selects the object that is directly above the selected object.

To ungroup objects:

  1. Select the group.
  2. Choose Object > Ungroup.
  3. If you have nested groups, continue to ungroup the objects as necessary.

You can also paste an object into a frame. This is similar to the concept of masks in illustration programs. InDesign refers to the object that is pasted as the content. It refers to the frame that holds the object as the container.

To paste an object into another:

  1. Select the first object and position it over the second object square68.gif.

    square68.gif An object to be pasted into another should be positioned over the other.

  2. Choose Edit > Cut to place the first object on the computer clipboard.
  3. Select the second object and choose Edit > Paste Into. The content appears within the borders of the container square69.gif.

    square69.gif The Paste Into command displays the content only within the borders of the container.

To remove pasted-in content:

  1. Use the Direct Selection tool to select the pasted-in content.
  2. Choose Edit > Cut.

There are some special techniques for selecting just the container or the content of pasted-in objects.

To select just the container object:

  • Click on the frame that holds the content with the Direct Selection tool to select the container square70.gif.

    square70.gif Click with the Direct Selection tool to select just the container.


    Click with the Selection tool and then choose Object > Select > Container.

To select just the content object:

  • Click inside the container with the Direct Selection tool to select the content square71.gif.

    square71.gif Click inside the container with the Direct Selection tool to select the content.


    Click with the Selection tool and then choose Object > Select > Content.

You use special techniques to move the content inside the container.

To move only the content object:

  1. Select the content object.
  2. Use either the Direct Selection or the Selection tool to drag the content by its center point square72.gif. The content moves within the container.

    square72.gif Use the center point to move just the selected content.

To move only the container:

  1. Select the container object.
  2. Use either the Direct Selection or the Selection tool to drag the container by its center point square73.gif. The container moves without disturbing the content.

    square73.gif Drag the center point of the container to move it without disturbing the content.

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