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Working with objects

The building blocks of InDesign pages are objects: text frames, graphics frames, lines, and more. In general, you move and resize objects with the Selection tool. Objects can have a fill color (background color) and a stroke color (outline or border), which you can customize by specifying the width and style. You can move objects around freely, snap them to other objects, and place them with precision according to guides or values you enter. In addition, you can resize and scale objects and specify how text wraps around them. Here, you will experiment with a few object-related features, including adding a QR code for easy web access.

Moving and rotating an object

A flower graphic created by converting flower characters from the Zapf Dingbats font into outlines (Type > Create Outlines) is on the pasteboard to the left of the page. You will move this graphic to the right of the restaurant name, “edible blossoms.” Then, you will rotate the object and adjust its placement.

  1. Choose View > Fit Page In Window to center the page in the document window. Scroll left to see the flower graphic on the pasteboard.

  2. Using the Selection tool (selectiontool.jpg), click the flower graphic.

  3. Drag the graphic to the right of the headline, “edible blossoms.”

    With the object still selected, you will fine-tune the placement using the Properties panel.

  4. In the Transform controls of the Properties panel, click the More Options button (moreoptions.jpg) if necessary. To specify the object’s placement in relation to its reference point (upper-left corner), type the following values in the fields:

    X: 1.85 in

    Y: .05 in

    Rotation angle (rotatefield.jpg): –10

    You can tab between the fields, and then press Enter (Windows) or Return (macOS) to apply the changes.

  5. Choose File > Save.

Changing an object’s stroke and fill

When an object is selected, you can change its stroke (outline or border) weight and color. In addition, you can apply a fill (background) color.

  1. Choose Edit > Deselect All to make sure nothing is selected.

  2. To better focus on the objects, choose Type > Hide Hidden Characters.

  3. Click the Direct Selection (directselectiontool.jpg) tool on the Tools panel, and then click the white flower in the graphic to select it.

  4. In the Appearance controls of the Properties panel, click the Fill box (propertiesfill.jpg) to display the document’s swatches. Click the Green-Dark swatch.

  5. Press the V key on the keyboard to switch to the Selection tool (selectiontool.jpg). Click to select the black horizontal line at the bottom of the page.

  6. In the Appearance controls of the Properties panel, click the Stroke box (propertiesstroke.jpg) to display the document’s swatches. Click the Green-Medium swatch.

  7. Click the pasteboard to deselect all objects.

  8. Choose File > Save.

Adding a QR Code

Consumers often expect advertising pieces to include a QR code so they can quickly visit a website for more information. The code is a graphic (generated by InDesign) that is inside a graphics frame. Here, you will add a QR code below the “see the full menu” text in the lower middle part of the postcard.

  1. Choose Edit > Deselect All to make sure nothing is selected.

  2. Choose Object > Generate QR Code.

  3. In the Content tab of the Generate QR Code dialog, leave the Type setting at Plain Text. Type in the Content field.

  4. Click the Color tab, and then select Green-Dark in the list of swatches. This creates a QR code that matches the color theme of the postcard.

  5. Click OK to load the pointer with the QR code. Drag the pointer below the “see the full menu” text to place the QR code. Keep the graphics frame selected so you can fine-tune its placement.

  6. In the Transform controls of the Properties panel, type the following values in the fields:

    X: 3.6 in

    Y: 3.25 in

    W: .5 in

    H: .5 in

  7. To resize the QR code and center it within the frame, click Fit Content Proportionally (fitcontentproportionally.jpg) in the Frame Fitting controls of the Properties panel.

  8. Click the pasteboard to deselect all objects.

  9. Choose File > Save.

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