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InDesign CS Frame and Shape Tools

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The Frame Tools Flyout
The Frame Tools

Using the Rectangle Frame, Ellipse Frame, Polygon Frame Tool

Image by J. Bear
By default InDesign will show the Rectangle Frame Tool in its Tools palette. This tool has a flyout with an Ellipse Frame Tool and a Polygon Frame Tool. They all work the same way, but they draw different shapes. Don't confuse these tools with the Rectangle, Ellipse, and Polygon Tools, also found in the Tools Palette. The Frame Tools create boxes (or frames) for graphics, while the Rectangle, Ellipse and Polygon tools are for drawing shapes to fill or outline with colour.
  • Hold down the Shift key while drawing with the Rectangle Frame Tool to create a square frame.
  • Hold down the Shift key while drawing with the Ellipse Frame Tool to create a circular frame.
  • Hold down the Shift key while drawing with the Polygon Frame Tool to create a shape with all sides the same.

The frames created with the Rectangle Frame, Ellipse Frame, or Polygon Frame can hold text or graphics. Use the Type Tool to make it a text frame. See the next step for placing images in frames.

You can convert an image frame into a text frame by clicking inside it with the Type Tool. You can only do this if you did not place any image into the image frame already. If your image frame is empty, but you have applied colour to it, you can still convert it to a text frame.
The Rest of The Tools, Part 1
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