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Adobe InDesign Work Area, Tools, Palettes

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The Control Palette, Part 1
control palette measurements

You will find all of your measurements in the control palette

Images by E. Bruno
By default the Control Palette docks at the top of the screen. Drag, float, or dock it on the bottom of the screen if you want. Palette contents change depending on the tool in use or what you are doing.

Your item measurements are in this palette. To demonstrate, I drew a black box in the middle of the page and selected it.

X and Y, are the coordinates for the box on the page. The values are important to know for precise positioning.

  • To the left is a square composed of 9 smaller squares. In this case the centre square is black.
  • Click on the other squares and see what happens to X and Y. They change. That's because you told InDesign to use a different reference point. When the middle square was selected, it was telling you the coordinates of the middle point of the black box. When you click on any of the other little squares, such as the top left corner, InDesign tells you the coordinates of the top left corner of the item.

H and W, give the height and width of an item.

  • The little chain icon allows you to constrain the proportions of your object. Type a smaller W value and your H value decreases proportionally.
  • A broken chain,icon means that if you type a different value for W or H, the other one won't change, because the "constrain proportions" option is not active.

You can also change the size of any item on a page by typing a different percentage in the next two measurements. Here again, the chain icon has the same function.

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