Users new to Indesign can sometimes be confused when resizing images, ending up cropping a photograph instead of scaling it. We show you all the tips and tricks in our Adobe Indesign courses.
First, note that when you import (place) an image in Indesign it consists of two elements: the frame and the content within the frame. When you select an image with the Selection tool (black arrow) you are actually selecting the frame, not the content within the frame. Thus dragging the handle will resize the frame, resulting in cropping the image. The way around this is to hold down Control (Mac: Command) as you drag the handle – this resizes both frame and content. However, this may also result in distorting the image, so the correct method is press down on both Control and Shift at the same time (Mac: Command and Shift), resulting in a proportionate rescaling of the image.
There are other methods, however. Namely the Scale and Free Transform tools – but you still have to press down on Shift to keep the image proportionate. Note also the Scale fields on the top control panel – you can also simply select the image and punch in a percentage value, then hit Enter.
Please note that the recommended safe parameter for scaling upwards is 120% – a value higher than this can result in the published image looking pixelated. This will depend on the resolution of the original image, however. The resolution can be checked in the image’s info section in the Links panel. Note that there’s an original resolution and an effectual resolution. For instance, if you scale an image by half it doubles the effectual resolution.
More tips can be found at the Sydney Indesign User Group which meets regularly in the city, and is a free forum for designers to discuss topics and the latest Indesign features. See many examples of our own clients’ work on our Facebook page.
Other related Indesign Blog Posts:
- Indesign images and text
- Indesign workflow
- Indesign templates
- Indesign page numbers
- Indesign add hyperlink