InDesign’s hidden gems: our top 5 for wrangling imagery

Following on from our 5 gems for wrangling Adobe InDesign text, here are what we believe are the BEST shortcuts when you’re working with imagery.

eleven stranger things bald - boy in yellow shirt - Millie Bobby Brown Shave Her Head
With a little concentration, you too can master your secret weapon

Being able to quickly wrangle imagery is a designer’s secret weapon.

Designers #ShineOn 💎

1. Grid images

In the same way you can add columns to a text box as you are drawing it out, hold the mouse down as you’re drawing a graphic box and tap the right arrow key to additional boxes into a grid.

Grid Graphic Boxes - add columns to a text box as drawing it out - additional boxes
Griding those images of cats has never been easier

2. Auto-fit

If you haven’t set up auto-fit to your graphic box in your templates, shift + option + command + e will fit your image to the picture box proportionally.

A lovely cat Birdy With Bubbles - auto fit to the picture box proportionally - graphic
Stretch your fingers to hit shift + option + command + e

3. Default auto-fit

With no documents open, you can set the default auto-fit options for your image boxes for all your new documents.

  • Go to the Object menu and select Fitting
  • Then select Frame Fitting Options…
  • Turn on Auto-Fit and choose your preferred content fitting option – fit content proportionally is a good start!

Extra tip: This will apply to all new documents you create, but you can set the default for existing documents as well.

Autofit_with Birdy the office cat - default image boxes
Birdy (the office cat) is perfectly positioned every time with auto-fit

4. Drop shadow

Option + command + m displays the drop shadow options for your image (and for text too).

Adobe InDesign Effects - setting for Graphic - Drop Shadow
Quickly open Effects to add a drop shadow with option + command + m

5. Locking, hiding & grouping

There are some great quick-fire keyboard shortcuts for locking (command + l), hiding (command + 3) and grouping (command + g) for image and text boxes. These can be un-done using the option + command version of the same shortcut (with the exception of grouping which is shift + command).