Section 70. Duplicating Objects


#70. Duplicating Objects

Sometimes in life, you have to do the same job more than once. Mowing your lawn and washing your clothes, for example. Fortunately, as an InDesign user, you never have to create the same object twice.

Create a Copy When You Modify an Object

You can modify objects by changing settings in palettes. For example, you can rotate an object by entering a value in the Rotation Angle field in the Control palette. Or you can scale an object by entering a value in the Scale X Percentage or Scale Y Percentage field in the Transform palette. If you hold down the Option key (Mac OS) or the Alt key (Windows) when you press Return to exit a palette field after changing a value, the new setting is applied to a copy of the selected object, and the copy is placed in front of the original.


InDesign provides several options for making copies of objects. The one you choose depends on the number of copies you need and where you want to place them.

  • The Duplicate command in the Edit menu creates a single copy of whatever's selected. The copy is placed 1 pica below and to the right of the original unless you've used the Step and Repeat command (see the last bullet item in this list), in which case the Horizontal Offset and Vertical Offset values used most recently in the Step and Repeat dialog box are used to place the duplicate.

  • Hold down Option (Mac OS) or Alt (Windows) when you drag an object with the Selection tool or Direct Selection tool to create a duplicate of the object (Figure 70a). The copied object is placed where you release the mouse button. The original object is unchanged. If you hold down the Shift key when you Alt/Option+drag an object, you can drag only in increments of 45°.

    Figure 70a. If you hold down the Option key (Mac OS) or the Alt key (Windows) when dragging an object with the Selection tool or Direct Selection tool, a pair of arrow pointers is displayed as you drag. The white one indicates that you're dragging a copy of the original object. If you pause briefly before Alt/Option+dragging an object, the duplicate is displayed as you drag.

  • The Copy and Paste commands in the Edit menu provide another option for duplicating an object. Whatever you copy with the Copy command is saved to the clipboard until you copy or cut something else. The Edit menu also provides three choices for pasting copied objects: 1) choose Paste to place copied objects in the middle of the currently displayed page; 2) choose Paste Into to place the copied object into a selected frame and create a nested object; or 3) choose Paste in Place to place the selected objects using the X and Y offsets of the original objects. This is a handy option if you want to copy something onto a new page while retaining the position of the original.

  • The Step and Repeat command in the Edit menu lets you create multiple copies of an object and specify the placement of the copies relative to the original (Figure 70b).

Figure 70b. The Step and Repeat command (Edit menu) lets you create multiple duplicates in a single operation. In this example, the settings in the Step and Repeat dialog box produced the final result at the right from a single frame.


Store Objects in Libraries and as Snippets

If you want to save a copy of an object for use in other documents, you can save the object in an InDesign library or you can create a snippet file. You can share both libraries and snippet files with colleagues and clients. See #72 for more about libraries; see #73 for more about snippets.




Adobe InDesign CS2 How-Tos(c) 100 Essential Techniques
Adobe InDesign CS2 How-Tos: 100 Essential Techniques
ISBN: 0321321901
EAN: 2147483647
Year: N/A
Pages: 142

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