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Adobe InDesign CS5 : Working with Objects and Layers - Working with Objects on Layers, Using the Measure Tool, Using Live Screen Drawing

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1. Working with Objects on Layers

After you have created more than one layer, you can create objects on the new layers or move objects from one layer to another. To work with a layer, all you need to do is select an object on the layer in the document window or select a layer or object (New!) in the Layers panel. Each layer in the Layers panel uses an Expand/Collapse triangle to show/hide the objects on it and their stacking order (New!). The color of an object’s frame indicates the layer on which it is located. Blue is the default color of the first layer when you create a new document. This makes it easy to identify objects and layers. When you select an object, a square object icon appears in the Layers panel. A quick way to move an object from one layer to another is to drag the object name or square object icon from one layer to another in the Layers panel.

Work with Objects on Layers

  • Select a Layer with Objects. Select an object in the document window with the same color frame as the layer color.

  • Select a Layer in the Layers Panel. Select the Layers panel, and then click a layer.

  • Expand/Collapse a Layer in the Layers Panel. Select the Layers panel, and then click the Expand/Collapse triangle (New!).

  • Move an Object Between Layers. Select the Layers panel, select an object in the document window or Layers panel, and then drag the square object icon from the selected layer to another layer.

  • Copy an Object Between Layers. Select an object in the document window, select the Layers panel, hold the Alt (Win) or Option (Mac) key, and then drag the object name or square object icon from the selected layer to another layer.

  • Reorder Layers or Objects. Select the Layers panel, then drag a layer or object (New!) from one position to another. A thick black line appears, indicating the new position.

  • Rename an Object. Select the layers panel, select the object, pause, and then click it again to highlight the name. Type a name, and then press Enter (Win) or Return (Mac) (New!).

2. Using the Measure Tool

The Measure tool allows you to find out the size of items or measure the distance between objects. The Measure tool displays measurement information in the Info panel. The panel shows you the horizontal and vertical position, distance and angle of the measurement line, and width and height of the bounding box.

Measure Distances and Angles with the Measure Tool

1. Select the Info panel.

  • Click the Window menu, and then click Info.

2. Click the Measure tool on the Tools panel.

3. Point to the start point of what you want to measure, and then drag to draw a line to the end point.

4. To create an angle, point to the start or end point, hold the Alt (Win) or Option (Mac) key, and then drag a new line to the angle you want.

5. To move a measurement line, drag the line (not the end points) to a new position.

6. To adjust the start and end points on the measurement line, drag the start or end point to a new position.

3. Using Live Screen Drawing

In previous versions of InDesign, you needed to pause before dragging to see the content as you draw. Now, you can see the content drawn as you drag without the pause using Live Screen Drawing (New!). In the Interface preferences dialog box, you can can select the Live Screen Drawing option you want. If you prefer the old way, then you can select the Delayed option. If you want to see content as you draw, then select the Immediate option. If you don’t want either, then select Never.

Set Live Screen Drawing Options

1. Click the Edit (Win) or InDesign (Mac) menu, point to Preferences, and then click Interface.

2. Click the Live Screen Drawing list arrow, and then select any of the following:

  • Never. Select to never show content as you draw.

  • Immediate. Select to show content immediately as you draw.

  • Delayed. Select to pause before you show content as you draw (like the behavior in InDesign CS4).

3. Click OK.

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