Getting Started with InDesign

How to Fit Graphics to Frames in Adobe InDesign

Graphics and images can easily be sized to fit within a frame in the following ways.

We'll start with this unscaled image in a square frame. Go to the Object menu, then to Fitting , and select Fit Content Proportionally . The entire image is now scaled to fit proportionally within the frame. Another option would be to fill the frame. Go back to the Object menu, to Fitting , and select Fill Frame Proportionally . The image is now sized to fill the frame. The frame can also be scaled to match the image size. Go to the Object menu, then Fitting , and this time select Fit Frame to Content . In this case, the frame resizes to match the image. There are also buttons in the Control Panel that can be used.

Adding Frames in InDesign

Click the “Text” tool in the toolbar. Hover the mouse cursor over the page, left-click and hold while you drag to create the text frame. Click the “Selection” tool to drag the frame on the page for placement and to resize the frame with the sizing handles in the corners and on the sides of the frame.


Click “File,” then “Place.” Navigate through your file system to a graphic you want to add to your document. Double-click the graphic file and hover the mouse over the document. Left-click to create a graphic frame and place the graphic file in the frame. Click the “Selection” tool to drag the frame and place it on the page or click the sizing handles to resize the frame. If you want your graphic to fill the frame after resizing it, right-click inside the frame, click “Fitting” and click “Fit Content to Frame.” You can also click “Fit Frame to Content.”

Getting Started with InDesign

To add an image to an InDesign document, you must Place it, just like we placed text.

Make sure the Selection Tool is selected and go to the File menu and select Place (if you have the Text Tool selected, the image will get placed as part of the text instead of independently).

Navigate to the location of your image file.

Click OK and the cursor will turn into the Place icon. Click in your document where you’d like the graphic to be placed.

To move an image, use the Selection Tool to click and drag it to its new location.

To hide part of the image, drag the "handles" with the Selection Tool .

To fit a graphic in a specific frame, go to the Object menu and then select Fitting. Choose the appropriate option for your needs.

To add an effect (such as a drop shadow) go to Window and select Effects, and the Effects panel will open, or go to Object -> Effects, and use the dropdown menu provided.

To resize the entire image by scale, select the image, then go to the Object menu, select Transform, and finally select Scale. Here, you have the choice to adjust the image on a uniform or non-uniform scale. If the Link icon (circled at right) is on, the image will scale proportionately. If it is unselected, then you can change either the X or the Y without affecting the other. You can also use the Scale Tool in the Toolbox.

To move (or to manually resize) images, you must understand how to use the two boxes surrounding them. The brown box, which can be selected using the white arrow only by double clicking on the image, resizes the acutal image. The blue box, which can be selected by clicking on the image with the black arrow, resizes the frame the images sits in. Only the part of the image within both boxes will be seen. The blue box can be useful for cropping images in Indesign.

To Align an Object/Image go to Window, click on Object & Layout, and click on Align in the dropdown menu. To align objects, select all of the objects you want to align, and then select the alignment option you would like from the Align panel.

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