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Quick Tip: Using the Auto-Fit feature in InDesign CS5

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Read Time: 2 min

The introduction of the Auto-Fit feature to CS5 should not be over looked. By the end of this Quick tip you - the designer - will be able to save some valuable time when importing images and graphics. Let's take a look.

Step 1

To open the Auto-Fit feature go to Object > Fitting > Frame Fitting Options.

Step 2

You will be presented with a floating panel. The top section of the panel controls how the images fit within the frame. First tick the Auto-Fit box and then select the fitting option you require from the drop down menu. For purposes of the tut I am going with "Fill Frame Proportionally" and I am going to align to the centre of the frame.

Step 3

Ok, let's begin by importing a number of images to work with. I am importing a nice even number of six. If you are unfamiliar with importing multiple images please read this Quick tip before continuing, Imporiting Multiple Graphics Using Indesign CS5.

Note: The images in this tut are from morguefile.com

Once the Auto-Fit feature is active, InDesign indicates this by a ticking a box in the control panel. You can quickly turn Auto-Fit off by unticking the option box too. (Note: The Auto-Fit tick box will be only visible when a frame is selected)

Step 4

Once the images have been imported you will notice that the Auto-Fit feature has placed them according to the preferences you set earlier within the Auto-Fit panel. Click on hold at the centre of the frame to check the image postion.

Step 5

To test that Auto-Fit is active, select the Selection Tool and drag one of the frame handles inwards. You will notice that the image responds and fits to the settings that have been defined earlier within the Frame Fitting Options panel. For my example below, I dragged the bottom right hand corner towards the centre of the frame. The image retained its proportion and held its alignment to the centre of the frame.

Step 6

However, what if you wanted one of the images to have a different setting to the rest? Well this is possible too, select the Selection Tool and click once on an image frame. Go back into the Auto-Fit panel as described in Step 1 and make your adjustments. By clicking the Preview box your selections will be displayed on the Page setup.

Finally hit OK. You can alter the fitting options for as many frames as needed.


The Auto-Fit feature is a welcome addition to InDesign and its simplicity makes it perfect for saving valuable design time.

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