Position tool overview

Click the Position tool  in the toolbox to manipulate selected graphics, either directly, in conjunction with a Transform command (Object > Transform) or a command on a context menu, or by using keyboard shortcuts to nudge the graphic within its frame.

The Position tool is dynamic, automatically changing to reflect different states:

  • When placed directly over an empty graphics frame or frame with unassigned content after using the File > Place command, it changes to the loaded graphics icon  to indicate that you can import the graphic into that frame.

  • When it’s placed directly over a graphic, it changes to the Hand tool to indicate that you can select the graphic and manipulate it within the frame.

  • When placed over the bounding box handle of an inline graphic, it changes to the resize arrow to indicate that dragging will resize the graphic.

  • When placed over a graphics frame or the top-level container of nested frames, it changes to the object select icon  to indicate that you can select the graphic or nested frame under the pointer. You cannot select the frame itself.

  • When placed over a text frame, it changes to the I‑beam  to indicate a text insertion point.

Set Position tool options

When using the Position tool to move a graphic, you can hold down the mouse button for a few seconds to display a dynamic graphics preview (a ghosted-back image) of any part of the image that is outside the frame. You can control the display and delay of the preview.

  1. Double-click the Position tool  in the toolbox.
  2. From the Show Masked Portion of Image menu, select the rate at which the entire image will appear while dragging, or select to turn it off entirely.

Transform graphics

You can use commands to move, scale, rotate, and shear graphics.

Move a graphic

  1. Make sure the frame with the desired object is checked out to you, and then select the object using the Position tool .
  2. Choose Object > Transform > Move.
  3. In the Move dialog box, do one of the following:
    • Enter the horizontal and vertical distances that you want the graphic to move. Positive values move the object down and to the right of the x axis; negative values move the object up and to the left.

    • To move an object a precise distance and angle, enter the distance and angle for the move. The angle you enter is calculated in degrees from the x axis. Positive angles specify a counterclockwise move; negative angles specify a clockwise move. You can also enter values between 180° and 360°; these values are converted to their corresponding negative values (for example, a value of 270° is converted to –90°).

  4. Do one of the following:
    • To preview the effect before you apply it, select Preview.

    • To move the object, click OK.

Scale a graphic

  1. Make sure the frame with the desired object is checked out to you, and then select the object using the Position tool .
  2. Choose Object > Transform > Scale.
  3. In the Scale dialog box, make sure the Constrain Proportions icon is selected if you want to preserve the relative height and width of the object. Deselect this icon if you want to scale the X and Y values separately, which may result in the image being skewed.
  4. Enter the horizontal and vertical scale values as either percentages (such as 90%) or distance values (such as 6p).

    The scale values can be negative numbers.

  5. Do one of the following:
    • To preview the effect before you apply it, select Preview.

    • To scale the object, click OK.

Note:

To scale the graphic in a specific direction, use the Position tool to drag the handle of a selected graphic. Pressing Shift forces proportional scaling.

Rotate a graphic

  1. Make sure the frame with the desired object is checked out to you, and then select the object using the Position tool .
  2. Choose Object > Transform > Rotate.
  3. Enter the rotation angle, in degrees, in the Angle text box. Enter a negative angle to rotate the object clockwise; enter a positive angle to rotate the object counterclockwise.
  4. Do one of the following:
    • To preview the effect before you apply it, select Preview.

    • To rotate the object, click OK.

Shear a graphic

  1. Make sure the frame with the desired object is checked out to you, and then select the object using the Position tool .
  2. Choose Object > Transform > Shear.
  3. In the Shear dialog box, enter the new shear angle.

    The shear angle is the amount of slant to be applied to the object, relative to a line perpendicular to the shear axis. (Shear angle is calculated clockwise from the current axis.)

  4. Specify the axis along which the object is to be sheared. You can shear an object along a horizontal, a vertical, or an angled axis.

    If you choose an angled axis, enter the angle of the axis that you want, in degrees, relative to the perpendicular axis.

  5. Do one of the following:
    • To preview the effect before you apply it, select Preview.

    • To shear the object, click OK.

Clear transformations to a graphic

  1. Make sure the frame with the desired object is checked out to you, and then select the object using the Position tool .
  2. Choose Object > Transform > Clear Transformations.

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