Learn how to use the Properties panel to access contextual controls in InDesign.

Introduced in the October 2018 release of InDesign CC (version 14.0)

The Properties panel in InDesign lets you view settings and controls in the context of your current task or workflow. This new panel has been designed with ease of use in mind, ensuring that you have access to the right controls when you need them.

The Properties panel is available by default in the Essentials workspace. It is also available in Window > Properties.

The frequently used controls for each Properties panel area are displayed upfront. You can access additional controls either by clicking the ellipses in the lower-right corner of an area or clicking an underlined option.

Properties panel
Properties panel

No selection

When no objects are selected in your document and the Selection tool is selected, the Properties panel displays controls related to the page, ruler, grids, guides, snapping, and some commonly used preferences. In this state, the Properties panel displays quick action button that lets you place an image in the document.

No selection

Selected objects

For any selection, the Properties panel displays two sets of controls:

  • Transformation and appearance controls: Width, Height, Fill, Stroke, Opacity, etc
  • Dynamic controls: Additional controls, depending on the contents of your selection, may become available. For example, you can adjust the character and paragraph attributes of text objects. For image objects, the Properties panel displays convert shape, arrange, replace image, embed or unembed, edit with, reveal in explorer controls.
properties-panel-selected-objects
Contextual options available in the Properties panel

A. View more options B. Controls available for a text object C. Controls available for a rectangle object D. Controls available for a linked file 

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