InDesign How-To: Put One Image in Multiple Frames (Video Tutorial)
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InDesign How-To: Put One Image in Multiple Frames (Video Tutorial)

October 28, 2019


Hi, I’m Erica Gamet with InDesign Secrets.
In this video, I’m going to show you how to place one image inside multiple
frames inside of InDesign. On this page, I have several different graphics frames
ready for images to be placed inside. And I can tell they’re graphics frames because
they have the blue X in the middle of them. But what I want to do is place one
image inside all of these, so I get sort of this windowpane effect. To do that, I
need to create what’s called a compound frame. I’m going to select all the frames
on my page, go up under the Object menu, down under Paths and choose Make
Compound Path. And when I do that, you can see that I now have one big X that
basically tells me that’s one big image frame. They’re still sort of separate, but
it’s going to act as one frame. Now I can go up under my File menu, under Place and choose an image I’d like to place. There’s a nice picture to be looking at
outside your window. And since I have Replaced Selected Item already selected,
it will automatically put this image inside that frame we just created. I’m
gonna go ahead and click open…and it drops it inside. Now it’s not quite the
image that I was hoping to see. What happened was, it placed it at the size
of the image and it’s too big. So I need to head up to the Object menu, down to
the Fitting sub-menu and say Fill Frame Proportionally. Now it fits so that the
image fills the entire frame. Now remember this compound frame acts as just any other regular image frame. So I can actually use my Content Grabber to
click on the image and manipulate it in any way. Like I might want to hold down my Shift key, maybe the Option or the Alt key and just drag, just to make it a
little bit bigger, and I can also move this around inside the frame. Let’s just
frame that up nicely so we can see everything. Beautiful. On my next page I
have a series of circles. In this case, I’m going to place an image and sort of
position it where I want it to be and then we’re going to paste it inside our
compound path. So let’s go up to the File menu and choose Place and grab our image and I’m not going to Replace Selected Item…just gonna say open. And I’m going to just click and drag, sort of on top of
these circles that are here. I kind of want to get an idea of where everything
needs to be sitting. I can also send that to the back…so that I can see my image
sort of back behind those circles. And I’m doing that because I want to make
sure that all the components of this compound path are in place before I make a compound path. So I’m going to choose the Selection tool and just sort of move these images around. Now I do have white fills on those circles. It makes them
easier to see but also harder to see the image back behind. When I’ve got it about
where I want it I’m gonna leave it and I’m going to Command- or Control-X to cut that image. Now I’m going to go ahead and select all of my circles, go up under the
Object menu, down under Paths, Make Compound Path. And now I’ve got my
compound path ready to drop my image inside. I’m gonna go up to the Edit menu
and choose Paste Into, and it pastes it into that path exactly where it was when
I copied it. Again, you’re not stuck with this. You can go ahead and use the
content grabber and move that image just like you would in any other frame. On a new page, I’m going to go ahead and place an image and then draw some frames on top of that to place that image into. I’m gonna go up to the File menu and choose Place and click Open…and I’m just going to go
ahead and drag this out. And I want to draw some frames on top of this image. Now I want to make sure they’re easy to see, so I’m gonna make sure that my
stroke color and my size are easy enough to see. Now I just want to draw out some
regions that I want this image to fill. So I’m going to go ahead
draw out some squares. As I’m drawing them, I can actually see how they’re
coming together. I can use my Smart Guides to guide me. And make sure the
family gets in its own little frame here. I’ll draw that out very roughly. Then I’m
going to use the Selection tool, select the image, Command- or Control-X to cut
that, select all those frames, go up under the Object menu, Paths, Make Compound
Path, and choose Edit, Paste Into. And there you go! There are a couple ways to
take one image and put them inside multiple frames inside your InDesign
document. Well, I certainly hope you found this tip helpful. Be sure to check out InDesignSecrets.com for thousands of InDesign articles and tutorials, and to
subscribe to our monthly publication, “InDesign Magazine.” Thanks for learning
with us!

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  1. Thanks, just used this in a recent series of images for a video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1AMaA17xSUI

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