Quickly Transform to Duplicate

This is also, one of my favorite features! (I have so many favorite features! I don’t know why?! Or maybe I do! I just love InDesign! :D) There is fast and easy way to transform selected object and create duplicate.

So, how to do it? It’s really easy. All you need is Alt (PC) / Opt (Mac)! There are so many places where you can utilize this useful feature!

As you can see form screenshot, you can use it in Transform Panel/Control Tool Bar. Select object, input new value in X or Y field and hit Alt (PC) / Opt (Mac) + Enter. InDesign will automatically duplicate selected object and move duplicate by amount of units you entered! So easy!

Also, if you want to rotate object to duplicate. Select object, goto Rotation Angle in Transform Panel/Control Tool Bar enter value, and hit Alt (PC) / Opt (Mac) + Enter.

So, here is complete list where you can use Alt (PC) / Opt (Mac) to create transformed duplicate:

  • Position X / Y
  • Width / Height
  • Scale X / Y
  • Rotation Angle
  • Shear X Angle
  • Rotate 900 Clockwise/Counter-clockwise
  • Flip Horizontal / Vertical
  • Mouse Drag
  • Mouse Rotate
    (Notice that rotation reference point will always be in center)
  • Rotate Tool (R)
  • Scale Tool (S)
  • Shear Tool (O)

This feature does not work when changing object dimensions by dragging object handles (Alt/Opt key is reserved to lock resizing object from center) and when using Free Transform Tool (E).

And for the end, few Bonus tips!

(When working from Transform Panel/Control Tool Bar)

  1. By adding Shift key to Alt (PC) / Opt (Mac), InDesign will automatically reselect whole input field.
  2. By adding Ctrl (PC) / Cmd (Mac) key to Alt (PC) / Opt (Mac) while editing object size or scale, InDesign will automatically do resize/scale like you have turned on Constrain proportions.

That’s it! At the end of the post you can find some examples (screenshots) if you need any!

Have fun! 🙂

PS. Try using Transform Again or Transform Sequence Again after transforming to duplicate! You can get pretty cool effects!

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About Marijan Tompa (tomaxxi)

Husband, Father, Graphic Designer from Subotica [Serbia]. Also Adobe IDUG Chapter Representative, JS, AS3, Flex developer. InDesign Script/Panel developer. My everyday work includes working with Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, CorelDRAW. I recently started to write scripts to speedup my work with InDesign. View all posts by Marijan Tompa (tomaxxi)

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