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How to have a frame shift automatically when pages are moved to the other side of a spread

New Here ,
Feb 18, 2024 Feb 18, 2024

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I’m trying to do something in inDesign which I believe to be relatively basic, but a solution is eluding me. I frequently use the software to lay out books of images, using documents with facing pages. This often entails having just one image on each page. The images are not centered on the page because of the space lost to the gutter when the books are bound. Images typically have a smaller outside border than inside border.

 

If all the images are the same size, I will lay out a spread with a frame of that size on the left page and another frame of the same size on the right page. Let’s just say in a sample document the frame on the right page is drawn 1” from the outer (right) edge of the right page and 2” from the gutter. On the left page, the frame is drawn 1” from the outer (left) edge of the left page and 2” from the gutter.

 

Once those frames are positioned, I will duplicate the spreads until I have about 100 pages in the document and then start placing images in the frames on the pages. Once I have all the images in the document, I may decide to re-sequence or remove some of the pages by moving them in the page panel. However, this causes the page layouts shift. If a page that was layed out to be on the right of a spread is moved to the left side of the spread, the image on it will have a 2” outer border and a 1” border to the gutter.

 

I want to be able to move pages in the pages panel back and forth from right (odd) to left (even) pages and have the frame automatically shift so that it’s position relative to the outer edge of that page will be the same whether it is an odd or even page.

 

I can get this to work if, and only if, the frame matches the size and position of the page margins. That’s an ok solution for some situations, but it doesn’t work for full bleed images since the page margins cannot be set to the bleed marks (beyond the page dimensions). It is also a hassle for documents where the images have many different sizes because it requires setting the page margins manually for each page.

 

The attachment illustrates how the inside border gets pushed to the outside when I switch the order of pages with full bleed images on a spread. These image frames do not (cannot) match the page margins.

 

Does anyone have a solution for this? I’ve messed with Auto-fit, Anchors (which I think are just for anchoring to text) and object styles, but I can’t get anything to work. I feel like I’m overlooking something basic. Thanks

 

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Community Expert ,
Feb 18, 2024 Feb 18, 2024

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You can position anchored frames relative to the spine, which I think is what you're after. But whether that's feasible in your workflow I'm not sure.

 

PeterKahrel_0-1708289338912.png

 

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New Here ,
Feb 18, 2024 Feb 18, 2024

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Thanks for the tip. After messing with it a bit, I can get that to work if I place an empty text frame over the entire page and then insert an anchored image frame inside that text frame. This method seems a little clunky to me since it entails using empty text frames on every page, but my limited understanding of anchored objects is that they have to be anchored to text frames. If there is a more elegant solution than my kludge, I'd welcome it, but for now this works. Thank you!

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People's Champ ,
Feb 18, 2024 Feb 18, 2024

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I don't think you're missing anything basic. I think the thought that you are is a slight block.

When a spread has mirror margins, and there are images involved which are not anchored, doing something to the layout which causes recto and verso pages to flip is a major hassle.

As @Peter Kahrel mentions, only anchored objects have relative-to-spine positioning, and anchored objects that involve text wrap don't really work well with flowing text (mainly because if the object doesn't fit on the page, it is pushed onto the next page, and takes all the following text along with it, which means an ugle white gap at the bottom of the previous page).

So my answer is to leave the fine tuning of pictures (bleed, etc.) only once you're fairly confident that things aren't going to move from one side of a spread to another. And if you do ever need to add a page somewhere in the middle, add a spread, not a page, to avoid things moving, and see if you can fill it up somehow.

Another tip: If the book is divided into chapters, it makes it much easier to handle if the design specifies that each chapter opening starts recto. That way, at worst, if you need to add a single page, the side-flipping will only affect pages until the end of the chapter.

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