Sometimes we discover things by accident, even if they have been staring us right in the face all along. In following my many Twitter friends, I noticed a tweet by Tim Gouder (InDesign User Group, Köln, Germany) in which he mentions using InDesign CS5’s new Gap tool as a measuring tool. He wrote a short blog-post about it in German.
He shares with us a seemingly small yet very useful by-product of the Gap tool. We can use it as a measurement tool. As soon as you hover over a gap, to the left/right, top/bottom of an object the Gap tool starts to work and it immediately displays a Width or Height setting in the Control Panel… The Gap tool itself will only display a measurement once you click and hold the mouse button down.
I can’t help but feel a little excited about this find, because it has so many uses! For instance:
- You need to convert a design from a graphic designer into a template, and the designer didn’t use any guides, margins nothing. Use the Gap Tool to quickly measure the top, bottom, left and right most margins, by hovering above, to the right, bottom and left of objects. With those details dotted down you can create a master page for the template.
- Want to measure how far objects are apart, so that you can set the gap information on a multiple column frame? Or design a column based grid? Click between the objects.
Nice right? 🙂