Fan of creative technology, elearning, instructional design and a little geeky

InDesig: Repeating the same transformation

The Transform Sequence Again command in Adobe InDesign is a cool feature that allows you play back a series of transformations you’ve just applied to one object or group on another object or group, by transparently recording the transformation actions you are applying.

For instance you’ve selected a single image and first rotate the image on the page, then immediately following the rotation you resize the image. You now want to apply the same two transformations to three other images on the page. The Object > Transform Again > Transform Sequence Again (Individually) command comes to the rescue! (see silent video below of what happens).

The Transform Sequence Again Individually enables you to select all of the other objects or groups to which you want to apply the same transformations — three images in my case — and apply the recorded transform sequence to each on a one-by-one basis. Alternatively you can select each object (or group) individually and then apply the Transform Sequence Again command. If you apply the latter command to multiple selected objects or groups the transformation sequence applies as if the selected objects or groups belong to a single ‘uber’-group.

What happens when the recorded transformations can not be applied?

To cut a long story short, I use this feature a lot when working in InDesign, sometimes even without really thinking about what it is that is being recorded by InDesign…  This morning I did something that wasn’t quite allowed, I unintentionally included in the transformation steps I recorded a significant movement of the object. When I attempted to repeat the Transform Sequence Again, InDesign woke me up telling me one of the transformations was causing a problem. It was trying to move it outside the pasteboard area.

The Transform Again playback error dialog that appeared I’d not seen before and I thought I’d share it with you guys.

Transform Again playback error warning dialog that InDesign displays

Basically it is telling me InDesign could not play back the recorded action. because the Requested value is not a legal dimension… e.g. I’m asking to InDesign to make an impossible move.

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  1. November 2, 2010    


    🙂 You’re welcome 🙂

    It’s been in Adobe Illustrator (Cmd/Ctrl+D) for as long as I can remember as well. Very cool & handy feature.

  2. Kevin Kevin
    November 1, 2010    

    Would you believe after many years of using indesign i have discovered transform again…
    It was a great feature in Coreldraw that i used all the time and did not know indesign had such a feature and its been there since CS2 as far as i can see. In my defense the last job I had they only had CS its not until my new job as of beginning of this year that I got to play with CS4 skipping CS3 altogether still a year without transform again was a year too long.
    TY Cari for explaining transform again Individually.

  3. October 15, 2010    

    @Nuno, thank you for your comment. There’s definitely a lot of people that would like to see Actions in InDesign. The best thing to do is to post it as a feature request and maybe one day this functionality will be added. For now it’s back to using Scripts 🙂

  4. October 14, 2010    

    Hi, ID is a wonderful layout program but it should have «Actions» like Illustrator and Photoshop or at least something so useful like the command «Repeat» in MS Word…

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