Mind the (hopefully consistently sized) gap!
June 14, 2012 7:10 PM   Subscribe

How can I force all the gaps between photos to be the same size in InDesign CS6?

I'm working on a Photobook (previously and a view of some draft pages) and having trouble getting the gaps between photos to be the same size. Within an individual page, I can usually, but not always, futz around with the gap tool in InDesign and get all the gaps on a double page spread to be the same size. What that size will have to be is a crapshoot -- some fraction of an inch measured to 4 seemingly random decimal places.

The tool that lets me adjust gap sizes only gives me a few sizes to choose from -- it'll jump from .1103 to .1213 to .1456 to .1602 and such, without letting me choose, say, .125 (which would be my preference) for everything. And then, sometimes for different gaps on the same page, I get different options, so I can't set everything to .1213, because the next gap over is only offering .1178 and .1256 or something. Sometimes I can get all the horizontal gaps to match, and then the vertical gaps match each other but are different from the horizontal. And sometimes I can't get the gap tool to get any of them to match.

I think I could do a lot of math and set my photo starting points and sizes manually and make this work, but it seems like this gap tool exists for a reason, and I should be able to make it do what I want it to.

Please feel free to assume that I am a blubbering idiot who knows nothing when explaining things to me. I'm working in a 30 day free trial of InDesign and trying to figure it out as a I go along.
posted by jacquilynne to Technology (4 answers total)
i would use guides, myself. you drag them from the vertical and horizontal rulers, set up your grid, and viola.

if you have a bunch of different sized images, then your best bet will be using "smart guides" (in the view menu, i believe). after you line up two images, it should then show a green double sided arrow between the images when they have the same gap.

hope that helps...
posted by virginia_clemm at 7:17 PM on June 14, 2012

You can also manually type values for x-position, y-position, height, width, and probably gaps as well. It's normally in the toolbar by default. In other words, you're not just limited by the "nudge" amount. I believe you can also arrange items to be distributed evenly on a given axis; if they're the same size, the gaps between them will be the same. The best method depends on how your page is set up.
posted by supercres at 7:43 PM on June 14, 2012

Make sure you have Smart Guides turned on, that's extremely helpful. Also use the Align panel, you can space objects evenly.
posted by radioamy at 7:07 AM on June 15, 2012

Response by poster: Duh, yes, Snap to Grid is doing what I needed it to. It'll be a pain in the ass to go back and fix all the existing pages, but it's exactly fixing the problem. You'd think I'd never used a piece of software with that function before, such that I never thought of it.

I'm using the Blurb plug-in for InDesign, and I think it's using the Master Documents function to get the page sizes and bleeds and stuff correct so I'm reluctant to mess with that, but I don't think I need to anyway.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:55 AM on June 15, 2012

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