How to Scale an Image in Adobe InDesign

By Contributing Writer

Adobe InDesign simplifies the layout and design process of posters, flyers, newsletters, magazines and many other materials. Most projects will likely include graphics, and you will need to resize them to fit appropriately on the page. Scaling an image is a fairly straightforward process if you first understand the basic structure of the image. An image or graphic is made up of the content itself and the frame that surrounds it. Each part must be scaled independently using the "Selection" and "Direct Selection" tools. Here is a guide to scaling images in Adobe InDesign.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer
  • Adobe InDesign software

Step 1

Open a new document in Adobe InDesign and place an image in the document. Go to "File" on the menu toolbar and choose "Place...". Navigate to the folder in which the image you want to insert is saved. The image will appear next to your cursor and can be moved by dragging the mouse. Click the left mouse button once to place the image on the page.

Step 2

Using the "Selection" tool (black arrow), click on the graphic. A blue border will appear with eight scale handles (small white squares) on it. Click on a scale handle and drag the border until it is the correct size. Holding the "Shift" key while you drag a corner handle will preserve the proportions of the image. Notice that you may not be able to see your entire image now if you have scaled the border to be smaller than the original image size.

Step 3

Using the "Direct Selection" tool (white arrow), click on the graphic. A red border will appear with eight scale handles. Click on a scale handle and drag the border until your image is the correct size.

Step 4

Continue to scale the content and the frame until the image appears as you want it to. If you only want a part of your graphic to be visible, make the frame smaller than the image and move it until only the desired portion is showing. This effectively crops the image. If you want to have a lot of space around your image, make the frame larger than the content border.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can scale an image by starting with either the frame or the content. The order does not matter.
  • A quick way to make the frame fit the content exactly is to choose the "Selection" tool (blue border) and double-click on a corner scale handle.