How to Step and Repeat in InDesign

By Techwalla Computers Editor

Laying out multiple lines or display objects is one of the most boring tasks in desktop publishing. You need to make sure you correctly distribute and place the objects in the proper location, which involves a lot of time and eye strain. You can skip that whole process with Adobe In-Design by using their Step and Repeat command to duplicate a single option as many times as you want, and in exactly the position you want to locate them.

Step 1

Open your document in InDesign. Set the Zoom view to allow you to see the entire page or area where you want to position your objects.

Step 2

Create the object you want to duplicate with InDesign's line and shape tools. Make sure to apply the correct stroke and fill color. If you are creating the object from multiple shapes, use the "Group" command from the Object menu to keep them together.

Step 3

Position the object precisely where you want the series to begin. You can use guides, rulers or type the coordinates into the Transform palette.

Step 4

Decide how many objects you want in the pattern, and how far apart they should be spaced. A simple formula is: dimension/number of duplicates (for example 36 picas/6 copies equals 6 picas).

Step 5

Select the original and choose "Step and Repeat" from the Edit menu. The Step and Repeat dialog will open to prompt you for the exact options.

Step 6

Type the number of copies in the "Repeat Count" field and the distance in the vertical offset (if you want to copy up and down) or vertical offset (if you want to copy left or right). Add "-" if you want to copy upward or to the left. You can copy an object along a diagonal by changing both offset fields.

Step 7

Click "OK." InDesign will copy the object across the page. If you didn't get the numbers quite right, you can undo and try again.