8 Replies Latest reply on Oct 25, 2013 7:58 AM by peter minneapolis

    What's the best way to measure area in InDesign?

    sparketail1

      Hi all,

       

      I'm trying to perform a square inch analysis on a retail catalogue.

       

      For this, you have to measure the area a product and supporting copy takes on a page, then calculate the sales, revenue etc. to find your £/in2.

       

      Now, I'm aware Acrobat has a 'Measure Area' tool, but due to bugs/poor programming it simply isn't working on my Retina Macbook Pro (XI Pro) and maxes out the CPU just by drawing lines.

       

      So, is there any catalogue designer here who has a solution, uses a plugin or script or third party software for measuring area?

       

      Thanks    

        • 1. Re: What's the best way to measure area in InDesign?
          Laubender Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          There is a dedicated sub-forum for InDesign scripting.
          I suggest you are looking there:

           

          http://forums.adobe.com/community/indesign/indesign_scripting?view=discussions

           

          How do you decide what should be measured?
          Do you want to draw out rectangles on every page of a catalogue?
          Are there any clear rules?

           

          If so, I think it could be scripted.

           

          Uwe

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: What's the best way to measure area in InDesign?
            sparketail1 Level 1

            Hi Uwe,

             

            Thanks for your response. Take the below image, for example.

            JPGAutumn2013_Page_10.jpg

             

            You'd have to draw around/measure both images and product copy to come up with something like the below:

             

            JPGAutumn2013_Page_10.jpg

            As you can see, there are no clear 'rules' as a product can be 1 col, 3 col, full page, half page etc. I am quite happy to draw the rectangles out or use the frames from the images/texts, but you can imagine 1) Drawing a rectangle 2) Calculating the area on a calculator 3) Creating a text box to type this area into would be a crazy long task!

            • 3. Re: What's the best way to measure area in InDesign?
              Laubender Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              If you draw the rectangles on a dedicated layer, a small JavaScript (ExtendScript) could do the calculations in no time…

               

              The problem is: how to link the area information to a specific item.

              Automating this is the hard part.

               

              Uwe

              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: What's the best way to measure area in InDesign?
                Pickory Level 3

                You could add a slug to each catalogue item, related items would have the same slug id. Run a script that added all the gemoetries and created a report.

                 

                A nice feature of this, you can add / delete acreage to catalog items with next to no effort.

                 

                Vapour ware at the moment, I know it could be scripted.

                 

                P.

                1 person found this helpful
                • 5. Re: What's the best way to measure area in InDesign?
                  Laubender Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  Adding a slug. That could be automated, too. Provided:

                   

                  1. Image names or meta data of images point to a specific product or product area.

                  2. Text frames hold some information that could be filtered and point to a specific product or product area.

                   

                  Uwe

                  1 person found this helpful
                  • 6. Re: What's the best way to measure area in InDesign?
                    sparketail1 Level 1

                    Thanks Uwe and Pickory, I'll look into it. I'm guessing a combination of extra layers and some javascript is going to be the answer.

                     

                    Acrobat has a great area measurement tool for this which snaps to PDF shapes, if only it worked properly!

                     

                    Thanks,

                    Andy

                    • 7. Re: What's the best way to measure area in InDesign?
                      Pickory Level 3

                      Hello,

                       

                      There is a discussion about a script here.

                      http://forums.adobe.com/message/2619606#2619606

                       

                      There is also a free script here.

                      http://www.kerntiff.co.uk/free-stuff/areatool

                       

                      P.

                      • 8. Re: What's the best way to measure area in InDesign?
                        peter minneapolis Level 4

                        andrewrobinsonuk2 wrote:

                         

                        Hi all,

                         

                        I'm trying to perform a square inch analysis on a retail catalogue.

                         

                        For this, you have to measure the area a product and supporting copy takes on a page, then calculate the sales, revenue etc. to find your £/in2.

                         

                        Now, I'm aware Acrobat has a 'Measure Area' tool, but due to bugs/poor programming it simply isn't working on my Retina Macbook Pro (XI Pro) and maxes out the CPU just by drawing lines.

                         

                        So, is there any catalogue designer here who has a solution, uses a plugin or script or third party software for measuring area?

                         

                        Thanks    

                         

                        I see you've got some good leads to a scripted solution. I have a question which may be more difficult to answer: I'm assuming you're in the UK. If that's correct, whoever wants to measure the price per area in pounds sterling per square inch? I mean, you've got Euros, and almost everything is metric, so why not Euros/cm2?

                         

                        Seriously, I wonder if the scripts take the bounding rectangles' stroke thickness into consideration when calculating area. Thickness is one aspect, and placement is another; strokes can be centered on the boundary, or be completely inside or outside.

                         

                        Also, perhaps the computation process could be automated a bit further if there was a way to select the measurement rectangles and apply a unique identifier for the set that comprises each item. Perhaps the catalogue number could be captured, or a unique object style name could be created. Then iit could be possible to compute the area of each unique product's group, and perhaps go further to export to a text or spreadsheet file.

                         

                        This could save lots of time, effort, and errors, if this is an ongoing requirement and the number of items is more than a few.