Pattern filling is not something that InDesign is (natively) capable of – which explains why you were unable to find a how-to. There are workarounds, such as Mike Rankin describes here: http://indesignsecrets.com/indesign-eye-candy-part-4-pattern-swatches.php . Note that in his initial paragraph he states that ID does not have real patterns.
That said: "The shapes will be different so I need to have the pattern image stretched and adapted to the shape of the object .." suggests that what you want is not an actual pattern, but more of a single image.
Create your image as a standalone file – in Illustrator, Photoshop, or even in InDesign itself (save it as a separate InDesign file or as a PDF) – and you can place it 'into' any freeform shape. Use "Fit Content to Frame" to stretch the image and fill the shape entirely.
Hello Joe Caldwell
I am using a Mac and Indesign CS5.5
This is another option, it may be of use if you want to make a tiled pattern?
This works with imported images and patterns you create within Indesign.
1. Create a pattern (duplicate your original pattern to keep a copy)
2. Top Menu - Window - Utilities - Scripts - MakeGrid.applescripts
3. Click and select your pattern, you may have to scale your pattern to A4 if you want your pattern to repeat to an A4 dimension or a dimension of your choice, as the smaller multiple pattern replaces the original pattern.
4. In the ‘MakeGrid’ dialogue box put dimensions of your choice to experiment and click OK.
(see example below)
Hope it helps!
Thank you for your help and reply.
I have already contacted Tea Cup Software but they explained their software can't do what I need. According to them it can't import an external image and make it fit a certain contour created in InDesign with the pen tool, which is what I am trying to accomplish.
Thank you for your help.
You'll have a much easier time creating patterns in Illustrator CC. It's easy, very sophisticated, and is integrated into the application.
Follow JongWare's advice in posting #1 to place it into inDesign into a shape.
Hi, Laubender and Willi Adelberger.
Following your helpful advice I have been able to make the modifications I needed to the template. It is now formatted just as I need it.
Thank you very much for your help and for taking the time to answer my question.