36 Replies Latest reply: Feb 2, 2011 1:07 PM by Peter Spier RSS

    Indesign Doing The Maths

    mckayk_777-PN6kWE Community Member

      In all Indesign dialogs you can let Indesign do the maths for you ie: witdth / 2 gives you half the width... great.

       

      Question:

      In page setup if you where doing a imposition and wanted page width (90mm) x 4 copies thats easy at 90mm*4 indesign gives you the answer

      But then if you want to increase that by another 40mm to allow space between each 90mm can indesign work that out in one go

      ie: something like this (which does not work) 90*4 +40mm this keeps coming up invalid numeric value (Can you tell indesign that there are two sums to work out)

      Or do you have to do it in two sums

      ie: 90*4

      = 360mm

      then 360mm +40

      =400mm

        • 1. Re: Indesign Doing The Maths
          Eugene Tyson CommunityMVP

          No it can't but just type in 90*4 then press tab then shift tab and then insert +40mm

           

          Or use a calculator and input the numbers. It's fairly basic maths that I think most people should be able to work out in their head.

          • 2. Re: Indesign Doing The Maths
            heavyboots Community Member

            Just to fuel the fire, this is something that XPress has been able to do correctly since 1990...

            • 3. Re: Indesign Doing The Maths
              Eugene Tyson CommunityMVP

              Yeh that doesn't impress me though.

               

              You should really know the final size of your document before you even turn the computer on. Something I learned from the first day. Plan ahead, think finishing at the beginning.

               

              There's really no excuse for trying to add up how big your document should be while inserting the dimensions into the fields. You should know these already.

              • 4. Re: Indesign Doing The Maths
                Peter Spier CommunityMVP

                heavyboots wrote:

                 

                Just to fuel the fire, this is something that XPress has been able to do correctly since 1990...

                Well they had to get ONE thing right in all those years. Personally, that isn't enough to make me give up all the other things that ID gets right and Xpress doesn't.

                • 5. Re: Indesign Doing The Maths
                  heavyboots Community Member

                  Eugene Tyson wrote:

                   

                  Yeh that doesn't impress me though.

                   

                  You should really know the final size of your document before you even turn the computer on. Something I learned from the first day. Plan ahead, think finishing at the beginning.

                   

                  There's really no excuse for trying to add up how big your document should be while inserting the dimensions into the fields. You should know these already.

                   

                  Well obviously page size is just one example of where this would be useful. Another is figuring out grids—eg, I want 4 boxes across the page with 1p6 gutters between, so how big should they be?

                   

                  (45p-(3*1p6))/4 is a valid entry in an XPress measurement field and will return the correct box size, which you can then clone across the page.

                  • 6. Re: Indesign Doing The Maths
                    Peter Spier CommunityMVP

                    heavyboots wrote:

                    ...Another is figuring out grids—eg, I want 4 boxes across the page with 1p6 gutters between, so how big should they be?

                     

                    (45p-(3*1p6))/4 is a valid entry in an XPress measurement field and will return the correct box size, which you can then clone across the page.

                    In ID you can do this pretty quickly in a single step (in CS5) while dragging the frame by using the "gridified" features. Put the cursor where you want the upper left corner and begin to drag the frame. Without releasing press the right arrow key to split the frame vertically, or the up arrow key to split it horizontally. The gap is controled by the setting for gutter in the document setup. You can build a perfect grid without touching step and repeat.

                    • 7. Re: Indesign Doing The Maths
                      heavyboots Community Member

                      While this is useful info, the point is, there will always be situations where it would be nice to be able to do full-on math rather than the weak sauce Adobe has provided since ID 1.0.

                       

                      Like I said at the start of my first post, it's more fuel to the fire/flares sent up in case an engineer stumbles through the thread than anything I expect anyone in here to solve. Thanks though, Peter!

                      • 8. Re: Indesign Doing The Maths
                        Peter Spier CommunityMVP

                        If you wan the math abilities to change, file a request at

                        Adobe - Feature Request/Bug Report Form

                        • 9. Re: Indesign Doing The Maths
                          macinbytes Community Member

                          Quark also offers multiple ways to clear frames via Alien Eradication, whereas InDesign hasn't been able to be able to remove any form of frame via laser gun, let alone via bazooka.

                          quark pros.png

                          • 10. Re: Indesign Doing The Maths
                            Peter Spier CommunityMVP

                            OK, I surrender.


                            • 11. Re: Indesign Doing The Maths
                              Harbs. CommunityMVP

                              You had me laughing out loud!

                               

                              I'm glad there's no one around to look at me funny (besides the aliens).

                               

                              Harbs

                              • 12. Re: Indesign Doing The Maths
                                heavyboots Community Member

                                Macinbytes makes an excellent point. Where's our alien death ray delete after 7 version?!

                                • 13. Re: Indesign Doing The Maths
                                  macinbytes Community Member

                                  Yep! Also no certificate border option to frames that generates postscript that will make a prepressman's cry over their Harlequin RIP like their wive's cry over their Harlequin romance novel.

                                   

                                  It's truly amazing how lukewarm the design community's reaction to the newer versions of Quark has been. They've revolutionized publishing…again. They love design http://www.ilovedesign.com/ but design doesn't love them back. Like Microsoft Adobe Killer Expressions Design. Vector. Raster. It doesn't care. Designers didn't care either.

                                  • 14. Re: Indesign Doing The Maths
                                    Peter Spier CommunityMVP

                                    I abandoned Quark in 2001. Customer service was the pits, upgrades were outrageously expensive (and then they stopped letting you have old versions simultaneously installed), and it was twice as hard to almost anything as it is in ID due to the clunkiness of the interface (I used version 8 for an hour or two at a client's last year, and it didn't seem much better), so I never looked back. I suspect that's true of most ID users who made the switch.

                                    • 15. Re: Indesign Doing The Maths
                                      heavyboots Community Member

                                      Yeah, the XPress interface could use some work. I monkeyed with it about a year ago and it was pretty surreal how much like XPress 5 it felt—which was not a good thing. Mind you, IMHO Adobe is busy digging themselves a hole so deep with their current interface strategy that it will be difficult to climb out of eventually. Everything past CS2 has been a gradual decent into hell for me as a Mac user.

                                       

                                      There are only a few key things that XPress did/does better than InDesign. Not many, but they are there and I do wish that Adobe would see fit to implement them sometime before CS10, lol! But anyways, we've probably beaten the horse to dust by now...

                                      • 16. Re: Indesign Doing The Maths
                                        BobLevine CommunityMVP

                                        The interface is a matter of opinion. I love the CS5 interface and I especially like the fact that on the Mac there's an application frame for almost all of the CS5 apps. Why Acrobat and Dreamweaver don't have it is a mystery to me.

                                         

                                        I should point out that I have two large monitors. This makes it much easier to work.

                                         

                                        Bob

                                        • 17. Re: Indesign Doing The Maths
                                          mckayk_777-PN6kWE Community Member

                                          You did not read the OP properly, the size was know it was all to do with the imposition in preparing for film

                                          • 18. Re: Indesign Doing The Maths
                                            Eugene Tyson CommunityMVP

                                            mckayk_777 wrote:

                                             

                                            You did not read the OP properly, the size was know it was all to do with the imposition in preparing for film

                                             

                                            I couldn't really understand the first post, all I got out of it was that Quark can add up multiple sums at the same time and InDesign can't. My original point stands, know the math before you start. It's a real timesaver.

                                             

                                            I gave up doing impositions in Quark after I imposed a dictionary for film. I got imposition software after that that handles it better than Quark or InDesign ever could.

                                             

                                            Regardless of how Quark handles it, InDesign cannot do measurements like that.

                                             

                                            Besides, I never sat down to do an imposition on the computer without having it planned on paper first.

                                             

                                            I guess I'm "old school" at the tender age of 30, I'm still planning things on paper first, then doing them on the computer second.

                                            • 19. Re: Indesign Doing The Maths
                                              Eugene Tyson CommunityMVP

                                              heavyboots wrote:

                                               

                                              Well obviously page size is just one example of where this would be useful. Another is figuring out grids—eg, I want 4 boxes across the page with 1p6 gutters between, so how big should they be?

                                               

                                              (45p-(3*1p6))/4 is a valid entry in an XPress measurement field and will return the correct box size, which you can then clone across the page.

                                               

                                              CTRL ALT U (Step and Repeat)

                                               

                                              Well if the width of the box(frame) is 9p and I want 4 of them to be 1p6 apart I step and repeat the object x4 with a value of 9p+1p6=10p6

                                               

                                              It's not that difficult to add 9p4 and 1p6; for example - which is "11p" for those out there.

                                               

                                               

                                              I don't really see what's so hard about that? It seems easier than typing in 45p-(3*1p6))/4

                                              • 20. Re: Indesign Doing The Maths
                                                Eugene Tyson CommunityMVP

                                                I guess for some people they didn't do any technical drawing in their lifetime so figuring out things like this is a bit cumbersome. I find it quite easy, perhaps I'm doing it too long. Yes quark is handy in that regard of making the box (frames) using a calculation like that.

                                                 

                                                But alas InDesign measurements don't work that way.

                                                 

                                                 

                                                There's a much simpler way to make the boxes fit though.

                                                 

                                                Draw one frame the width of the measure.

                                                 

                                                Then go the Scripts panel and in the Javascript folder theres a MakeGrid.JSX

                                                 

                                                Just type in the amount of columns you want and the gutter width. And it's done.

                                                 

                                                No need for fancy math.

                                                • 21. Re: Indesign Doing The Maths
                                                  mckayk_777-PN6kWE Community Member

                                                  Yet another example of why I love this forum so much...

                                                   

                                                  Although your post had nothing to do with the original reason for the post, What you said in your last post introduced me to another part of Indesign that I was unaware of.

                                                   

                                                  Excellent stuff and very handy script that one.

                                                  • 22. Re: Indesign Doing The Maths
                                                    Eugene Tyson CommunityMVP

                                                    Ah yes the Scripts - very handy little area to get into

                                                     

                                                    Scripts are extremely powerful. There's plenty of people that write scripts for various reasons.

                                                     

                                                    http://indesignsecrets.com/how-to-install-scripts-in-indesign.php

                                                     

                                                    http://www.kasyan.ho.com.ua/my_scripts.html

                                                    http://www.kahrel.plus.com/indesignscripts.html

                                                    http://www.adobe.com/cfusion/exchange/index.cfm?l=-1&s=5&o=desc&exc=19&cat=224&event=produ ctHome

                                                    http://indiscripts.com/

                                                    http://www.danrodney.com/scripts/

                                                     

                                                    And many other free resources.

                                                     

                                                     

                                                     

                                                    Sorry I disagree that you say my *original reply had nothing to do with what was asked. You asked could InDesign do math like Quark and I said it couldn't.

                                                     

                                                    Is there something else you wanted answered?

                                                     

                                                    *edit* apologies you were referring to my last post not the original post.

                                                    • 23. Re: Indesign Doing The Maths
                                                      Peter Spier CommunityMVP

                                                      Eugene Tyson wrote:


                                                      It's not that difficult to add 9p4 and 1p6; for example - which is "11p" for those out there.

                                                      Hmm. Maybe it's harder than you think. My picas have 12 pts per, so the sum above would be 10p10...

                                                      • 24. Re: Indesign Doing The Maths
                                                        Eugene Tyson CommunityMVP

                                                        Oh dear ...

                                                         

                                                        Hmm yes - I'm going to save math for after morning coffee in future.

                                                         

                                                        I believe I meant 1p8 - sixes and eights look so similar.

                                                        • 25. Re: Indesign Doing The Maths
                                                          Peter Spier CommunityMVP

                                                          I find it easier if you have six fingers or toes on each appendage.

                                                          • 26. Re: Indesign Doing The Maths
                                                            Eugene Tyson CommunityMVP

                                                            That would help. Funny enough, I typed those figures in and added them up on the computer. Another reason I don't trust myself inserting calculations into a machine. Pen and paper for me. Much more reliable than relying on myself to press the right button.

                                                            • 27. Re: Indesign Doing The Maths
                                                              Wolf Eigner MeganK

                                                              Hey … I believe at this point we should definitely get into what the metric system can do vs. the imperial system! At least for five-fingered mammals, that is …

                                                              • 28. Re: Indesign Doing The Maths
                                                                macinbytes Community Member

                                                                As an American I'm never going metric. You'll have to pry my Schaedler C from my cold dead hands.

                                                                 

                                                                http://www.schaedlerprecision.com/products.htm

                                                                • 29. Re: Indesign Doing The Maths
                                                                  Fred Goldman Community Member

                                                                  Are those rulers available as 72 points per inch?

                                                                  • 30. Re: Indesign Doing The Maths
                                                                    Peter Spier CommunityMVP

                                                                    That's exactly what they are.


                                                                    • 31. Re: Indesign Doing The Maths
                                                                      macinbytes Community Member

                                                                      The B is. I really can't say enough awesome things about SPRs. I always assumed all graphic artists owned at least one.

                                                                       

                                                                      http://www.schaedlerprecision.com/46-dip.htm

                                                                       

                                                                      DTP Points & Picas (DTP = DeskTop Publishing) have been placed on the other edge of this rule. And this time, the points and picas do correspond to standard inches. 12 points = 1 pica; 6 picas = 1 inch. The scale is cumulatively marked in both points and picas for the entire length of the rule (72 picas or 864 points = 12 inches).

                                                                      • 32. Re: Indesign Doing The Maths
                                                                        Fred Goldman Community Member

                                                                        I see, the B ruler is what we need. We have the A ruler, all the old stuff from our old publishing system is in printer picas (which by the way is not 72.27 as Adobe may want you to believe). The problem is now that we have been using InDesign the ruler isn't exact anymore.

                                                                        • 33. Re: Indesign Doing The Maths
                                                                          [Jongware]-9BC6tI Community Member

                                                                          Echhhh....

                                                                           

                                                                          (which by the way is not 72.27 as Adobe may want you to believe)

                                                                           

                                                                          I read about that ratio, and Adobe's rounding-off to 72, when I started working with PostScript (raw PostScript, yay!), and have been telling this as an "inside joke" for literally years to graphic school interns.

                                                                           

                                                                          So ... what is it, then?

                                                                          • 34. Re: Indesign Doing The Maths
                                                                            Fred Goldman Community Member

                                                                            Echhh is right, now when we try and paste text from the converted stuff into new documents they come in with point sizes like 13.994 instead of 14. It's a real pain.

                                                                             

                                                                            According to the Schaedler site "six picas are equal to .99576 of an  inch". That would bring you to about 72.30658.

                                                                             

                                                                            When I had to convert these old documents I had to compare the printed stuff and I came out to 72.29 points per inch. I didn't know at the time there was an official measurement. I used Adobe's 72.27 and my boss told me right away the things weren't converting correctly. I had to then do try trial and error until they matched up.

                                                                            • 35. Re: Indesign Doing The Maths
                                                                              Peter Spier CommunityMVP

                                                                              There are actually several "traditional" picas in use (or formerly in use) in various parts of the world, all near 72 pts per inch, but not the same, and possibly not a value that can be reperesented by a non-repeating decimal. The exact 72 pt/inch postscript pica seems like a good idea to me, as much as a convenience, and cumulative error between postscipt picas and any of the traditionals is practically microscopic at small increments.

                                                                              • 36. Re: Indesign Doing The Maths
                                                                                Peter Spier CommunityMVP

                                                                                @ Fred,

                                                                                 

                                                                                I wouldn't rust the accuracy of scale  for any printed printed piece that used photography or digital platemaking in the print process, and with dot gain, I'm not sure I'd trust letterpress except the actual galleys.