InDesign's "Other" Paste in Place

November 3, 2003 - 2:00am ||| 2 Comments | Add new

In InDesign, when you've sucked something into your clipboard via cutting or copying (Command/Control-X or -C), and then paste it (Command/Control-V), the item appears smack in the middle of your InDesign window.

What if you want the pasted item to appear at the exact same page coordinates as the original item? Like you're trying to get the same icon to appear in the same spot on a few of your pages … do you have to select the original item and jot down what the Transform palette says so you can enter it again on the new page?

Au contraire, as any smug InDesign user (or PageMaker user for that matter) knows. Instead of Paste, you'd use its big brother, "Paste in Place" from the Edit menu. (Or for you keyboard shortcut freaks out there, add Option/Alt and Shift to the regular Paste shortcut. Basically just lean on the lower left quadrant of your keyboard.) That puts the clipboard item right where you want it.

But … there's another Paste in Place command hiding in InDesign. If you drag an item into an InDesign Library (that you've created via New->Library), you can get those items to appear on your pages at the same coordinates as the original too.

The trick is to select the item in the Library as usual but don't drag and drop it onto your page. Instead, use the Library palette menu's Place command. Place here acts just like "Paste in Place." And since it tracks the coordinates of any item you drag into the Library, it's like having multiple Clipboards.

The items in the Library remember their "place" even after you close the document or library and re-open it, and even among different documents, too, as long as the documents share the same basic Document set up (dimensions, orientation, and facing pages setting).

By the way, this tip works in both InDesign 2.0 and InDesign 3.0 errr I mean InDesign CS.

Comments (Subscribe to Comments RSS)

1 July 30, 2011 - 7:53am by Daniel Swanson (not verified):

Belated thanks for this tip. We’re now in inDesign CS5, but this pasting in place still works handsomely.

Photoshop has long had this type of function via holding down the shift key when pasting an element. And you cmd-F or -B in Illustrator.

I like the library approach, as I had to paste five different elements on pages.

2 October 11, 2011 - 7:54pm by Anonymous (not verified):

When I use the in design paste feature, it keeps pasting the same thing over and over…like its stuck on the clipboard? Have tried everything
but can’t figure it out.

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