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Any way to make a Picture Frame array when drawing a frame - like InDesign

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Does anyone know how to layout a Picture Frame array when drawing a picture frame with the Picture Frame Rectangle Tool....like Adobe InDesign?

Essentially, in InDesign, one can press the left/right/up/down arrow keys while drawing a Frame and it converts from one frame to two, four, etc.




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15 minutes ago, Avezeau said:

Does anyone know how to layout a Picture Frame array when drawing a picture frame with the Picture Frame Rectangle Tool

Use the Power Duplicate function.

First, to get a row of picture frames:

  1. Draw one picture frame.
  2. Press Ctrl+J (Windows) or Cmd+J (Mac)
  3. Move the duplicate that was created to place it where you want it. Leave it selected.
  4. Repeat from 2. Each new duplicate will be placed at the same offset from the prior one.
  5. Stop when the row is full.

Then, once you've got a row:

  1. Select all of them.
  2. Ctrl or Cmd + J (as above) to duplicate the row.
  3. Move it down to place it where you want it. Leave it selected.
  4. Repeat from step 2 to get the next row, automatically positioned.
  5. Stop when you have as many rows as you want.

-- Walt

Windows 10 Home, version 20H2 (19042.685),
   Desktop: 16GB memory, Intel Core i7-6700K @ 4.00GHz, GeForce GTX 970
   Laptop (2021-04-06):  32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz
, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU
Affinity Photo and Beta   / Affinity Designer and Beta  / Affinity Publisher and Beta

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Something like this can be done by using the Data Merge Layout tool as a replicator tool, like here, where a simple .csv source file containing one record with two fields, an image field referring to "dummy.jpg", which is a 400x400px gray bitmap, and a text field containing the text "text", is used to duplicate Picture Frame controls and paragraph text frames (or any shape converted to a text frame).



It is not an interactive tool but quite versatile, as it allows to specify an array of objects not only by number of rows and columns, but also by width, height and gutter, and additionally define the "record" origin relative to the cell. Together with the excellent Picture Frame control (especially as basically any shape or even unclosed curve can be converted to one), and Frame Text control with insets, vertical text alignment, cell background and border color and thickness and style properties, combined with text styles, the possibilities of using this method to create different kinds of frames are practically endless. The same data source can be used to generate any number of different frames, and any number of them (as per Data Merge Layout control), as when the field advance is set to zero, the number of generated frames is defined by the merge layout tool instances (rather than by number of merged records).

After the merge has been done, the resulting frames are grouped (and may contain superfluous rectangles as a side effect), but unneeded groups and objects can easily be removed by using the Ungroup All command. After that the image controls can be populated by drag and drop from the file system or e.g. from stock image sites (if not populated by the data source):


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