Produced by KelbyOne

Having Fun with Frames in InDesign

Layers Tip of the Day writer, Jeff Witchel demonstrates some shortcuts for working with frames in InDesign.


  • Fabrice Mazerolle says:

    Very useful tutorial. Thanks. Is there a way to get the really nice picture that you use to demonstate the frame manipulations ?

  • Jake says:

    This leads to a question I’ve always had. I like being able to knock out one side of a rectangle as you demonstrated. However, if you want to knock out a second side using the same technique, it doesn’t work. You end up deleting the whole rectangle.

    I thought maybe the scissor trick you demonstrated might work in this case. And you can cut out another piece, but then it is no longer a rectangle… it’s two separate pieces.

    So my question is, how can you delete two sides of a rectangle without affecting the content inside and keeping ? For example, you might want a call-out in a magazine where there’s a bar across the top and bottom, but not the sides.

    You could do this with a single-cell table and just turn off the side strokes, but I’d like to be able to do this with a normal text box.

  • Jeff (AdobeAce) says:

    Hi Fabrice,

    Glad you like the tutorial.

    I’m afraid that the illustration used for the tutorial is not available. It’s an original piece of art that I drew over 13 years ago in Illustrator.

    Jeff Witchel

  • Jeff (AdobeAce) says:

    Hi Jake,


    You’d have to fake it!

    Select the top of the Stroked Frame with the Direct Selection, and shift-click on the bottom segment. Go to Edit>Copy. Remove the Stroke from your original Frame in the Swatches panel. Then go to Edit Paste in Place to paste the top and bottom Stroked segments right in front of the original “strokeless” image.

    It works! Give it try.

    Jeff Witchel

  • Jake says:

    Very clever, Jeff.

    I did try it and it does work. However, the one extra step that you’d probably want to do is to group the strokeless frame with your new top/bottom borders.

    At least the way I did it, you can’t put text in the new bordered box even though InDesign shows the Content as Text.

    But if I group the two together, I can place the text inside the unbordered text frame while getting the advantage of having the top/bottom bordered frame.

    Thanks for the tip.

  • Linda says:

    Very useful tutorial. I am new to Indesign and have had no formal training so am struggling to do basic stuff. Can I make a rectangle frame with 3 right angle corners and 1 curved one? the corner options only lets me do all 4 the same.

  • Betsy says:

    Great video! I now know what the ‘scissors’ tool does!
    Thank you

  • Lynne says:

    Just what I needed to know! Thanks!

  • John says:

    Thanks Jeff,

    What an illuminating tutorial; soooo close to what I need!

    I’ve set up my text frame with one rounded corner (top left), however when I then delete the bottom stroke, the upper right corner reverts to rounded too. Is there a way to combat this phenomenon? I want a three sided box (no bottom) with the upper left corner rounded, and the upper right corner square.

    Thanks for any assistance.