Thanks for coming to InDesignSecrets.com, the world's #1 resource for all things InDesign!

Changing the Size of the Pasteboard

JB wrote:

Is there a way to adjust the size of the pasteboard (horizontally)?

Before I answer that, I have to throw out one keyboard shortcut tip: Did you know that Command-Option-Shift-0 (zero) or Ctrl-Alt-Shift-0 fits the entire pasteboard in the document window? Isn’t that cool? Okay, now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, let’s tackle the problem.

First of all, you know you can change the height of the pasteboard (in case that little tiny amount above and below the page isn’t enough) in the Guides & Pasteboard pane of the Preferences dialog box. Just change the Minimum Vertical Offset.

But that’s not what you want; you want to expand the width. There is a clunky way to do this:

  1. Choose File > Document Setup
  2. Change the document width to be larger (like twice as big)
  3. Click OK
  4. Place an object on the far left and far right of the pasteboard (using that shortcut we learned above helps!)
  5. Now change Document Setup back to the original page width.
  6. When you click OK, you’ll notice that the pasteboard width stays expanded. Now you can delete those dummy objects and the larger pasteboard will remain.

There’s a more elegant, way, but it requires buying a plug-in: The Page Control plug-in from dtptools.com lets you adjust the pasteboard size to whatever you want.

Note that for many people, the issue is how to make the pasteboard size smaller, not larger! For example, every now and again, I still hear about people who get really huge pasteboard sizes. Often this is because there is an object hiding way out there somewhere (I don’t know how the object got out there… something went terribly wrong somewhere). Fit the pasteboard in the doc window, then press Command-A/Ctrl-A. If you see an object selected way out there, then delete it or move it. If you don’t, then move to the next spread and try again.

If there are no objects way out there, you can try to reduce the pasteboard size in one of a couple of ways.

  • Try changing the page orientation (landscape to portrait, or vice versa) in File > Document Setup. Click OK and then set it back again.
  • If that doesn’t work, save the file as INX (File > Export, then choose InDesign Interchange format). Then open that INX file. That often gets rid of weirdness like that.

[Update: Note that in CS4 and later, you should export as IDML instead of INX.]

One of those usually works for me. Anyone else have ways that have worked for them?

Related Articles
Comments

54 Comments on “Changing the Size of the Pasteboard

  1. Now you can adjust the size of the pasteboard to whatever you like with CS4 and above. Go to preferences/Guide & Pasteboard. Adjust the settings at the bottom of the window. Fantastic!

    • Oh my gosh!! Thank you so much! I knew I changed something somewhere by accident but wasn’t able to undo it. This worked!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>