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Changing the Size of the Pasteboard

JB wrote:

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

Sure! Open the Preference dialog box and go to the Guides & Pasteboard area. There you’ll find the Pasteboard Options for Horizontal Margins and Vertical Margins.

You can set either of them to any value between zero and ten feet (720 picas)!

Why the Pasteboard won’t resize (or resizes unevenly)

If you’re trying to reduce the size of the Pasteboard and it isn’t working as expected, it’s almost certainly because there’s an object that would otherwise be left in the netherworld that lies beyond the Pasteboard, and InDesign won’t allow that.

So if you have a situation like this:

And try to make the Pasteboard so small that the object won’t fit at its current location:

InDesign just makes the Pasteboard as small as it can, even creating the bizarre situation where the Pasteboard is wider on one side.

Of course, it would also be nice if InDesign told you that’s what it was doing, but that’s another story…

Originally published May 14, 2008

David Blatner

David Blatner

David Blatner is the co-founder of the Creative Publishing Network, InDesign Magazine, and the author or co-author of 15 books, including Real World InDesign. His InDesign videos at are among the most watched InDesign training in the world. You can find more about David at
David Blatner

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16 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!

  2. In case you have just one oversized pasteboard, this might help:

    1. create a new spread before or after the one with the oversized pasteboard;
    2. select all the content of the oversized pasteboard;
    3. note the x, y coordinates of the selection;
    4. copy the selection to the new pasteboard;
    5. adjust the new x, y coordinates based on the ones just noted;
    6. delete the oversized pasteboard.

  3. I just had the same problem – I selected everything in the pasteboard and saw that something was waaaaaay off the screen – so far that I couldn’t even select it. So I delected everything I could by holding down shift and clicking on on what I could see to isolate it and then used the align panel to align vertical centers (with align to: set to page). The object showed up, I deleted it and the page went back to normal.

  4. I know the document always lines up at 0x0, thus the document understandably goes to the right. But i usually have all my command windows on the right side which goes on top of the document. How do I move the document more to the left without having to zoom in? The issue happens when I am in full document view. I’m wondering if there is a way to move the ruler 0x0 more to the left?

  5. In the way of my indesign scripting adventure I’ve been very surprised by fact that the dimensions of document pasteboard can be set almost limitless … by scripting :)

    For fun try this line of code using ESTK or VS Code if your measurements are set to milimeters,

    app.activeDocument.pasteboardPreferences.pasteboardMargins = [10000000,23265];

    then set the second value is 23266 …. :)

    Best regards

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