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

InDesign Typography video excerpt: Scaling Text Frames

[The guest author for this post is our friend Nigel French, a graphic designer and trainer based in Brighton, UK. Visit to learn more!]

Have you ever encountered type with two type sizes ‘one of them in parentheses’ What’s that about?

Watch this sample video from my new title on, InDesign Typography, that demonstrates how these parentheses might appear in your type size field and how to make them go away.

As I showed in the video, the parenthetical type size is a result of the Adjust Scaling Percentage preference which, when turned on, displays the original point size of your type along with the new point size in parentheses. But only if you scale the whole text frame (Cmd/Ctrl-Shift and drag from one of the corners to scale the frame proportionally). Once the frame has been scaled in this way, if you then apply scaling to a selected range of text both the original and the new type size are displayed.

I’m sure there are times when this is useful, but-and I can’t think of any right now-those times are few. Mostly it’s just confusing. This cropped up more often in earlier versions of InDesign when you scaled a type object that was part of a group. These days you have to go out of your way to create the problem, but, for that once-in-a-blue-moon occasion when you encounter it, here’s the solution:


Choose the text frame, then from the Control Panel menu (top right) choose Redefine Scaling as 100%. Now you just have one point size-the actual size of the type. So that the problem doesn’t reoccur make sure that in General Preferences you have Apply to Content checked in the Object Editing section.

Anne-Marie Concepcion

Anne-Marie Concepcion

Anne-Marie “Her Geekness” Concepción is the co-founder (with David Blatner) and CEO of Creative Publishing Network, which produces InDesignSecrets, InDesign Magazine, and other resources for creative professionals. Through her cross-media design studio, Seneca Design & Training, Anne-Marie develops ebooks and trains and consults with companies who want to master the tools and workflows of digital publishing. She has authored over 20 courses on on these topics and others. Keep up with Anne-Marie by subscribing to her ezine, HerGeekness Gazette, and contact her by email at or on Twitter @amarie
Anne-Marie Concepcion

Latest posts by Anne-Marie Concepcion (see all)

  • - November 30, -0001
Related Articles

4 Comments on “InDesign Typography video excerpt: Scaling Text Frames

  1. thank you !!! this was very helpful. i was not sure how that happened but it was making me crazy :-)

  2. The purpose of the preference setting, Adjust Scaling Percentage, is so that when you scale any object or group (including text), the final scale will be displayed, rather than showing 100%. It can be a useful thing in many cases, though when applied to a text frame it creates the confusing and much unloved “parentheses” effect.

    Redefine Scaling to 100% will reset ANY objects or groups to 100%. However, if you apply this to a group, it will only reset the group to 100%, not the separate objects within the group. They (including any text) will still show the scaled percentages … and parentheses. That’s why you have to un-group the text frame from any other objects.

Leave a Reply

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