I have placed a large PDF in InDesign, as below:

enter image description here

I want to shrink the frame so that only a section of the content will be visible, but without changing the size of the content in any way, so that I end up with something like this:

enter image description here

How can I do this? The InDesign help page says

To move a frame without moving its content, click the frame using the Selection tool, switch to the Direct Selection tool, and then drag the center point.

However, I can't figure out how to scale the frame without scaling or skewing the image.


Just scale by mouse dragging as explained in Scott's answer, but do turn OFF the 'Auto Fit' option, which will re-adjust the image inside the frame if left to ON.

enter image description here

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Merely use the Selection Tool (black arrow).

Click the frame, then grab a handle and move it to crop the internal contents without altering the size of the placed content.

enter image description here

Basically you don't "scale" the frame you merely change it's dimensions directly. If you want a specific size for the frame, you can enter values in thw Control Bar across the top of the screen.

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  • Thanks very much for your answer, and the animation. For some reason when I do this the image seems to move a bit with the frame: Before: imgur.com/a/72xBe8a While resizing: imgur.com/a/TzhjC6R Do you know what could be causing this? – Ruvi Lecamwasam Oct 21 '18 at 1:11
  • Sorry @RuviLecamwasam I have never seen that happen in decades of InDesign use. Perhaps it's a setting or preference somewhere? (I'm guessing) – Scott Oct 21 '18 at 2:00
  • 1
    Make sure Auto-Fit is OFF. – Lucian Oct 21 '18 at 7:01
  • Auto-Fit turned out to be the problem! Going to "Object->Fitting->Frame Fitting Options" and turning Auto-Fit off made it behave as in Scott's animation. Thank you both for your help, @Lucian if you write your comment as an answer I will happily mark it as accepted. – Ruvi Lecamwasam Oct 21 '18 at 22:05
  • Auto-fit had to be manually ticked at some point to be on. It's off by default. – Scott Oct 22 '18 at 6:43

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