This blog is about Graphic Design, Vector Art, and Cartoon Illustration

Fitting photos in a box in Adobe Illustrator

One of the best features of a page layout program like InDesign is that you can fit photos into a box, or frame. Unfortunately InDesign is wildly complex and has many features that I would never use on a simple flyer like the one I'm working on now. But when working on a page layout, it makes it so much easier if the photos can be sized and cropped right there on the page. Fortunately, Adobe Illustrator can do that, too.

In Adobe Illustrator, you use a "Clipping Mask". To do this, place the photo in your layout and then draw an ordinary box on top of it. Any box will do, but it must be on top of the photo. Select both objects and go to Object - Clipping Mask - Make

You can adjust the size of the image (or the frame if you prefer) by using the selection tool. Just grab a corner and drag. If you want to change the shape of the box, use the direct select tool. If you want to move the picture around in the box, use the direct select too, also.

This is an advanced technique in Adobe Illustrator, but one well worth learning, as it makes placing, sizing, and cropping photos very easy. And you don't need InDesign to do it!