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Tip of the Week: Duplicating Objects Across Spreads


This InDesign tip on duplicating objects across a spread was sent to Tip of the Week email subscribers on June 21, 2018.

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You probably know that you can quickly duplicate an object in InDesign by holding the Option or Alt key while dragging. InDesign gives you a clue that the object will be duplicated by showing a double arrow at your cursor.

Simple and easy, right? Yes, for the most part. But you might occasionally see that it doesn’t work when you try to duplicate an object to a different spread. The trick is to hold Option or Alt before you start dragging the object. This is not the case when you’re duplicating an object on the same spread. You can press Option or Alt at any time before you release to duplicate an object. But for whatever reason, InDesign is a little fussy about the sequence of key presses when you drag to a different spread. If you do it wrong (i.e. start dragging before you press Option/Alt), you’ll see the double “duplicate” cursor change to a single “move” cursor when you cross the spread boundary.



Editor in Chief of CreativePro. Instructor at LinkedIn Learning with courses on InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, GIMP, Inkscape, and Affinity Publisher.
  • Rich Diehl says:

    Only on rare occasion have I done this. I have found it easier to copy an object and paste it in place.

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