# Using fractions in box dimensions - Adobe Indesign Windows

Is InDesign able to make use of a fraction when adjusting box sizes? In Quark you can type in, say, 4+3/16, and the box will be 4.1875 inches long. But if you try to type that same measurement into InDesign it makes the box 2.6875 inches long. Am I inputing the values incorrectly or can InDesign not make use of a fraction in the width or height box? Thanks. Nate...

1. ## Using fractions in box dimensions

Is InDesign able to make use of a fraction when adjusting box sizes? In Quark you can type in, say, 4+3/16, and the box will be 4.1875 inches long. But if you try to type that same measurement into InDesign it makes the box 2.6875 inches long. Am I inputing the values incorrectly or can InDesign not make use of a fraction in the width or height box? Thanks.

Nate

2. ## Re: Using fractions in box dimensions

Nate,

Looks like you can only use one mathematical operator

From the ID help file:
Type a simple mathematical expression using a single mathematical operator, such as
+ (plus), - (minus), x (multiplication), / (division), or % (percent).
For example, 0p0+3 or 5mm + 4.

So 4 + 3/16 is using two and causing trouble.

If your dealing in 1/16ths your up/down arrows will work for you in dialogue boxes changing you value to the next 16th of an inch.

3. ## Re: Using fractions in box dimensions

QuarkXPress, even at version 3, was much further ahead than Indesign is. QuarkXPress let you enter longer expressions, switch units, and even use parenthesis. Thus it was possible to make a 2 inch box wider by entering 2"+3p1+(2.5+5.75)cm -3"/16. Only limit was that units had to be in the numerator.

4. ## Re: Using fractions in box dimensions

Sounds like a feature request (A good one)

5. ## Re: Using fractions in box dimensions

Hey thanks for the replies. Just to clarify though, within InDesign I'm trying to put in 4 3/32, not 4+3/32. If you try 4+3/32 it gives you an error message about an invalid numeric value. However, when you leave off the plus sign, it calculates it wrong. So you would have to do the 3/32 first, and then replace the leading zero with a four. Not exactly the fastest way to do things.

Scott, that's pretty much what I want to do in InDesign. Maybe not with such an extreme example but similar. Maybe I will take this over to the feature request area. Thanks guys.

Nate

6. ## Re: Using fractions in box dimensions

I just realized something else. When you type in a value, like 1 1/2, it reads it as 11/2, which would give you 5.5 inches. That's why I was getting such strange results.

Nate

7. ## Re: Using fractions in box dimensions

If 1 1/2 equates to 11/5 to give you (and here you break into decimal) 5.5,
why not try entering 1.5 in the first place.

k

8. ## Re: Using fractions in box dimensions

That was just an example. Usually I do a lot of less common ones, and in order to save time I like to just enter the whole thing at once. I suppose I could get a fraction/decimal conversion chart, but that's not ideal.

Nate

9. ## Re: Using fractions in box dimensions

Yeah, the space is pd out and what you entered has one numerator. one denominator, and no separate values. That's why you need the plus sign, but you only get one operation in InDesing. Your franction 4 3/32 can be entered as 131/32.

10. ## Re: Using fractions in box dimensions

"I suppose I could get a fraction/decimal conversion chart"

or a pocket calculator

k

11. ## Re: Using fractions in box dimensions

We have charts from Unisource that give decimal down to the 64th.

Sit right on the keyboard.

Use them for a while and you won't need them anymore.

12. ## Re: Using fractions in box dimensions

Sorry,

I type like a monkey

"Sit right on the keyboard."

should be sits