InDesign FX: How to create a puzzle with InDesign

Published by | Thursday, March 14th, 2013

How to create a puzzle effect using InDesign

In this week’s InDesign FX video, I show you how to use Adobe InDesign to divide an image into several pieces that fit together like a puzzle. This would be a pretty tedious chore to manually create all these separate frames and then position the images correctly inside them.

Fortunately, there is an easier way to create this effect.

With the help of the MakeGrid script that comes with InDesign, the busy work of dividing the image into as many frames as you want, and keeping the copies of the original image aligned correctly, is all handled by InDesign.

Use the MakeGrid script in InDesign

As I show in the video, you simply start with any image in a rectangular frame.

Start out with a basic rectangular frame.

Then run the MakeGrid script and select how many tiles you want to create by setting the number of rows and columns. The key settings for creating the puzzle effect are Row Gutter and Column Gutter. If you set them both to zero, there will be no gap between the puzzle pieces.

Run the MakeGrid script in InDesign.

Example of what the MakeGrid script looks like in InDesign.

Once you have the grid of images, you can scatter the pieces around and add extra touches like a small drop shadow.

You can also use the MakeGrid script with nonrectangular frames, to create different looks (though the pieces won’t fit together like a puzzle).

You can use the MakeGrid script on non-rectangle frames.

Example of the MakeGrid script.

I also have a member-exclusive video in the library this week called Applying a gradient to text, which shows you how to use an InDesign CS6 feature to fill text with gradients that automatically fit the width of the text.

Use InDesign to fill text with gradients.

See you here again in two weeks with another InDesign effect!

Interested in more?
• The entire InDesign FX biweekly series
• Courses by Mike Rankin on
• All InDesign courses on

Suggested courses to watch next:
InDesign Secrets
InDesign CS6 Essential Training
• InDesign CS6 New Features

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