When you place a video in your InDesign layout to export with in5, it may appear that you can crop and resize it.

in5 will respect true scaling of a video frame, e.g., if you change it size in the properties panel or scale the video in InDesign using SHIFT + CMD (CTRL on Windows). However, if you crop the frame, it will only crop the post image.

The video in the output will play as if you scaled the frame.

Although the video appears smaller, it's the same file size as the original. So what's happening and what can you do?

When an asset in your InDesign layout is cropped using the frame that contains it, in5 interprets that crop to mean that you'd like it to generate a new still image with those dimensions, so you get a cropped poster image.

When you resize the video in your layout, in5 instructs the browser to display it at the new dimensions. The browser can scale the content, but it has to use your original video. Because it's using that original video, the scaled-down version will be the same file size as the original.

Use Photoshop to quickly resize or crop video

To crop or resize the video, you would need to edit the video. If you're not familiar with video editing software, you can use Photoshop. Keith Gilbert shows how in his Ajar Academy course, Using Video in Your in5 Project.

Adobe Express is another easy alternative

If you don't have access to Photoshop or other video editing software, then you can use Adobe Express which has a variety of Quick Actions to easily crop and resize your video.

Adobe Express also includes video Quick Actions to trim your video to make it only the duration that you need and to convert videos to MP4s in case your video isn't in a format supported by the web.

Use a matte to create the appearance of a cropped video

Another technique (shown in-depth in Keith's video course) that will make your video appear to be cropped—and can be accomplished completely in InDesign—would be to use a shape as a matte, to hide a portion of your content. We've shown how to do this with an animated GIF, and you can use the same technique with video (note that it doesn't have to be a complex shape, it can be a rectangular hole within a larger rectangle).

Be aware that even though the content will be hidden behind the matte, the file size will remain the same as the original video. This may also hide the default player controls, so you may want to avoid covering the bottom of the video, or create custom playback controls with InDesign buttons and video actions. This is why we generally recommend cropping outside of InDesign.

If file size and loading are an issue, then use Photoshop or the Adobe Express Quick Action to crop the content instead.

Additional resources

To learn more about the basics of using video with InDesign and in5, check out our article on Adding Audio & Video.

To go more in-depth with video in InDesign & in5, check out Keith's Using Video in Your in5 Project video course.