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Adobe InDesign CS3

Working with Text Frames

InDesign allows you the flexibility to define your text area. To determine the boundaries and placement of the text, the Selection Tool is used.

Working with the Selection Tool allows you to work with the text frames rather than the text itself. The text frame can be resized, moved, deleted, copied, and more. For more information on creating text and text frames, refer to Adding Text.

return to topUsing Text Frames

A text frame is a portion of a story. A story can consist of multiple text frames that are linked together so that text flows automatically from one frame to the next; it can range from one letter to several pages of text and can be contained in a single text frame or linked through many different ones.

With InDesign, several different stories can appear on the same page and continue elsewhere in the document; however, each story is a separate unit. When you adjust the length of text within a story, or alter the amount of text that fits within your text frames, the text flows through the linked text frames until it reaches the end of the story. If you add text to a linked story, you may need to adjust the size of the last text frame or create a new text frame so all of the text is visible.

Text Frame Indicators

The borders of text frames are outlined with light blue. When the frame is selected, sizing handles appear around the adjustable areas of the frame.

When the In PortIn Port icon(located on the left edge of the text frame) is empty, it signifies the first text frame of a story. If there is a triangleTriangle iconin the In Port, the text frame is linked to another text frame. Text threads allow you to see connecting lines between linked text frames.

To view the text threads:

  1. From the View menu, select Show Text Threads
    OR
    Press [Ctrl] + [Alt] + [Y]

A plus signPlus sign iconin the Out Port indicates there is additional text in the story but it is not showing because the text frame is too small. A triangleTriangle iconin the Out Port indicates that the frame is linked to another text frame.

Text Frame: Annotated

return to topSelecting Text Frames

To ensure that you work with the text frame and not the text itself, use the Selection ToolSelection Tool icon.This will ensure that your words and sentences stay in the correct order while you adjust your text frames.

Selecting a Single Text Frame

  1. From the Toolbox, select the Selection ToolSelection Tool icon

  2. Click in the text frame you wish to select

Selecting Multiple Text Frames

  1. From the Toolbox, select the Selection ToolSelection Tool icon

  2. Click in the first text frame you wish to select

  3. Hold down [Shift] and click each additional text frame

Selecting All Items on a Page

  1. From the Edit menu, select Select All
    OR
    Press [Ctrl] + [A]
    All elements on the current page are selected and can be moved, copied, or deleted as a group.
    NOTE: If a story takes up more than one page, this will select only items on the current page.

return to topManipulating Text Frames

A text frame’s size, shape, and placement on the page can be changed to suit your needs. Selected text frames can also be cut or copied. Drag the sizing handles up or down to shorten or lengthen text frames. To adjust the height and width at the same time, drag a corner handle. To change the size of the text box while keeping the original proportions, press and hold [Shift] while dragging a corner handle.

Moving a Text Frame

  1. From the Toolbox, select the Selection ToolSelection Tool icon

  2. Select the text frame you want to move

  3. Move the pointer inside the text frame
    The pointer's arrow stem disappearsSelection Tool icon: No stem.

  4. Click and drag the mouse to move the text frame

  5. Release the mouse button when the text frame is positioned correctly

Deleting a Text Frame

  1. From the Toolbox, select the Selection ToolSelection Tool icon

  2. Select the text frame you wish to delete

  3. Press [Delete]
    OR
    From the Edit menu, select Clear
    Only the selected text frame will be deleted.

Resizing a Text Frame

  1. From the Toolbox, select the Selection ToolSelection Tool icon

  2. Select the text frame you wish to resize

  3. Position the tip of the pointer on one of the object’s sizing handles
    A double-headed arrowDouble Headed Arrow iconappears.

  4. Click and drag a sizing handle to resize the text frame
    HINT: To adjust the height and width at the same time, drag a corner handle.

  5. Release the mouse button
    The object is resized.

Extending Text across Column Boundaries

On some occasions, text needs to extend across two or more columns. For example, an article may be placed in columns on a three-column page, but the title needs to extend across all three columns.

  1. From the Toolbox, select the Selection ToolSelection Tool icon

  2. Select the desired text frame
    Sizing handles appear around the frame's border.

  3. Position the tip of the pointer on a sizing handle
    A double-headed arrowDouble Headed Arrow iconappears.

  4. Click and drag the arrow across columns until the frame reaches the desired size

  5. Release the mouse button
    The text repositions itself accordingly.

return to topLinking and Unlinking Text Frames

When a story consists of linked text frames, the text from one frame will automatically flow into subsequent frames.

Placing Additional Text (Linking Text Frames)

If a plus signPlus sign iconappears in a text frame's Out Port, it indicates that there is additional text in the story, but it is not showing because the text frame is too small.

To place the hidden text into another text frame:

  1. From the Toolbox, select the Selection ToolSelection Tool icon

  2. Position the tip of the Selection ToolSelection Tool iconon the plus signPlus sign iconand click once
    If you positioned the tool correctly, the pointer should turn into the Place iconPlace icon.

  3. Position the Place icon where you want the story continued
    If you position the icon over a pre-existing text frame, the Place icon turns into a Link iconLink icon.

  4. To place the text, click once
    Any overflow text is placed into the new frame and is now linked to the rest of your story.

Unlinking Text Frames

If you no longer want a text frame to be part of your story, it can be unlinked. When this is accomplished, the text that existed in the text frame automatically flows into the next linked frame in the story. No text is removed from the story by unlinking a text frame.

  1. From the Toolbox, select the Selection ToolSelection tool

  2. Select the text frame(s) to be unlinked
    HINT: To select more than one frame, press and hold [Shift] while clicking.

  3. From the Edit menu, select Cut

  4. The text frame disappears
    Text from the frame automatically flows to the next frame in the story.
    NOTE: If you cut the last frame in a story, the text is stored as overflow text in the previous frame.

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