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Creating text threads

From: Illustrator CS4 Essential Training

Video: Creating text threads

So we know that area text lives inside of some kind of a frame. The text basically flows to fill the shape of that frame. Now sometimes you may have a lot of text and you want to have that text flow, not just inside of one frame but maybe along several frames. In an application like Quark for example, you have a concept of a text box and you can link several text box together to have one story flow across those text boxes. In InDesign, the same concept applies using multiple text frames. When you have a single story and you then flow that story across multiple text frames that is referred to as a thread of text. So let's explore how we create text threads here inside of Illustrator. We are going to start off simply by talking about creating an empty text thread and then what we will do is we will deal with the actual text that we have in this particular document right here.

Creating text threads

So we know that area text lives inside of some kind of a frame. The text basically flows to fill the shape of that frame. Now sometimes you may have a lot of text and you want to have that text flow, not just inside of one frame but maybe along several frames. In an application like Quark for example, you have a concept of a text box and you can link several text box together to have one story flow across those text boxes. In InDesign, the same concept applies using multiple text frames. When you have a single story and you then flow that story across multiple text frames that is referred to as a thread of text. So let's explore how we create text threads here inside of Illustrator. We are going to start off simply by talking about creating an empty text thread and then what we will do is we will deal with the actual text that we have in this particular document right here.

I'm just going to move over here, use the Hand Grabber tool to just basically move to this side of the screen here. Let's start with just some blank area here. I'm going to take this regular Type tool and click and drag to create a text frame like we have done in the past before I get the blinking cursor, that's fine. If I switched to my regular Selection tool, I see that I have the handles on the corners, which is something that I see because I had the bounding box turned on. But I also have a box on the upper left hand corner here and a box in the lower right hand corner. I would like to call these things little big boxes because they are bigger than the corner handles that you would find on the bounding box. But there are still little and that's where they are.

So what are the uses for these boxes? Well, the real names for these boxes here are Ports. In fact, this one is called the In Port; this one is called the Out Port. Text flows into a frame, through its In Port and then flows out of a frame through its Out Port. Now just to show you how you can manage a text thread, I can take my regular Selection tool and click on that particular Out Port, that's right here. You see this loaded gun icon appears. If I click and drag now to draw a second text frame, my result is a thread of text. So if I now select both of these here, you will see that I have two frames and the two frames are connected here and this is what I call a thread.

So let's talk about now how you apply that with text itself inside of it and then we will see how that works. We will also take a little closer look at the icons that appear in this particular corner. So we don't want to get in any situation where we have just empty objects lying around our screen. I'll go ahead and I'll delete those. I move it back to this part over here and I'm going to let's say, decide that I want to maybe have two columns of text here and I don't want to use the Column feature that you have for area text because maybe I want the columns to be uneven in width. So, for example, I have one column here like this. Now if I look over here in the top left I have that In Port, but that In Port itself right now has no fill inside of it. In fact, just to make things little bit easier to see, I'm going to go to the View menu and Hide the bounding box. This really can focus on just the actual ports that appear here.

So notice that there is no icon here, it's empty, it's hollow. Whenever you see an empty In Port, that is indicative to you that my text thread, or where my story begins, starts right here. There is no text that comes before this. This is where the text actually starts in my thread. Now if I go to the Out Port here, I see there is a red plus sign. The red plus sign indicates to me that there is over set text or right now there is more text that belongs to this story but the text frame itself is not big enough to hold it so right now that text is not visible anywhere. So what I can do is create now another frame and then flow the text now from this frame into that frame and I'll do that by just taking my regular Selection tool. I'll click on that Out Port, which currently has a red plus sign, I get this loaded gun icon, I click and drag to draw a new frame and my text now flows from this frame into this frame.

Now let's take a look at the In Port on this frame. Notice that it's not empty anymore, it has an arrow. That arrow means to me that this text doesn't start here, it actually flows in from another source, that other source as I see from the connecting line is this Out Port and before there is a red plus sign, now there is an arrow here, which means that there is text now flowing out of this frame, and going to this one. If I go ahead now and I click on this plus sign, I draw yet now another one; I have created now yet another thread. In fact, what I'm going to do is I'm going to move over just a little bit more, I want to make sure that all the text is placed there. So notice now as I draw my frame that the Out Port that's over here is now empty. That means that there is no more text involved at all in this particular story. So using the icons here that appear inside of the ports, you can very quickly identify where your particular thread begins, where it ends and how it moves.

What's great about the way that Illustrator works with threads though is that I can easily manipulate these threads. If I decide that this frame over here, I want to get rid of it, I could simply select it and hit the Delete key on my keyboard and the text automatically reconnects itself over here as if that never existed. If I decide that I want to now add a new frame right over here as well, I could click over here on the Out Port, even though it's currently connected to this frame here, I can click here, get that same loaded gun, click out and that gets inserted inside of that text thread as if I just inserted it there. I'm just going to go ahead and delete these particular frames here and move back to what we had over here in this particular document. It's important to realize that I could also go to the first In Port to the start of my story, click on that and then create a frame and then start my story one frame earlier.

So there is really no limit to how you can work with these threads inside of Illustrator, in fact, I just clicked with the loaded gun and made another frame there. But you can see very easily that working with threads, you can take one story and then have it flow across multiple frames. What's great about Illustrator also is that in this particular case, I can also have text that flows between different shapes of frames. So I could have text that goes from a rectangular frame into a circular frame and elsewhere. In fact, I'll show you now that inside of Illustrator there is really one other type of text object, which we haven't discussed yet, and that's the ability to actually put text along the path. So in the next movie we will see how that works.

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This video is part of

Image for Illustrator CS4 Essential Training
Illustrator CS4 Essential Training

116 video lessons · 48573 viewers

Mordy Golding
Author

 
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  1. 59s
    1. Welcome
      59s
  2. 33m 17s
    1. Why use Illustrator?
      2m 22s
    2. What are vector graphics?
      8m 4s
    3. Understanding paths
      4m 13s
    4. Fill and Stroke attributes
      5m 32s
    5. Selections and stacking order
      8m 31s
    6. Isolation mode
      4m 35s
  3. 23m 43s
    1. The Welcome screen
      1m 11s
    2. New Document Profiles
      4m 36s
    3. Using multiple artboards
      7m 17s
    4. Libraries and content
      3m 52s
    5. Illustrator templates
      2m 56s
    6. Adding XMP metadata
      3m 51s
  4. 43m 55s
    1. Exploring panels
      4m 18s
    2. Using the Control panel
      5m 25s
    3. Navigating within a document
      5m 27s
    4. Using rulers and guides
      5m 23s
    5. Using grids
      2m 12s
    6. Utilizing the bounding box
      3m 3s
    7. Using Smart Guides
      4m 59s
    8. The Hide Edges command
      3m 31s
    9. Preview and Outline modes
      2m 18s
    10. Using workspaces
      7m 19s
  5. 38m 3s
    1. The importance of modifier keys
      1m 9s
    2. Drawing closed-path primitives
      7m 15s
    3. Drawing open-path primitives
      5m 5s
    4. Simple drawing with the Pen tool
      7m 28s
    5. Advanced drawing with the Pen tool
      10m 33s
    6. Drawing with the Pencil tool
      6m 33s
  6. 46m 37s
    1. Editing anchor points
      13m 7s
    2. Creating compound shapes
      5m 55s
    3. Utilizing Pathfinder functions
      5m 11s
    4. Joining and averaging paths
      5m 37s
    5. Outlining strokes
      3m 24s
    6. Simplifying paths
      5m 41s
    7. Using Offset Path
      2m 43s
    8. Dividing an object into a grid
      1m 41s
    9. Cleaning up errant paths
      3m 18s
  7. 35m 23s
    1. Creating point text
      4m 4s
    2. Creating area text
      4m 19s
    3. Applying basic character settings
      6m 27s
    4. Applying basic paragraph settings
      4m 4s
    5. Creating text threads
      5m 28s
    6. Creating text on open paths
      5m 18s
    7. Creating text on closed paths
      3m 57s
    8. Converting text to outlines
      1m 46s
  8. 20m 15s
    1. Using the basic selection tools
      7m 53s
    2. Using the Magic Wand and Lasso tools
      6m 34s
    3. Selecting objects by attribute
      2m 38s
    4. Saving and reusing selections
      3m 10s
  9. 40m 35s
    1. Using the Appearance panel
      6m 48s
    2. Targeting object attributes
      3m 26s
    3. Adding multiple attributes
      7m 6s
    4. Applying Live Effects
      8m 9s
    5. Expanding appearances
      4m 48s
    6. Appearance panel settings
      6m 51s
    7. Copying appearances
      3m 27s
  10. 37m 15s
    1. Defining groups
      7m 2s
    2. Editing groups
      5m 28s
    3. Working with layers
      8m 10s
    4. Layer and object hierarchy
      6m 57s
    5. Creating template layers
      2m 3s
    6. Object, group, and layer attributes
      7m 35s
  11. 44m 4s
    1. Applying colors
      3m 18s
    2. Creating solid color swatches
      4m 48s
    3. Creating global process swatches
      5m 1s
    4. Using spot color swatches
      4m 27s
    5. Creating swatch groups and libraries
      6m 50s
    6. Working with linear gradient fills
      6m 34s
    7. Working with radial gradient fills
      2m 19s
    8. Applying and manipulating pattern fills
      4m 51s
    9. Defining simple patterns
      5m 56s
  12. 22m 43s
    1. Moving and copying objects
      2m 1s
    2. Scaling objects
      4m 49s
    3. Rotating objects
      3m 14s
    4. Reflecting and skewing objects
      2m 27s
    5. Using the Free Transform tool
      2m 9s
    6. Aligning objects
      5m 15s
    7. Distributing objects
      2m 48s
  13. 25m 13s
    1. Using a pressure-sensitive tablet
      1m 38s
    2. Using the Calligraphic brush
      6m 10s
    3. Using the Scatter brush
      4m 0s
    4. Using the Art brush
      2m 26s
    5. Using the Pattern brush
      3m 21s
    6. Using the Paintbrush tool
      1m 41s
    7. Using the Blob Brush tool
      3m 42s
    8. Using the Eraser tool
      2m 15s
  14. 16m 36s
    1. Using symbols
      3m 9s
    2. Defining your own symbols
      2m 1s
    3. Editing symbols
      4m 4s
    4. Using the Symbol Sprayer tool
      2m 32s
    5. Using the Symbolism toolset
      4m 50s
  15. 35m 37s
    1. Minding your resolution settings
      6m 15s
    2. Applying basic 3D extrusions
      6m 43s
    3. Applying basic 3D revolves
      2m 31s
    4. Basic artwork mapping
      5m 9s
    5. Using the Stylize effects
      5m 35s
    6. Using the Scribble effect
      5m 43s
    7. Using the Warp effect
      3m 41s
  16. 21m 37s
    1. Placing images
      4m 51s
    2. Using the Links panel
      2m 47s
    3. The Edit Original workflow
      2m 0s
    4. Converting images to vectors with Live Trace
      5m 29s
    5. Rasterizing artwork
      1m 55s
    6. Cropping images with a mask
      4m 35s
  17. 10m 35s
    1. Saving your Illustrator document
      8m 18s
    2. Printing your Illustrator document
      2m 17s
  18. 6m 25s
    1. Exporting files for use in QuarkXPress
      1m 8s
    2. Exporting files for use in InDesign
      39s
    3. Exporting files for use in Word/Excel/PowerPoint
      45s
    4. Exporting files for use in Photoshop
      1m 25s
    5. Exporting files for use in Flash
      1m 15s
    6. Exporting files for use in After Effects
      19s
    7. Migrating from FreeHand
      54s
  19. 2m 23s
    1. Finding additional help
      2m 0s
    2. Goodbye
      23s

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