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Flowing text from one block to another

From: Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals

Video: Flowing text from one block to another

At point in the process, we still have some overset text in our poem. As you can see, indicated by this little red plus sign, sort of the variation on the Switzerland icon right there. What we want to do is we want to flow this text into multiple text blocks, multiple threaded text blocks. As you will see. I have saved my progress so far as a document called Partial poem.ai, found inside the O8_ type folder. With my Black Arrow tool, I'm going to click on this first text block right there that ends with "I thinks I'll puts it on." So, make sure you can see that entire line of type and I do take some liberties with the language here, as you'll see, that sometimes the verbs don't match the noun; other times, the words are just made up. But in any case, that's creative license for you.

Flowing text from one block to another

At point in the process, we still have some overset text in our poem. As you can see, indicated by this little red plus sign, sort of the variation on the Switzerland icon right there. What we want to do is we want to flow this text into multiple text blocks, multiple threaded text blocks. As you will see. I have saved my progress so far as a document called Partial poem.ai, found inside the O8_ type folder. With my Black Arrow tool, I'm going to click on this first text block right there that ends with "I thinks I'll puts it on." So, make sure you can see that entire line of type and I do take some liberties with the language here, as you'll see, that sometimes the verbs don't match the noun; other times, the words are just made up. But in any case, that's creative license for you.

Once you get the text block selected, make sure you can see the bounding box, by pressing Ctrl+Shift+B, Command+Shift+ B if necessary. If you can already see the bounding box, you are fine. Then I want you to go to this little Switzerland icon, and I want you to click on it in order to load your cursor with text, as you can see right there. Then I'll move my cursor over to this location here, and there is a variety of different ways that you can place text. I'll show you how it works here. One way is to drag with the cursor in order to define the size of the next text frame and then Illustrator will go ahead and flow the text from the first block into the second block, like so. And we can see this thread line that's showing us how the text is going from one location.

Notice now, what was formerly a red plus sign has changed to a blue right pointing arrowhead, showing us that we have more text and it is set and here is where it's set, inside of this text blocks right there. The thing is that those threads are helpful, but they are awfully thick. It's like these big pieces of yarn connecting all the text blocks. I hate them. Quite frankly, I don't like to see them on screen. So, I go up to the View menu. You can do this if you want. And I choose High Text Threads, Ctrl+Shift+Y, Command+ Shift+Y on a MAC. Go thee away. Now, it looks much better, in my opinion, we don't need those things. But obviously we are going from here to here. It's not rocket science. I'm missing part of my last line. It says " What ams I doing" and then I don't know what the next word is. So I'm going to drag this handle over until I see "Wrong" pop-up on screen, like so.

Then I'll drag this text blocks down a little bit. Obviously I can nudge it from the keyboard as well. Not that concerned about placement at this point. Now we need to place the overset text. We still have overset text on the next page of the document. So click on the little Switzerland icon and I'll spacebar+drag. You can do this, by the way. Notice that your Type tool is automatically active as your flowing text inside of Illustrator. That's okay. We don't have any text selected, so we can spacebar+drag, in addition to dragging. Dragging would be pretty tedious over time. If we had to drag every single one of these text blocks, because we really actually have six more text blocks to make here. Instead of dragging, you can just click.

Now, how is it that Illustrator is so super smart that it puts this text over on the right side of this left sock and above this right sock? How does it know? Is it sock sensitive or something? And the answer is no. All it's doing, if you click with the tool, it's duplicating the exact size of the very last text blocks. So that last text block was nice and wide, like this one is here. I think that's maybe a little bit too wide. So I'll go ahead and move it down and drag this over a little bit. Now, notice if I click on the red plus sign and click here, it makes this text block the same size as this text block, which isn't wide enough, because "your feets won'ts". So we don't know what the rest is. So you drag over until you see "number two", like so and then drag this down, so that we can see the rest of that text block.

There is still a little bit of TDM left here, which is the fact that we have to click on the plus sign and then click again and so on, and so on. Well, here is what you can do, click on that plus sign in order to load the cursor, and then press and hold the Alt key, or the Option key on a MAC. Notice that the cursor changes to what's known as the Semi-auto flow cursor. Now, InDesign has this thing called Auto flow that you get to by pressing the Shift key, but you don't have that in Illustrator. You can't automatically just fill in the entire document with text or generate pages or any of that stuff. So, you have to do one block at a time. But still, check this out, if I Alt-click or Option-click, not only do I create a text block that's the same size as the previous one, but I go ahead and automatically load my cursor once again.

Now. Let's spacebar+drag over here and I'll Alt-click or Option-click at this location. Don't have to click on the plus sign. Alt-click or Option-click here, then Alt-click or Option-click here. Now, that's the end of the story, actually at this point. So, let's go ahead and press the V key, in order to switch back to the Black Arrow tool. Now it is telling me that I still have overset text. Illustrator has a habit of doing this and it's a little bit problematic to eliminate it. If you know, this is the end of the document, as I do, I know "then daddy will rests easy that you grows a safely tot" is the end of this poem. Then. I'm going to double-click right at this location. Actually I missed it, double-click right here, after the period. There we go. And, if you just can't get it right, by the way, try this.

I will escape out of there for a moment, click off this text, so I'm not seeing that big gargantuan bounding box. I'll double-click at a location I know is inside the text block, like right here between the T and the period, and then I'll press the right arrow key in order to advance at the other side of the period. Now I'm going to press the Forward Delete key. On a PC, that's just the straight Delete that's under the Insert key. On the Mac, it's a little icon that shows you are going to delete the other direction. It's still over there next to the End key and so on in that little cluster of weird keys. And I press it several times until, by the way, that little plus sign goes away.

So I had to press it twice. I don't know, how many times you might need to. If you press it six or seven times, you definitely got every bit of weird little garbage that's on the right side of that period and now we are ostensibly done. Now, we do have a few little issues to tidy up. If you want to see exactly how to fix these text blocks, you can, by turning on the Type layer right there, here on the Layers palette because that shows you how I set my text and then you could lock it down, so that you don't end up messing it up and your focus on the My text layer.

Now for me, the first text blocks looks good. The text blocks over here on page 1 but the text blocks on page 2 don't look so good at all. So click off the text in order to deselect, because what Illustrator has a habit of doing is trying to select all of the threaded text blocks. By the way, multiple threaded text blocks inside of Illustrator and other applications are known as a Story. Collectively all of this text inside of the poem is known as a story. Just so you know. Now, this part of the story that was not in good space, so let's go and drag it down so that more or less matches, it doesn't have to be exactly on, we have different kerning going on is the reason we are seeing slightly different alignment there. But those look pretty darn good. Let's go ahead and drag this guy over. Just to be nice and tidy. Then on this page, we have got bigger problems, as you are about to see.

So, this group of three lines right here, works out very nicely. But this one, notice it, if I try to pull it in place, we still have "and keeps your footsies hot". That's the final line. It's hard to read. But that's what it says and it doesn't fit on the line no matter what we do. So I cheated, is what I did. I'll double-click right there between the 'l' and the 'e' and I'll press the left arrow key to move the blinking insertion marker to the left side of that 'l' and I'll press the backspace key in order to move the 'l' to the next line, after the word "dear" right there and I'll go ahead and enter a space character as well. So that we have some space between that. Then I'll click in front of the word "and" and I'll press backspace and I'll press spacebar to move it over as well.

Now, I'll press the Escape key to return back to the Black Arrow tool. Click off, again, click on, this text block right there and let's go ahead and move this edge over so that things match the way that we want them to match and this should match pretty nicely. So you can see now. "So please dear" this is why I'm saying I cheated because the stanzas don't work out right anymore. "So please dear, leaves your sockie on" those go together and "keeps your footsie hot". Well, whatever. So that's the decision I had to make in post here when I was laying out the document. It's difficult to be both the author and layout artist. It's much easier if you are just laying out and you say 'Whatever the author looses, I'm in control'.

Anyway, so this looks pretty darn good. I'm going to turn off the Type layer here and these are our good -looking lines right here. Now notice that all of the text is formatted pretty darn well but what if at some point here, you decide, you know what? The leading could be ever-so slightly different and I think I want to change the kerning as well. How do you figure out what that leading and kerning should be and then apply it to the rest of the article? I will show you how that works using a paragraph style in the next exercise.

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Image for Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals
Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals

182 video lessons · 38140 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
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  1. 42m 7s
    1. Welcome to One-on-One
      1m 58s
    2. The Welcome screen
      3m 2s
    3. Creating a new document
      5m 6s
    4. Advanced document controls
      4m 43s
    5. Saving a custom New Document Profile
      8m 46s
    6. Changing the document setup
      4m 21s
    7. Special artboard controls
      4m 58s
    8. Accepting artboard changes
      2m 19s
    9. Saving a document
      4m 33s
    10. Closing a document
      2m 21s
  2. 1h 0m
    1. Adobe Bridge
      56s
    2. Opening an illustration
      4m 45s
    3. Modifying an illustration
      6m 27s
    4. Saving changes
      4m 58s
    5. Introducing Adobe Bridge
      8m 41s
    6. The all-important file type associations
      3m 20s
    7. Navigating inside Bridge
      4m 23s
    8. Previewing and collecting
      5m 55s
    9. Using workspaces
      6m 41s
    10. Customizing a workspace
      6m 14s
    11. Cool Bridge tricks
      8m 17s
  3. 1h 4m
    1. Preferences, color settings, and workspaces
      35s
    2. Keyboard increments
      5m 12s
    3. Scratch disks
      3m 48s
    4. Changing the user interface and setting Appearance of Black
      4m 14s
    5. Best workflow color settings
      9m 17s
    6. Synchronizing settings across CS4
      3m 2s
    7. Working inside tabbed windows
      7m 14s
    8. Organizing palettes
      5m 4s
    9. Saving a custom workspace
      4m 12s
    10. Zooming and panning
      4m 19s
    11. Using the Zoom tool
      3m 3s
    12. Navigating the artboards
      5m 5s
    13. Nudging the screen image
      3m 3s
    14. Scroll-wheel tricks
      2m 8s
    15. Cycling between screen modes
      4m 39s
  4. 1h 22m
    1. The Wedjat (or Eye of Horus)
      55s
    2. The line tools
      2m 57s
    3. Introducing layers
      5m 10s
    4. Creating ruler guides
      6m 18s
    5. Creating custom guides
      5m 16s
    6. Snap-to points
      5m 25s
    7. Organizing guides
      5m 43s
    8. Making a tracing template
      3m 42s
    9. Drawing a line segment
      4m 29s
    10. Drawing a continuous arc
      5m 28s
    11. Drawing a looping spiral
      6m 5s
    12. Cutting lines with the Scissors tool
      6m 20s
    13. Joining open paths
      7m 31s
    14. Aligning and joining points
      6m 34s
    15. Drawing concentric circles
      4m 41s
    16. Cleaning up overlapping segments
      5m 34s
  5. 1h 4m
    1. The anatomy of a shape
      1m 1s
    2. Meet the shape tools
      3m 5s
    3. The traceable Tonalpohualli
      2m 52s
    4. Drawing circles
      4m 38s
    5. Enhanced Smart Guides
      4m 1s
    6. Aligning to a key object
      4m 29s
    7. Creating polygons and stars
      5m 4s
    8. Using the Measure tool
      3m 47s
    9. The Select Similar and Arrange commands
      3m 56s
    10. Rectangles and rounded rectangles
      6m 8s
    11. The amazing constraint axes
      5m 26s
    12. Grouping and ungrouping
      3m 35s
    13. Flipping and duplicating
      4m 12s
    14. Combining simple shapes into complex ones
      5m 24s
    15. Cutting and connecting with Scissors and Join
      3m 31s
    16. Tilde-key goofiness
      2m 53s
  6. 1h 41m
    1. The ingredients of life
      54s
    2. Fill and Stroke settings
      4m 22s
    3. Transparency grid and paper color
      5m 47s
    4. The None attribute
      5m 4s
    5. Color libraries and sliders
      3m 39s
    6. Industry-standard colors
      4m 38s
    7. Using CMYK for commercial output
      6m 39s
    8. Using RGB for the web
      7m 23s
    9. Color palette tips and tricks
      7m 18s
    10. Creating and saving color swatches
      4m 35s
    11. Trapping gaps with rich blacks
      6m 46s
    12. Filling and stacking shapes
      5m 38s
    13. Dragging and dropping swatches
      5m 0s
    14. Paste in Front, Paste in Back
      4m 54s
    15. Filling shapes inside groups
      5m 28s
    16. Pasting between layers
      4m 41s
    17. Joins, caps, and dashes
      6m 50s
    18. Fixing strokes and isolating edits
      7m 12s
    19. Creating a pattern fill
      4m 57s
  7. 1h 50m
    1. The power of transformations
      1m 20s
    2. From primitive to polished art
      2m 42s
    3. Using the Blob brush
      5m 46s
    4. Resizing the brush and erasing
      4m 15s
    5. Selection limits and methods of merging
      6m 39s
    6. Cloning and auto-duplicating
      6m 45s
    7. Customizing keyboard shortcuts
      3m 7s
    8. Moving by the numbers
      5m 15s
    9. Using the Reshape tool
      7m 47s
    10. Modifying, aligning, and uniting paths
      7m 14s
    11. Using the Offset Path command
      4m 43s
    12. Styling and eyedropping
      5m 28s
    13. Making a black-and-white template
      2m 27s
    14. Scale and clone
      4m 57s
    15. Enlarge and stack
      5m 46s
    16. Positioning the origin point
      6m 59s
    17. Using the Rotate tool
      3m 55s
    18. Using the Reflect tool
      4m 15s
    19. Series rotation (aka power duplication)
      6m 48s
    20. Rotating by the numbers
      6m 12s
    21. Transforming the tile patterns
      7m 52s
  8. 2h 4m
    1. Next-generation text wrangling
      55s
    2. Placing a text document
      5m 38s
    3. Creating a new text block
      6m 1s
    4. Working with point text
      3m 57s
    5. Selecting the perfect typeface
      5m 48s
    6. Scaling and positioning type
      8m 57s
    7. Leading, tracking, and lots of shortcuts
      5m 54s
    8. Adjusting pair kerning
      6m 55s
    9. Eyedropping formatting attributes
      3m 54s
    10. Flowing text from one block to another
      8m 28s
    11. Creating and applying a paragraph style
      7m 39s
    12. Rendering the text in graphite
      5m 55s
    13. Creating a scribbly drop shadow
      5m 17s
    14. Advanced formatting and bullets
      7m 43s
    15. Setting Area Type options
      4m 57s
    16. Justification and the Every-line Composer
      5m 52s
    17. OpenType and ligatures
      7m 19s
    18. Fractions, numerals, and ordinals
      9m 7s
    19. Swashes and small caps
      5m 40s
    20. The amazing Glyphs palette
      8m 12s
  9. 1h 18m
    1. Points are boys, handles are girls
      1m 20s
    2. Placing an image as a tracing template
      6m 56s
    3. Drawing a straight-sided path
      6m 8s
    4. Moving, adding, and deleting points
      6m 50s
    5. Drawing spline curves with Round Corners
      9m 7s
    6. Smooth points and Bézier curves
      8m 29s
    7. Defining a cusp between two curves
      6m 59s
    8. Replicating and reshaping segments
      8m 30s
    9. Converting anchor points
      7m 55s
    10. Deleting stray anchor points
      5m 1s
    11. Separating and closing paths
      5m 43s
    12. Eyedropping template colors
      5m 55s
  10. 1h 40m
    1. Paths never rest
      1m 34s
    2. Exploring the Appearance palette
      9m 54s
    3. Snip and Spin
      8m 3s
    4. Adding a center point
      4m 12s
    5. Keeping shape intersections
      3m 42s
    6. Lifting fills and selecting through shapes
      5m 54s
    7. Saving and recalling selections
      6m 20s
    8. Rotating is a circular operation
      8m 32s
    9. Lassoing and scaling points
      5m 28s
    10. Using the Transform Each command
      4m 11s
    11. Using the Magic Wand tool
      8m 1s
    12. Eyedropping live effects
      9m 58s
    13. Merging strokes with a compound path
      6m 50s
    14. Selecting and scaling independent segments
      7m 59s
    15. Scalloped edges with Pucker & Bloat
      5m 16s
    16. Expand before you merge
      4m 17s
  11. 1h 26m
    1. The new pleasures of printing
      44s
    2. Outlines and artboards in CS4
      7m 35s
    3. Setting trim size and bleed
      7m 17s
    4. Creating custom dynamic crop marks
      3m 41s
    5. Working with the Separations Preview palette
      7m 42s
    6. Trapping an object with an overprint stroke
      8m 20s
    7. Placing multiple artboards into InDesign
      5m 17s
    8. Working with the Print Tiling tool
      4m 55s
    9. Setting the General Print options
      6m 9s
    10. Setting printer marks
      5m 16s
    11. PostScript-only output and graphics
      9m 10s
    12. The Color Management options
      6m 56s
    13. Adjusting the Flattener settings
      7m 32s
    14. Setting the Raster Effects resolution
      5m 32s
  12. 1h 32m
    1. Illustrator does pixels
      51s
    2. Illustrator, PDF, and Save As formats
      8m 15s
    3. Saving an illustration for the web
      6m 13s
    4. Saving a continuous-tone JPEG image
      10m 1s
    5. Saving a high-contrast GIF graphic
      6m 26s
    6. The versatile PNG format
      4m 45s
    7. Saving a scaleable Flash (SWF) graphic
      11m 0s
    8. Opening and placing an Illustrator file in Photoshop
      12m 44s
    9. Exporting a layered PSD from Illustrator
      12m 57s
    10. Exporting to Microsoft Office and PowerPoint
      7m 24s
    11. Sharing with InDesign, Flash, and Photoshop
      12m 12s
  13. 1m 4s
    1. Until next time
      1m 4s

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