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Splitting and spanning columns

From: Collaborative Workflows with InDesign and InCopy

Video: Splitting and spanning columns

InCopy CS5 and InDesign CS5 have two new paragraph formatting commands that I like to show you. They're called Span Columns and Split Columns. This might be something that editors would actually find quite useful. Again, normally you would want your designers to include these things in a paragraph style, so that you would just be applying the style. Sometimes you need to apply your own kind of formatting, so let's look at both of these. First, we'll look at Span Columns, so we're going to look at this story that starts out with the word herbs.

Splitting and spanning columns

InCopy CS5 and InDesign CS5 have two new paragraph formatting commands that I like to show you. They're called Span Columns and Split Columns. This might be something that editors would actually find quite useful. Again, normally you would want your designers to include these things in a paragraph style, so that you would just be applying the style. Sometimes you need to apply your own kind of formatting, so let's look at both of these. First, we'll look at Span Columns, so we're going to look at this story that starts out with the word herbs.

I'm going to zoom in with Command++ or Ctrl++ a few times. Now this a two column story. It's a single text frame in two columns, and the Span Columns command only works in this kind of text file. It doesn't work in single text frames that are threaded together; just in the kind of text frame that has multiple columns within the same frame. So little hard to tell in InCopy, because we don't have the selection tool to tell us what is one single frame or not, but you'll get the idea as I use it.

So the point is, let's that this title is going to be a few words long. Herbs are great. And instead of breaking on to two lines we would like this to encompass the entire top of the story and normally this would be something that you'd have to ask the designer to please open this up in InDesign, create a text frame that goes all the way across, and then that way you could copy and paste it into there, and that text frame would push down the remainder of the text. But you don't have to do that. Even though you don't have any way to create a frame, this new feature creates kind of like a ghost frame. It's kind of neat.

So just click anywhere inside that line you want to span columns and then you'll find the commands in the Paragraph panel menu. Go down to the command that says Span Columns, and open that up, so we have a dialog box. I am going to turn on Preview, so we can see what it does and under where it says Paragraph Layouts, choose Span Columns, that's it. So it just spans the columns for that one paragraph; the remaining paragraphs are following the individual columns within that text frame.

Now, if you have a text frame that has a three or four or five columns, like let's say you are lying out a newspaper or something like that, or magazine, you could choose how many columns this paragraph should span. Maybe you just want to spend two or three columns of a six column text frame, so you can come up with some pretty neat effects in this way. If you need to, you can add additional space above and below the span itself, and that's what this is for. What I want to show you that even if you continue writing, "don't you agree with me," that you know the entire paragraph spans these two columns, not just where you started with.

So that's how Span Columns works. And now we'll talk about Split Columns. We have an example when you might want to use Split Columns over here to the left. Now this is a text frame that has the same width, but it is just one column. In other words, it's just sort of like a normal text frame. I guess I would say that most text frames in InCopy and in InDesign are just single column text frames. My thinking is that with the new span column feature that maybe design is going now and in the future, designers might be more inclined to create multiple column single frames, so they can use that feature, but for now this is going to be the typical kind of frame that you can just find, and the idea with Split Columns is what happens when you have a bunch of short paragraphs, as in this example? Wouldn't it be nice to be able to easily make this part three columns or two columns, so that you can have a few of these bullet points going across? Of course, you could do this manually.

You could laboriously open up the Tabs panel and set tabs, then tab over here and then add your bullet and tab over here and add your bullet, but then when the bullet point ran more than a few words, you'd have to redo all the tabs. Or you could insert a table from the Table menu, and I have a video about how to work with tables in InCopy, but that's also quite a bit of work. So instead what you can do is select these paragraphs that you want to automatically convert into kind of like ghost columns within this larger column, single column text frame and go to the Paragraph panel menu. Choose the same command.

I sort of grouped them together in the same dialog box, so go to Span Columns and under Paragraph Layout, this time choose Split, instead of Span. And it immediately splits them into two columns. That was pretty fast, wasn't it? But you could also say, well, I'd rather have three columns or four columns, and you see how it's sort of divvies them up as necessary. I think two columns. Now you can say how much they space should come before the split and after the split, but also it's very nice that you have this control over the gutter, like I might want to bring these in a little bit.

I don't want them going to the outside edges, so I'm going to just keep clicking on this top arrow, and that brings in the left margin and the right margin a bit. And there you go, so that was Spanning and Splitting Columns, two new paragraph formatting features in InCopy CS5.

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This video is part of

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  1. 3m 57s
    1. Welcome
      1m 25s
    2. Using the exercise files
      2m 32s
  2. 25m 58s
    1. Overview of this course
      3m 2s
    2. Understanding the parallel workflow
      6m 54s
    3. Rewards and challenges in the new workflow
      9m 3s
    4. Requirements and recommendations
      6m 59s
  3. 32m 52s
    1. Setting up projects and users
      3m 32s
    2. Understanding stories and frames
      7m 1s
    3. Making stories editable for InCopy from InDesign
      7m 25s
    4. Editing workflow stories in InCopy
      7m 32s
    5. Checking stories in and out
      4m 48s
    6. Completing a project in InDesign
      2m 34s
  4. 32m 34s
    1. Three main views of a file
      8m 37s
    2. Becoming familiar with default panels
      6m 4s
    3. Customizing the interface
      9m 4s
    4. Navigating stories and views
      8m 49s
  5. 43m 18s
    1. Working with the Assignments panel
      5m 15s
    2. Editing in Layout view
      8m 44s
    3. Editing in Story or Galley view
      10m 49s
    4. Copyfitting text
      5m 49s
    5. Inserting special characters
      6m 39s
    6. Importing text
      3m 34s
    7. Working with read-only layouts
      2m 28s
  6. 32m 6s
    1. Applying styles for copyfit
      7m 37s
    2. Applying local character formatting
      6m 53s
    3. Applying local paragraph formatting
      7m 10s
    4. Splitting and spanning columns
      5m 7s
    5. Using the Eyedropper tool to copy/paste formatting
      5m 19s
  7. 40m 27s
    1. Checking spelling
      4m 51s
    2. Using the language dictionaries
      3m 23s
    3. Using the thesaurus
      1m 46s
    4. Using Find/Change
      10m 34s
    5. Working with the Autocorrect feature
      2m 59s
    6. Building text macros
      4m 55s
    7. Using inline notes
      6m 22s
    8. Working with built-in scripts
      5m 37s
  8. 25m 36s
    1. Adding footnotes
      2m 22s
    2. Using conditional text
      6m 16s
    3. Creating hyperlinks
      3m 33s
    4. Inserting cross-references
      7m 29s
    5. Working with tables
      5m 56s
  9. 14m 25s
    1. Setting up and using Track Changes
      6m 4s
    2. Customizing the markup
      4m 7s
    3. Accepting and rejecting changes
      4m 14s
  10. 27m 30s
    1. Using the Position tool
      5m 14s
    2. Using the Object menu
      5m 58s
    3. Importing and replacing images
      6m 36s
    4. Inserting images into the story
      5m 22s
    5. Using Mini Bridge and Bridge
      4m 20s
  11. 25m 45s
    1. Creating new InCopy documents
      6m 54s
    2. Creating InCopy templates
      6m 10s
    3. Opening linked InCopy stories directly
      3m 20s
    4. Opening Word files in InCopy
      2m 59s
    5. Placing Buzzword files in InCopy
      6m 22s
  12. 23m 37s
    1. Exporting stories to Word, RTF, and Buzzword
      5m 2s
    2. Exporting layouts to PDF
      4m 36s
    3. Exporting galleys and stories to PDF
      7m 11s
    4. Printing from InCopy
      6m 48s
  13. 48m 17s
    1. Exporting stories from the layout
      10m 2s
    2. Working with the Assignments panel in InDesign
      7m 8s
    3. Editing and updating files
      7m 37s
    4. Using inline notes
      7m 39s
    5. Workflow features in the Links panel
      6m 0s
    6. Placing new InCopy files
      4m 15s
    7. Closing out of a project
      5m 36s
  14. 23m 29s
    1. Layout workflow overview
      8m 11s
    2. Updating stories and designs
      11m 38s
    3. Tips for successful layout workflows
      3m 40s
  15. 27m 16s
    1. Creating assignments in InDesign
      12m 19s
    2. Working with assignments in InCopy
      5m 22s
    3. Keeping layout files local
      2m 42s
    4. Solving common assignment issues
      6m 53s
  16. 19m 0s
    1. Creating assignment packages in InDesign
      4m 42s
    2. Working with assignment packages in InCopy
      5m 20s
    3. Keeping packages up to date
      2m 33s
    4. Using DropBox with an InCopy workflow
      6m 25s
  17. 4m 27s
    1. Community help and resources
      4m 11s
    2. Goodbye
      16s

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