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Understanding stories and frames

From: Collaborative Workflows with InDesign and InCopy

Video: Understanding stories and frames

This video is primarily for editors, people who are not familiar with Adobe InDesign, so that you can understand exactly how an InDesign document is constructed - well not every little detail - but you really need to understand by what I mean by story. And this might even be useful for InDesign users as well, because understanding what a story is, and the difference between a story and a frame is vitally important to understanding what exactly you share, what exactly you edit when you are working in a document together in the workflow.

Understanding stories and frames

This video is primarily for editors, people who are not familiar with Adobe InDesign, so that you can understand exactly how an InDesign document is constructed - well not every little detail - but you really need to understand by what I mean by story. And this might even be useful for InDesign users as well, because understanding what a story is, and the difference between a story and a frame is vitally important to understanding what exactly you share, what exactly you edit when you are working in a document together in the workflow.

So, for example, when an editor opens up a document like this, they're initially quite confused because there is so much happening on this page. And if you click on these items, you can see the frames surrounding them, but in InCopy you don't have this handy little selection tool, so you can't really select frames, and that's what I want to talk about in this video. I've created this empty InDesign document, just one page long, called Frame Demo and just to let you know editors that unlike Word, which you're familiar with, you write some text in Word and you write one story.

You can't just select the Type tool in InDesign and start typing; instead, you always have to put your text inside a little holding area, like a box, what we call a frame. So, I dragged out a little text frame, and now I can just go ahead and type some gobbledygook inside that frame. I'm going to zoom in a bit so you can see that as I type, the text wraps around the edge of the frame. I'm just going to use this Fill with Placeholder Text command, so that you don't have to look at my gobbledygook.

This is where the text will appear on the page, based on where I drew my frame. If I want the text to appear on the right side of the page, I don't change margins or anything; instead, I just actually move the frame over. Now you may actually be familiar with this, because Word can sort of do the same thing. Word has text frames; not a lot of people use that. And if you want to see what this is going to look like before you print, you can go to View > Screen Mode > Preview, and you can see that the text will be on the right side. I'm pressing Command or Ctrl+0 to fit spread in window, and as I hover over this text, the frame appears, and I can drag it around.

If I want the column to be thinner, then I would resize the frame. Now, when you have too much text to fit inside the frame, then you get this little marker called the overset marker. So, what the designer can do is they can either make the frame larger - we'll even have more room for more text in that frame - or they could select all the text. I'm pressing Command+A or Ctrl+A and just making it smaller. You don't really need to know how to do that, but basically I'm just making the text small, which is not normally something you want to do.

So let's undo that a couple of times and switch the view back to Normal view, so it's a little easier to see the frame with the overset marker. Another thing they might do is just continue the text from this frame into another frame, and they do that by what's called threading the two frames together. So now these two frames are actually all one story. If I click inside this first frame and hit Return a bunch of times, you'll see that it affects the second frame as well.

So this is what we call a threaded story. If I select one of these and turn on an InDesign only option, unfortunately called Show Text Threads, you'll see like a little line connecting these threaded frames. So let's see that you give them a Word file, and they need to get the Word file into InDesign. How are they doing that? Well, they can copy and paste into an empty text frame. More likely they're going to the File menu, and they're importing it by choosing the Place command. So, I have a file called Cat_welcome, all right, then I'm just going to go ahead and open it up and put it into a text frame on the fly.

So here is the Word text that is overset, and this might be the headline of the article, and this is the body copy, and how I organize it and lay it out on the page it's really up to me and my design sense. So, what you're going to encounter, some designers will leave the headline and the story in the same frame; you can, of course, combine all sorts of formatting in the same frame. Others will cut the text out of the headline or byline or whatever you have in there and put it into a separate frame, and so on.

So what we have here now are two separate stories, even though they belong to the same article. You can tell the stories are separate because if I click on one of these frames, and I still have Show Text Threads selected because this says Hide Text Threads, you see I can click here and see it, there are no text threads between these two stories. So these are two separate stories. Another way to tell would be to click inside one of these stories and press Command+A or Ctrl+A to select all, or just choose Select All from the Edit menu.

Select All will select all the text in a single story. So that's one story. I click inside this one. I'm pressing the keyboard shortcut Command+A or Ctrl+A. That's another story. I click inside this frame, press Command+A or Ctrl+A. That's another story. So this document has three stories, and it is the stories that are shared back and forth. As a designer, when I make a story editable to you, the editor, in InCopy, what I'm doing is I'm exporting a story to an external InCopy file.

And so, in this document, in order for you to edit all of this text, I would have to export three stories: this one, this one, and this one. So now let's look at that catalog again. Maybe it's a little easier to understand what's happening. This is one story. I'm just clicking inside it with the Type tool and pressing Command or Ctrl+A. Here's another story and another story, and so on. So these are not threaded together. They're individual stories. Sometimes what makes it easier to tell what is a story and what is a frame, in addition to using my little Select All tip, is by going to the View menu and going down to Extras and choosing Show and Hide Frame Edges.

You'll find that a lot of designers like to hide their frame edges, as this designer has done, so it's hard to tell what's happening here. If you go to the View menu - this also works in InCopy - you can go down to Extras and choose Show Frame Edges, and you can see the edges of the frames. Now these, of course, edges of the frames are just there to help you see the boundaries of the text; they don't actually print. Now that you understand a little bit more about what is the difference between a frame and a story, and that it is the stories that gets shared, and a story might be wholly contained in one frame or be threaded among multiple frames, as this one, I think you're going to find it a lot easier to work in InCopy.

Show transcript

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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