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In this series, David Blatner and Anne-Marie Concepción, co-hosts of the web's top resource for InDesign tips and tricks, InDesignSecrets.com, share some hidden and sometimes surprising workflow tips that will make working in InDesign more efficient and more fun. The course covers built-in timesaving features such as Quick Apply and auto-expanding text, but also little-known tricks, such as using the eyedropper to copy and paste character and paragraph text attributes and making accurate selections by selecting through or even into objects.
New techniques will be added to the collection every other week, so check back early and often. Find more tips and tricks at indesignsecrets.com.
There's something on the screen right now that is just really annoying. Just something inside this InDesign document that's driving me crazy. Can you see it? It's that little overset mark in the lower right corner of this text frame. Here it is. That red plus sign means that there's more text than can fit inside that frame. And sure, I know that I could drag one of these side or corner handles out to make it bigger. But come on InDesign, can't you just make the frame larger for me? Well, actually yes, yes it can.
There are several ways that I can get InDesign to expand this frame for me. One is to go to the Object menu, come down to the Fitting submenu, and choose Fit Frame to Content. Or use the keyboard shortcut Cmd+Option+C or Ctrl+Alt+C on Windows. That makes this frame taller so that all the text fits into it perfectly. But I rarely use the menu or that keyboard shortcut anymore, because instead I use a double-click. Let's undo that with a Cmd+Z or Ctrl+Z on Windows and now if I double-click on either the corner handles or side handle, it fits it for me.
If I double-click on the bottom handle, it makes it taller. Let's undo that. If I double-click on this side handle, it makes it wider. Let's undo that. And if I double-click on one of the corner handles, it makes it both wider and taller. But like I said I want In Design to do this automatically for me. I don't want to have to be double-clicking all day. So let's undo that and instead I'm going to set this up to expand automatically whenever it needs to. To do that I will make sure the frame is selected on the page, I'll go to the Object menu and choose Text Frame Options.
Or press Cmd or Ctrl+B. Then, I'm going to select the Auto Size tab of the Text Frame Options dialogue box. And I'll turn Auto Sizing on. Now, you'll notice that you have four different options for auto sizing. Height, width, height and width, and height and width key proportions. Generally I only use height only or width only because changing both the height and width gets a little bit messy and it's non-intuitive. So in this case I'm going to change height only. I could set a couple constraints if I wanted to for example the minimum height of this frame or the minimum width but in this case I'm just going to click OK.
And we'll see that InDesign expands it automatically. Even better, if I double-click inside this text frame to switch to the type tool and now I can start typing. You'll see that InDesign automatically expands the frame. If I select that text and delete it, InDesign makes the frame shorter, I just love that. Now, granted, there are some times when it's good to let a text frame overset. For example, if you're laying out a story in a magazine or a book and you need to keep the text inside of a certain sized frame. But, for things like captions and headlines, oh, man, this is great.
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