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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.
You probably know that you can import a long story, like a Word document, so that it's automatically threaded from one page to the next. If you don't know how to do that, check out my InDesign Essential Training Course here in the online training library. But I am sometimes asked, can I have two automatically threaded stories in a document, for example what if I have one story in English and another in Spanish? Or one that's the main text and the other's a multi-page side bar? Fortunately, InDesign does let you do this, but it's just not immediately obvious how.
So, let me show you. I have a document open here. It's an untitled document, but I have created several paragraph styles. I did that just so that the imported text will map to these styles and look a little bit different. If I go up to the Pages panel, you'll see I only have one page and one master page. I'm going to double click on that master page and I'm going to add some text frames. I'll choose my type tool and then simple drag out some frames. There's one, and here's another one. I'm making them different sizes so that you can see that the threads will be in two different places.
Now I'll choose my selection tool and I'll duplicate these by holding down the Option+Shift key or Alt+Shift on Windows, and I'll drag these across. That simple makes an exact duplicate of that frame over on the right side. Let's do the same thing with this one. Option or Alt+Shift drag, will drag it over to the right side. After making my frames, all I need to do is tell InDesign what to thread to what. In this case, I'm going to select this frame over here and click in the out port of this one and click on top of this frame.
You'll see this blue line that's threading these two frames together. You can see that frame when you've turned on the frame thread feature, and you get to that by going to the View menu, choosing Extras, and then choosing Show or Hide Text Threads. I set it to Show Text Threads, and that's why I can see it. Let's go ahead and do this one too. I'm going to click on that frame, click on the out port and come over here and tell it to thread to this outside frame over here. That's it. That's all I need to do set up my document to thread properly. Let's try it out.
I'll double click on the page one icon over here in the Pages panel, which takes me to page one, and I can see my master page items here. And let's go ahead and place that text. I'll go to the File menu and choose Place. I have my two articles up on my desktop here. I'll chose the first one and click Open. InDesign loads the place cursor with that story, and now all I need to do is click inside this frame. But I don't want to just click. I want to shift-cllick. Remember, holding down the Shift key changes this from the place to the automatic place, where it automatically adds pages and frames and automatically threads them together, until the whole story is imported.
So, I'll shift-click on that frame, and it imports that whole story. You'll see over here in the Pages panel that it added the pages as necessary. Now let's go ahead, and place that other story. I'll press Cm, or Ctrl D to get to the place dialogue box. Select that RTF, or could be a Word file, either way. Click Open and then shift-click on top of this frame. In comes all of that story. Let's come down here and look at the next spread. You can do that by double clicking on the page numbers underneath that spread. And you can see that the two stories are automatically brought in.
The outside frames are all threaded together and the inside frames are all threaded together. Here, I'll pan down and you can see that the inside frames are all threaded all the way down to the bottom of the story. As you can see, whether you're making multi-lingual documents or, you just need to stream multiple stories along side-by-side, this technique will really come in handy.
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