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InDesign is an essential tool for design firms, ad agencies, magazines, newspapers, book publishers, and freelance designers around the world. This course presents the core features and techniques that make this powerful page layout application fun and easy to use. Author David Blatner shows how to navigate and customize the workspace, manage documents and pages, work with text frames and graphics, export and print finished documents, explore creating interactive documents, and much more. He also covers popular topics such as EPUBs and long documents and includes advice on working with overset text, unnamed colors, and other troublesome issues that may arise for first-time designers.
Text frames seem never to be exactly the size you want them to be especially when you need to add text at the last minute. Fortunately InDesign offers some great and easy ways to control the size of text frames quickly and even automatically. In this roux_flyer document from the exercise files I can see that this text frame is slightly too large. It doesn't technically matter that it is too large but if I'm trying to clean this up I may want to make this text frame a little bit smaller. And when I do so the text becomes overset, I made it too small.
So how big should the text frame be? I'll make it larger here and I'm going to use a feature that will fit the frame exactly to the size of the text. I'll go to the Object menu, choose Fitting and then choose Fit Frame to Content. You'll see that there's actually a keyboard shortcut there for that, but honestly I never use the menu item or the keyboard shortcut, instead I use the really cool shortcut of double-clicking on a corner or side handle, that's all you need to do. When I double-click on that lower-right corner handle it automatically fits the frame exactly to the size of the text.
Let's see this in action in a different way. I'll select this text frame in the upper-right corner, Option+Double-click on it or Alt+Double-click on Windows to open Text Frame Options, and I'll change the Inset Spacing to something like 9 pt. Now when I click OK, it adds nine points of space all the way around but the text frame is overset, so I'll make it a little bit larger. Well, now I have too much space at the bottom of the frame, how do I make sure that I have the same amount of space at the top and bottom? Just double-click on the lower-center side handle.
If I double-click on that side handle at the bottom, it snaps it up so that it's exactly the right amount of space to fit the text in. Not too much, not too little, and now I'm sure that I have the same amount of space at the top and bottom of that frame. The problem of course is when I need to edit the text in here. If I need to come in here and add some more text I know that it's going to become overset again and I'll have to make it larger and then fit it again, and so on. What I really want is for the text frame to grow or shrink accordingly so that it always fits the text inside of it.
And now introduced in InDesign CS6 is a feature that does just that. That also was in the Text Frame Option dialog box, so I'll Option+Double-click or Alt+Double-click and click on the Auto-Size tab of the Text Frame Options dialog box. Right now Auto-Size is set to Off, I'm going to change it to Height Only, that means it'll make the text frame taller or shorter based on how much text it has in it. Next I need to tell InDesign what to anchor, whatnot to move with this text frame. Right now it is set to the top, so the top will stay where it is and the bottom will move down or up based on how much text I have in it.
I'm going to do just the opposite, I want to anchor the bottom point and have the top of the text frame grow or shrink. I can also choose a Minimum Height by turning this checkbox on, which means InDesign should never let this frame get smaller than a certain height. I'll set it to something like 10 picas. I'll click OK and it doesn't look like anything has changed, but if I double-click inside the text frame and then start typing, I'll just hit Enter and then start typing and typing and typing and typing, you'll see that the text frame grows automatically. If I remove that text it shrinks again, that text frame will grow and grow until it's pushed all the way off the pasteboard and only then will I get overset text.
I'll do the same thing to this text frame that says REINVENTED at the bottom. I'll place my cursor in it or I could choose it with a Selection tool, doesn't matter. I'll open the Text Frame Options dialog box with the Command+B or Ctrl+B on Windows, change Auto-Size to Width Only, because I don't want to change the height, in this case I want to change the width. And I'm going to say anchor it in the center, keep the center of the text frame where it is and change the left and right sides. I'll click OK and I'm going to put the word super at the beginning. You can see that both the left and right sides of this text frame move and all the text fits, it won't overset.
If you're creating an InDesign template for someone else to use, making good use of these auto-size frames can be so helpful. It minimizes the chance of overset text and it maximizes their efficiency.
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