Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member
Here's a wacky concept that you have to get into your head before you really become an InDesign expert: you know that text and graphics both go inside frames, right? But did you know that you can actually put any object inside of a frame? In fact, you can put a whole frame inside another frame. This concept is called nesting, and it turns out to be crucially important for a wide range of effects. Let me show you an example. I'll select this text frame inside this exercise file, and I'm going to cut it to the clipboard. Now I'm going to select this circle that has text on it, and I'm going to go back to the Edit menu, and I won't choose Paste; I'm going to choose Paste Into.
Paste Into is the main trick for nesting one object into another. You'll see that I now have a text frame inside of this circular frame. If I want to select that frame inside the other frame, the easiest way to do it is to go to control panel, and select the Select content button; that's the little button that looks like a Martian with a down arrow. That means select the content inside the frame. If I want to go back and select the container of the frame -- the circular frame -- I would click the one that has the up arrow.
Now, this is sort of a frivolous example, because you probably wouldn't put that text inside this circle. Let me show you an example of a cool special effect that you might want to do. I'm going to zoom in on this text down here, and I'll select this text frame, go to the Type menu, and choose Create Outlines. Now I don't have a text frame anymore; I have an outline of this word, and I'm going to move this text frame up, so that it sits behind it. I'll resize it, so that it fits right on top of that word, Roux. Let's go ahead and put this text frame behind this blue word by going to Object > Arrange > Send to Back. All right! Now, I'm going to copy this; instead of cutting it, I'll simply go to Edit menu, and Copy this to the clipboard, select my outlines, and use Paste Into.
Now, it doesn't look like anything changed, because when it pasted, it pasted an exactly the same place, so its pin registered together. Now, to create my special effect, I need to select the text frame that's inside that blue word. So to do that, once again, I go up, and I click the Select Content button. Now the text frame is selected inside there, and I'm going to change that text to white. I'll go to the Swatches menu, click the formatting effects text button -- that's that little T -- and click Paper.
You can see that the text inside that frame is now white, but the text behind it is still black. Cool effect, huh? Well, it doesn't have to stop there. I'll go ahead and select both of these objects; both the text frame, and that blue outline, and I'm going to group them together. If you want a nest more than one object into another object, you have to group them, because technically, you can only nest single objects into a frame. So I group these together, I'll cut them to the clipboard, I'll draw out an elliptical frame, and then I'll use Paste Into.
So now I have an ellipse, and inside the ellipse, I have a group; inside the group, I have some blue text; and then inside that blue text, I have a text frame with white text. As you can see, nesting object inside other objects can really get out of hand, but it's extremely helpful for a wide range of really cool layout effects.
Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.Become a member
120 Video lessons · 63481 Viewers
119 Video lessons · 71119 Viewers
125 Video lessons · 32022 Viewers
84 Video lessons · 18652 Viewers
Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.
Search within course videos and transcripts, and jump right to the results.
Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.
Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.
Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.