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Author David Blatner provides in-depth training on InDesign CS5, Adobe's print and interactive page layout application, in InDesign CS5 Essential Training. The course shows how to create new documents with strong and flexible master pages, precisely position text and graphics, prepare documents for print, and export designs as interactive PDF or Flash SWF files. Exercise files are included with the course.
In the last movie, we looked at how you can span a single paragraph across two or more columns in a multicolumn text frame. But sometimes you want to do just the opposite, split a single column into smaller sub-columns, and you can do that too. For example, I'll zoom in on this part of the page and we can see that we have a little list. I'd like to split this into two different columns but keep it within the story. So I'll double-click on this to switch to the Type tool, drag over all those paragraphs and then tell InDesign to split it into two columns. How? Well, I could go to the Control panel menu and choose Span Columns. Even though we're splitting columns, it still lives inside the Span Columns dialog box. Or I could come up here and use this pop-up menu in the middle of the Control panel.
Instead of spanning, we're going to split this into 2, 3 or 4 columns. In this case, let's just choose 2. Suddenly the last three items got moved up into a second column. It's almost as though you've anchored a table or a little multicolumn frame right inside the story. Now, if you want to adjust the spacing between columns or on the outside of the columns, you can do that inside the Span Columns dialog box. Here's a little shortcut to get there. Just Option or Alt+click on this Split/Span icon here.
When you do that, up comes the Span Columns dialog box and you can control the amount of space before the split. Let's add a little bit of space just for show. The amount of space after the split, let's go ahead and do that too. It makes a little bit of room for us to work with and also the Inside and Outside Gutter. I'm going to add 1 pica on the outside, just so it gets indented a little bit. That looks pretty good. Splitting a column is especially helpful whenever you have a bulleted or a numbered list or things like a list of ingredients in a recipe. I've been creating these manually for years with tables and inline frames, which is such a huge hassle.
Now in CS5, I can let the program do it for me.
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