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Author David Blatner provides in-depth training on InDesign CS5, the print and interactive page layout application from Adobe, 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.
It's time to talk about threading text frames together. I am going to zoom in on this lower part of this page and I can see a little red plus sign at the bottom of this text frame. Like if I select the text frame it becomes more obvious that red plus sign inside the red box means that there is more text than can fit inside that frame. So what are we going to do about it, Well, we could make the text frame bigger but in this case we want the text to flow on to the next column over here, so the trick here is to thread one frame to another. I've already made a text frame here in this document.
It's an empty frame and I want to thread the text from here to here. So in some programs like Quick Express, there is a Threading tool or Chaining tool or Linking tool but in, InDesign there is no special tool, the only thing you need to know is select the frame with the regular selection tool, that black area tool and then Click on this little red box. And that red box is called the outport. The outport right now is red but as soon as I Click on it, it turns into a Threading Port a little blue box with a little triangle in it.
And I am going to come over here and place my cursor on top of this empty frame and you will see my cursor changes to a link icon that means it's going to thread into this frame. If I move my cursor down here where there is no empty frame, I get a regular place cursor and I could actually drag out a new text frame if I want or click in it, it would make a text frame for me but in this case I have an empty text frame and I want to thread from the one on the left into here. So I simply click and I am done. It threaded them together. I can see that they are threaded together by going to the View menu, choosing the extra Submenu and choosing Show Text Threads or Command+Option+Y or Ctrl+Alt+Y on Windows.
And it shows me this blue line going from the outport of the frame on the left to the inport on the frame on the right. So every text frame has an outport and an inport and that is what we're going to be using to thread some more of these. I am going to zoom back here with the Command+Minus or Ctrl+Minus on Windows a couple of times. Let's try it again. I am going to create a new text frame with a Type tool. I'll simply drag out a frame to fill this column here and then I'll go back to the Selection tool. I could have pressed the Escape key. That would be more efficient. Choose the frame that is coming to.
Click on the outport. Click on the frame itself. I don't have to try and find its inport, just click anywhere inside the frame and they are threaded now. Pretty good. Now let's thread it even faster. Instead of creating a text frame first I'll simply load the placed cursor by clicking on the outport here and then drag out with my placed cursor, a new frame. There I am done. Pretty good. Now what if I made a mistake, what if I don't actually want to thread these together? How can I un-thread two frames? The trick there is simply Double-Clicking on either the outport or the inport.
Here I'll double-click on the inport and it unthreads. So the frame is still here but it's no longer threaded. Now, I am going to pan over here to the right, holding on the Option +Spacebar or Alt + Spacebar temporary hand tool and I want to point out that you don't have to link to empty frames. These are two separate frames over here on the right and I can still thread those together. In fact, I don't even need to thread them together from the outport to the inport. I can go from the inport down here up to this frame up here and it knows that what I really mean is going from here, down here.
So you can see the thread is going from the outport here into this new frame. So right now, what I did was, I threaded two frames even though they had text in them and I went from the inport to the earlier frames. So that is also an option. It's very flexible. By the way, some people call this Linking Text frames but Linking means something different in InDesign. It means maintaining a link to files on your hard drive so that if they change InDesign changes too. I am going to talk about that in detail in a later chapter but when I talk about text flowing from one frame to another, I always try and say threading and InDesign is threading text frames.
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