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Using Auto-Size text frames (CS6 only)

From: InDesign Typography

Video: Using Auto-Size text frames (CS6 only)

A new feature in InDesign CS6 is the ability to auto-size text frames. It's long been a bugbear of InDesign users that when you add type the text very easily becomes overset, causing you to then readjust the size of your text frame, or thread that text frame to a new column, a new page, or a different part of the page. This is a partial solution to that problem, and I perhaps am exaggerating the problem in the first place. It's not that big a deal.

Using Auto-Size text frames (CS6 only)

A new feature in InDesign CS6 is the ability to auto-size text frames. It's long been a bugbear of InDesign users that when you add type the text very easily becomes overset, causing you to then readjust the size of your text frame, or thread that text frame to a new column, a new page, or a different part of the page. This is a partial solution to that problem, and I perhaps am exaggerating the problem in the first place. It's not that big a deal.

We need to take control of where our type goes. So anything that has auto in front of it for me is a little bit suspect, but it can be very useful in the following circumstances. So I'm not going to use auto-sizing for my main flow of text. If I were do so, let's see what we might end up with. You can see that my text is currently overset, as indicated by the red plus. Auto-size exists here in our Text Frame Options.

It's a tab within that dialog box. Now, if turn on Auto-Sizing, these are the difference favors of auto-sizing that I have. I'm going to choose Height Only, and I'd like the text frame to grow from the bottom, so I'm going to select this top center square. And then when I turn on my Preview, we can see that it's just going to add more space below the image. It's not going to thread it to a new location. So in this case, I need to take control of this particular text frame.

Auto-sizing is not going to work for me. But in the case of these smaller supporting frames -- so I have a sidebar article here, I have a picture caption, and I have a picture credit -- here's where auto-sizing can be particularly useful. So for this one, I'm going to select it; Command+B or Control+B, Auto-Size. Now, in this case, Height Only, and it is resizing from the bottom. So the top is going to be locked in position, and it's going to grow from the bottom.

That means that when I zoom in on there, I can start adding content, and we can see that the text automatically resizes, including any space that I may have incorporated into the bottom of that text frame. You can see that I've included a slightly larger Bottom inset, and that's factored into the resizing, so that's useful. I'm just going to select a piece of text there to copy that, and now I'm going to into this, which is a picture caption relating to the picture beneath, and when I paste that into there, you can see that this text frame resizes, but it grows upwards, and we have the bottom locked in position.

So for picture captions placed above images, that may be a good option for you. And in the case of this text frame, we have a picture caption; let's say I need to add some information to that. I have inserted my cursor at the end of caption, and I can paste that, and we can see that it automatically grows in size. Very fiddly stuff that prior to InDesign CS6, every time you did this, you had to come and readjust the size of your text frame, which very quickly became rather annoying, so it's very useful to have this option. If we go and look at the Text Frame Options, Auto-Size, this is Auto-Sizing, Width Only.

So that's my personal take on the new auto-size feature in InDesign CS6. Not so useful for your continuous text flow, but very useful for your standalone text frames; stories that start and finish within the same text frame, such as sidebars, captions, and picture credits.

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This video is part of

Image for InDesign Typography
InDesign Typography

107 video lessons · 20148 viewers

Nigel French
Author

 
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  1. 4m 4s
    1. Welcome
      55s
    2. Using the exercise files
      51s
    3. Customizing the workspace for type
      2m 18s
  2. 55m 41s
    1. Working with text frames
      8m 26s
    2. Using a primary text frame (CS6 only)
      3m 59s
    3. Understanding text flow methods
      6m 25s
    4. Understanding text threads
      3m 40s
    5. Understanding Smart Text Reflow
      2m 27s
    6. Mocking up pages with placeholder text
      5m 47s
    7. Placing multiple text files
      3m 50s
    8. Using Auto-Size text frames (CS6 only)
      4m 1s
    9. Copying and pasting vs. placing
      2m 25s
    10. Cleaning up text with Find/Change
      5m 46s
    11. Using the Story Editor
      3m 41s
    12. Spanning columns
      5m 14s
  3. 45m 50s
    1. Choosing your type
      6m 46s
    2. Understanding text essentials
      6m 37s
    3. Scaling type
      2m 27s
    4. Using italic and oblique type
      4m 33s
    5. Working with condensed and extended type
      4m 26s
    6. Setting type in all caps
      3m 46s
    7. Setting type in small caps
      4m 21s
    8. Underlining type
      4m 11s
    9. Using superscript and subscript
      4m 35s
    10. Applying baseline shift
      4m 8s
  4. 16m 6s
    1. Understanding type anatomy
      3m 25s
    2. Exploring serif and sans serif
      2m 48s
    3. Comparing points, picas, and ems
      8m 34s
    4. What's in a name?
      1m 19s
  5. 16m 27s
    1. Setting leading
      4m 56s
    2. Avoiding auto-leading
      4m 12s
    3. Leading shortcuts and preferences
      4m 7s
    4. Using autoleading with inline graphics
      3m 12s
  6. 21m 25s
    1. Defining kerning and tracking
      2m 5s
    2. Understanding kerning methods
      5m 10s
    3. When and how to kern
      5m 53s
    4. When and how to track
      8m 17s
  7. 45m 48s
    1. Working with quotes, primes, and apostrophes
      8m 16s
    2. Using dashes
      5m 24s
    3. Using ellipses
      2m 56s
    4. Working with accents and special characters
      4m 1s
    5. Using space characters
      4m 15s
    6. Working with ligatures
      4m 29s
    7. Setting fractions
      3m 56s
    8. Using lining and proportional numerals
      2m 49s
    9. Using alternates, swashes, and ornaments
      5m 2s
    10. Working with optical sizes
      4m 40s
  8. 57m 20s
    1. Understanding alignment
      3m 47s
    2. Working with left-aligned type
      3m 24s
    3. Working with justified type
      7m 5s
    4. Using Optical Margin Alignment
      3m 39s
    5. Determining column width
      4m 53s
    6. Working with center alignment
      5m 36s
    7. Working with right alignment
      1m 22s
    8. Aligning to or away from the spine
      1m 50s
    9. Understanding the Paragraph Composer and Single-line Composer
      3m 44s
    10. Combining alignments
      9m 20s
    11. Using hanging punctuation
      2m 13s
    12. Working with vertical alignment
      10m 27s
  9. 14m 9s
    1. Using first-line indents
      2m 26s
    2. Using indent alternatives
      2m 3s
    3. Working with left and right indents
      4m 0s
    4. Using last-line indents and outdents
      1m 26s
    5. Using paragraph spacing
      4m 14s
  10. 23m 19s
    1. Setting hyphenation
      6m 14s
    2. Working with line breaks and discretionary hyphens
      4m 48s
    3. Balancing ragged lines
      1m 36s
    4. Using the No Break feature and non-breaking characters
      2m 52s
    5. Using frame, column, and page breaks
      3m 42s
    6. Defining Keep Options
      4m 7s
  11. 37m 53s
    1. Understanding tabs
      8m 58s
    2. Considerations for table text
      3m 55s
    3. Table tips and tricks
      11m 55s
    4. Creating a bulleted list
      6m 50s
    5. Creating a numbered list
      3m 46s
    6. Creating a multi-level numbered list
      2m 29s
  12. 23m 12s
    1. Understanding drop caps
      11m 3s
    2. Navigating tricky drop caps
      5m 14s
    3. Using a nested character style with a drop cap
      3m 59s
    4. Other uses of drop caps
      2m 56s
  13. 1h 11m
    1. Understanding paragraph and character styles
      7m 13s
    2. Creating, applying, and editing styles
      7m 3s
    3. Removing overrides
      4m 58s
    4. Creating and applying character styles
      5m 4s
    5. Creating and applying nested styles
      12m 30s
    6. Using GREP styles (regular expressions)
      4m 8s
    7. Creating and applying sequential styles
      6m 19s
    8. Using paragraph rules creatively
      11m 48s
    9. Mapping Word styles
      6m 12s
    10. Working with anchored objects and object styles
      6m 24s
  14. 25m 30s
    1. Applying a text wrap
      6m 7s
    2. Making items ignore a text wrap
      1m 46s
    3. Using text wraps for flexible layouts
      3m 2s
    4. Working with difficult text wraps
      8m 39s
    5. Inverting text wraps
      2m 7s
    6. Setting text wrap preferences
      3m 49s
  15. 29m 33s
    1. Choosing a page size and setting margins
      6m 33s
    2. Setting up columns
      2m 53s
    3. Dividing a page into rows
      3m 27s
    4. Setting up a baseline grid
      5m 40s
    5. Handling baseline grid problems
      3m 37s
    6. Baseline grid tricks
      7m 23s
  16. 12m 19s
    1. Looking at screen documents
      4m 2s
    2. Setting size, leading, and line length onscreen
      3m 13s
    3. Exploring typefaces designed for the screen
      3m 36s
    4. Accessibility: Contrast and color
      1m 28s
  17. 28s
    1. Goodbye
      28s

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