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The Primary Text Frame is a new feature and InDesign CS6, so if you're working with an earlier version of InDesign, you not going to be able to do quite what I'm going to do here. I'm starting with a blank document, and I'm starting with a blank document to point out where the Primary Text Frame option is. Now, in previous versions, this said Master Text Frame, which was a very dumbed down version of what this has now become. Master Text Frame was not a very useful feature, and personally I never found any reason to use it.
Primary Text Frame, on the other hand, is quite a useful feature, and I'm going to turn it on. Then I'm going to change my Page Size to A5, and the other options I'll leave as they are for now. So now when I go to my master page, or I should say my master pages, because I had facing pages checked, so I have a pair of master pages, i.e. left-hand master page, and right-hand master page, and I have my Primary Text Frame, as indicated with this icon here, and we can see that these are threaded together.
Now, what this means is that when I now place a text file into my Primary Text Frame -- I'm going to use Command + D or Control+D and I'm going to place this text file: aliceinwonderland.rtf. when I place that into the Primary Text Frame, it automatically creates extra pages for me, and this does require that I have my Smart Text Reflow turned on.
Now, in previous versions, this would have said Limit to Master Text Frame. It wouldn't have done the same thing, because you'd have needed to unlock the Master Text Frame. Because of its nature, being on a master page, it was locked, and that effectively rendered it useless, but for a Primary Text Frame, you don't need to unlock it; you can just place your text into it, and it creates pages for you. So this is very similar, pretty much the same end result as using Auto-Flow, an older text flow method that we'll be dealing with in an upcoming movie, but that's what a Primary Text Frame can do for you.
If you're working with a long continuous text flow, then starting out with a Primary Text Frame can be quite a time saver. Let's say that you had started out and I'll use exactly the same settings as I used before, but this time, I have no Primary Text Frame. So how do we make one if we had forgot to do it in the first place? I'll go to my master pages, and I'll use my Type tool, and I will draw myself a text frame there, which I'll now duplicate; I'm holding down the Alt key and the Shift key to just copy that text frame over to the right-hand page.
Now, these are not currently Primary Text Frames. What I'm going to do is I'm going to click the out port of the frame on the left, and now link that to the frame on the right. They're still not Primary Text Frames. What I need to do to make them Primary Text Frames is to click on that icon, and they're now Primary Text Frames. So now when I come to page1, I can press Command+ D or Control+D, click my cursor into the Primary Text Frame, and as before, we Auto Flow the whole of the story.
So that is the Primary Text Frame; a new feature in InDesign CS6.
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