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In this movie, we are going to look at the anatomy of a text frame, and I am using this very simple, straightforward, text only document to illustrate these points. And I have my hidden characters turned on, so firstly, let's talk about hidden characters; what are they, and why are they useful? Hidden characters, we can see when I zoom in, come in the form of paragraph marks at the end of each paragraph, raised dots between the words to indicate word spaces, and I have a couple of more also visible.
Here is a forced line break or Shift+Return to carry the March 4, 1933 down to the next line, and a hash mark, which indicates the end of a story. So your hidden characters are good preventative medicine for avoiding spacing problems. I recommend that you work with your hidden characters turned on. If you do get tired off looking at those, you can, so as long as you are not in your Type tool, press your W key, and that will switch you to Preview, hiding not just your hidden characters, but also your guides.
W will turn on the guides and hidden characters again. But let's specifically talk about text frames. When I select this text frame -- I am now going to zoom out to my Fit in Window view -- we can see that it has handles on its corner points and its center points. I can use these handles to resize the text frame. Then I am just going to undo that. If I wanted to move the text frame, I will move my cursor within the frame, and then click and drag.
We see that it also has a rectangle at top right that is yellow, and if I click on that, I can edit the shape of the corners. I can go from a rectangle to a rounded rectangle, or use other corners effects, but we are not going to do that right now. In the case of this text frame, this is part of a text thread, which is to say that this story starts on Page 1, goes to Page 2, it continues on Page 3, and through to Page 5, and we can see that on the Pages panel. A visual cue that this is part of a text thread comes in the form of this blue arrow down here, which is in the out port.
The out port is the larger square at the bottom right of each text frame. Now if I zoom back out again, and we look at the top left, we can see that we have the in port. At the beginning of the story, the in port is blank, indicating the beginning of the story. If I now go to Page 2, and I select the text frame there, we see that we have the blue arrow indicating that this is part of a text thread. Now, if I carry on through to Page 5, and I select the text frame on Page 5, the out port at the bottom right is empty, indicating the end of the story.
So that's part of a text thread. Back on page 1, zoom in on this small text frame. This is a single story text frame, and this text frame has a hash mark indicating the end of the story, and we see both the in port and the out port in this text frame, because it starts and ends within the same frame. Now, how do we draw these text frames? There are several ways. The easiest and most commonly used way is to use your Type tool, and I am going to choose my Type tool just by pressing its single key shortcut, the T key, and then click and drag, there's a text frame, and I can now type into that text frame.
But we can also draw our frames using the Rectangle Frame tool. When I use the Rectangle Frame tool, or any of its associated shapes -- either Ellipse, or Polygon -- then we will get an X in that frame indicating that we need to put some content in there. When you use the Frame tools, you do so with the intent of putting content in those frames, and if you are, you're now in your Type tool, and then you click, you see the X disappears, and we can now type into the frame.
If, on the other hand, you use the Shape tools, you draw the Shape tools with the intent of using them as graphic shapes in their own right, be they rectangles, be they ellipses, or polygons. Having said that, there is nothing to stop you, once you have drawn these, going to your Type tool, and clicking inside them, and then typing into them. You will notice that the shape of your type cursor will change according to whether you are over this text frame or outside it. When I am over it, you will see the text cursor bulges. When I move outside of it, it does not bulge.
So over it, bulging type cursor, click, and then I can type into that frame. But generally speaking, we are using the Type tool. There may be occasions when you want to map out the different content areas of your page before you have that content actually ready, in which case it might be a good idea to use the Rectangle Frame tool. We will be using both methods. I do just want to point out a preference though, and that it is this one; if I come to Preferences, and now on Windows that's at the very end of your Edit menu, and then to Type, the preference is this one: Type tool Converts Frames to Text Frames.
Now, with that on, we can do what I just did; we can click inside a Rectangle frame, and it becomes a text frame. If I turn that off, then when I draw myself frame, and I'm in my Type tool, I cannot convert that to a text frame. Some people prefer to work this way; personally I prefer to have the option of always converting these into text frames. So I do not change that. I will leave that turned on.
Relating to frames are Guides, and we can drag down guides from the rulers, or across from the rulers, horizontal, or vertical guides, and we can see that here, slightly misplaced, I have a guide that indicates the baseline, and I am going to put that -- the baseline being the invisible line on which the type sits-- I am going to align that with the baseline of the text in the main text frame, and then selecting the other text frame, I am going to nudge that down, I will slightly reposition it, so that its text also shares that same baseline.
So there are simple use of guides. These guides, once they have been drawn, can be selected, they can be moved to a new location, they can be positioned numerically, and they can also be deleted, either on a case by case basis, or if you come into the Ruler, right-click, you can choose Delete All Guides on Spread, and they are all gone. One important aspect of text frames that I've forgotten to mention until now, and that is overset text. We are going to be seeing quite a lot of this.
I am going to indicate overset text using this independent text frame. When I click on it, and then I make it smaller, or I type more text into it, both of those things are going to cause the text to become overset, i.e. there is more text than we can see. An overset text is indicated by this red plus. So I now need to take some action, and that action can be deleting text, or it can be resizing the text frame.
In InDesign CS6, there is now the possibility of setting your text frames to Auto-Resize, and we will be looking at that, but the default behavior of a text frame, if it is not threaded -- if it is not part of a text thread -- is that if you make it smaller, or if you add more text to it, the text then becomes overset, requiring further action on your part. So those are the basic aspects of a text frame, the handles, click and drag within it to move it, use your Type tool to click and drag to create a text fram,e and then these various different visual cues that we have to indicate whether the text frame is part of a thread, or whether it is a standalone story.
In the coming movies in this chapter, we will be looking at different text flow methods, and different aspects of working with various bodies of text.
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