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When working with longer documents in QuarkXPress, it could be handy to have an Automatic Text Box on the master page that gets filled in with text as you flow it in from say a Microsoft Word document. The Automatic Text Box lives on the master page. So let's switch to the master page and see what it looks like. So here we are looking at the master page for the pages in the current layout. As you can see we have blue margin guides, a big text box in the middle, a couple of smaller text boxes at the bottom for repeating elements on each page and a mysterious little chain icon in the corner.
That's the key to using an Automatic Text Box. So the difference between an Automatic Text Box and the little text box as you see down here is that you don't type anything into the Automatic Text Box. Instead it's a container to hold the text that gets flowed in on your layout pages. By default the Automatic Text Box fills the area within your margin guides. So let's take a look at how you change the margin guides on your master page. You go to the Page menu and go to the Master Guides & Grid. There you can change the margin dimensions for the top and the bottom and then since this is a facing pages document, we have inside and outside.
If this weren't facing pages, we would have left and right. You can also setup a number of columns on the page, and when you do that the text box will adapt those columns as well. So let's change the margins. Let's say the Top margin from that to an inch. If we click on Preview, we can see that the margin has changed and in fact the text box has also changed. The horizontal pink lines you are seeing are the baseline grid of the page and we'll talk about that in a later movie. If we turn off the preview, we'll see what it looked like before we made any changes.
But let's just cancel out of there, because we want to keep it at the settings we had before. The little chain icon in the corner indicates that we have an Automatic Text Box. If we no longer want this text box to be automatic, we can go to the Text Content tool and underneath that you will find a couple of other tools. There is a Linking and an Unlinking tool. If at some point you want to make that text box no longer an Automatic Text Box, all you do is select this Unlinking tool and click once on the chain. Now it's broken. That indicates that this is no longer an Automatic Text Box and it will appear as a separate text box on each page unlinked to the ones before it.
If you want to turn that text box back into an Automatic Text Box, all you have to do is go to the Text Content tool select the Linking tool and then click right back on top of that broken chain. It then activates that so that you can then click on the text box that you want to be the Automatic Text Box. So I'll click here. It makes a little arrow. It says here is your Automatic Text Box. Great! Now what's interesting about that is that it implies that you can have more than one Automatic Text Box and in fact you can. You don't usually do that, but if for example you wanted to have two set text boxes on a page or say three, where they weren't the same size, you could use this Linking tool to connect them all together.
That might happen if you have say a Magazine layout that has a narrow column and a wider column and you want to make sure that the text is going to flow in the right order from the one box to the next and then onto the next page. Using Automatic Text Boxes can really make your work a lot faster, especially if you are working with longer documents where the text flows from page to page to page.
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