Join Anne-Marie Concepción for an in-depth discussion in this video Auto-sizing text frames, part of InDesign CS6 New Features.
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Here's another cool thing that text frames can do in InDesign CS6. Check out this sidebar here that's on that darker gray background. I am going to zoom in a bit. Well, let's say that we wanted to add some text to this. I am just going to select a sentence and copy it and then maybe paste it right here. It's overset, right? We all know what overset is. Now, though, I'm going to leave it overset but change a setting for the frame itself. So I will select the frame with the Selection tool, Object > Text Frame Options, look here, Auto-Size.
Text frames can be set to automatically resize on their own, without you having to drag them all the time. So by default, they are off for all text frames, but I'm going to say that I would like this sidebar to change its height. So I have the Preview checkbox turned on, and I turned on Height Only and look at what happened; it automatically resized itself to fit the new text. The height can be set--just like this is kind of like the little canvas-size interface in Photoshop, if you have seen that before. What this is saying is that I would like the top part of the frame to stay where it is and it can grow downward.
If you wanted to grow the opposite way, you'd select this one. So if I selected that one, then it would go the other way. If you said you want it to stay centered, vertically, you would choose that one, which could come in very handy if you have things like, you know, pull quotes right in the middle of the page or something. You'd want it to grow both up and down to stay centered in the page. But in this case I want the top to stay hammered there. Now you can set a Minimum Height, if you'd like, but you cannot set a Maximum Height. Apparently, it got too complicated, because they would have to take into account what about if there is another object there and so on.
In fact, if I went ahead and selected some text and pasted, it just grows right on top of the object below here, only because, you know, it's on a stacking order above this picture. Right now, in the shipping version it will just stop at the pasteboard. So you can't set a maximum height or a maximum width; it'll just keep growing to the end of the pasteboard. So it's just something to keep in mind. It's not something that you would set for every single text frame, but for things like sidebars, oh, it's perfect! I mean, take a look at this.
Let's get rid of that last bit that we added and maybe the one before that. So here is a normal resizing. What if I said that I wanted this text frame to be, you know, two columns? It automatically resizes itself appropriately. What if I said--you know, let's get rid of some of this more, there we go, like that. How often have you ever been working on a page and you thought, you know what, I'd like to change the inset here. I am going to press Command+B or Ctrl+B to get the Text Frame Options and increase the size of my inset.
I have the Preview box checked on. So as I tap the up arrow, I am increasing the size of the inset, but the text frame is growing. Isn't it great? I love this feature. I am going to be using this feature all the time. Let's take another look at it. So you can set Auto-Sizing for Height Only, Width Only, both Height and Width, or Height and Width and it'll keep proportions, so that if you have a very tall, narrow thing, it'll go ahead and grow both height and width in proportion, but still be looking kind of tall and narrow.
Now this No Line Breaks is interesting, but it only applies to Width. So, I have another example. Further down on this page here, we have a photo credit. Let's zoom in here. A photo by Joseph Schmoe. And the text frame completely hugs the text. But if I wanted to increase this, and I said Joseph Allen Schmoe, well, we have that happening. And then how difficult is it to resize this tiny, little frame without changing the depth? You know, how often does that happen? So, instead, a perfect example of where to apply our friend Auto-Resize is this, our Auto-Size.
So we go to Auto-Size, and we want this to go Width Only, and it automatically increases in size. Now if we said No Line Breaks then that means that even if text originally wrapped, that it wouldn't wrap. So let's say that I did something like this. Photo by Joseph Allen Schmoe, like that, but then I came back up here and I said, under Auto-Size, No Line Breaks, so it refuses to break any lines, and it will just keep everything on one line.
I suppose that would be useful for a photo credit. Now I don't want it growing to the left as well, so I am going to change that to this. No Line Breaks, and that all looks good. So we'll put it right here, and then I will double-click this to squeeze it in. So let's say he had another middle name, Octavio. It's great for small bits of text, for things like pull quotes and sidebars and photo credits. Just turn on Auto-Size. And like the flexible-width columns, you can include Auto-Size in an object style, so that would make perfect sense for something like a photo credit, text frame, that under Text Frame Auto Size options, we keep it at Width Only, growing from the left, no line breaks.
There you have it, one of my favorite new features in InDesign CS6.
- Working with the Conveyor tool to link objects and map styles
- Applying Liquid Layout rules
- Using flexible columns
- Creating auto-sized text frames
- Accessing recently used fonts
- Fitting frames to more types of text content
- Exporting to EPUB 2 and 3 using new controls
- Inserting HTML and Edge content into a layout
- Creating a PDF form with interactive text, radio, and checkbox fields
- Mapping text styles in linked objects