Join David Blatner for an in-depth discussion in this video Add text frames, part of InDesign CC 2018 Essential Training.
- [Instructor] There are probably a few people who use in design for pictures only but most of us need to put text on our pages. Well, you cannot have text without a text frame and the simplest way to make a text frame, is to use a type tool. I'm going to scroll over to the left a little, using my grabber hand, that's the option space bar or alt space bar on Windows. Now, I'm going to go up to the view menu and turn off match pasteboard to theme color. That makes my pasteboard white, which is just a little bit easier for me to work with.
Okay, now, you can choose the type tool from over here in the tool panel. That's the tool that looks like a T. To get a frame, you simply click and drag. Notice that as I'm dragging, I get the measurements of the frame in a little field to the right of my cursor. That helps me create just the size I want. Now, when I let go of the mouse button, the text cursor is flashing inside the text frame, ready for me to start typing. By the way, some people call these text boxes, but the proper word is frame, it's a text frame.
Now, there are several other tools for making frames as well. Down the tool panel a little bit, you'll see the rectangular frame tool and if I click and hold on that just for a moment, I'll see beneath that, there's a couple other tools. The ellipse frame tool and the polygon frame tool. Now, these technically make graphic frames, that is, if I choose a rectangle frame tool and click and drag, I see a frame with a big X in it. That means, it's supposed to have a graphic inside it.
But you know what? In design doesn't care. You can easily change one kind of frame into another, simply by grabbing that type tool again, hovering over that frame and then, clicking on it. Now, notice what happens to the cursor as I move on top of the frame. Out here, where there are no objects, I get a kind of cursor that says, well, I can make you a frame if I want, but as soon as I move this cursor on top of an empty frame, I get a different cursor, kind of a dotted circle and that dotted circle indicates that when I click, it's going to turn this frame into a text frame.
So it's always a good idea to watch that little cursor because it's going to tell you what's going to happen next. Once again, I have the flashing cursor, so I can just start typing. Now, down here, there are a few more tools for making frames. Once again, rectangle, ellipse or polygon. Now these are shape tools, they're not really designed to have text or graphics inside them but, just like graphic frames, if I make one, for example, with this ellipse tool, just drag that out, I can still turn it into attached frame, simply by grabbing the type tool and then clicking on it.
I'm going to clean up my pasteboard a little bit by switching back to my selection tool, dragging a marquee over all three of those and then pressing the delete key on my keyboard. That deletes them. Now, there's one more way that you can make a text frame in in design and that is to import a text story like a word file or an RTF file. That's what in design calls a bunch of text by the way, a story. For example, this is a story up here, this is a story over there and so on. Anyway, I'm going to import a new story onto the next spread, so I'm simply going to go up to the menu, choose next spread and now, while I'm looking at this spread, I'll go to the file menu and choose place.
Now, I'm going to go into much more detail about placing files in a later chapter but for right now, all I'm going to do is select this file from Microsoft Word and then click, open. You'll see that this loads a place cursor with a story attached to it. Now at this point, I have several options, I could just click in an area where there's no frame and in design will make a frame for me or, let me undo that, I'll press command Z or ctrl Z on Windows, that reloads the place cursor and this time, I'm going to click and drag out a frame.
Now as soon as I let go of the mouse button, in design places the story into that frame. You'll notice that all that text is highlighted in blue. I'll talk about why that is and what you can do about it, later on in this chapter. Now finally, if you already have a text frame, like this one down here, you can place your story into it. Once again, I'm going to undo that with a command Z or ctrl Z on Windows and I'm going to place my cursor on top of that story. You'll notice that the cursor changes just a little bit when you're on top of an empty frame. And now, all I need to do is click and all that text goes into the attached frame so now that you know how to get a text frame and put some text into it, let's take the next step, editing and then formatting that text inside that frame.
- Creating a new layout
- Inserting pages
- Adding text
- Inserting graphics
- Applying color and transparency
- Drawing and editing frames and paths
- Formatting objects
- Formatting text
- Creating styles for uniform formatting
- Building tables
- Adding links and interactivity
- Printing and exporting InDesign documents