Join Deke McClelland for an in-depth discussion in this video Making a text frame, part of InDesign CS4 Getting Started.
InDesign requires you to place your text inside frames. I am going to show you how to create a couple of text frames and fill them with placeholder type in this exercise. I am working in a document called Page 2 for text.indd found inside the Exercise Files folder, so called because we are looking at page 2 of this document and it's ready for us to add text. Notice that I already have a couple of text blocks inside of this document, I'll click on this headline text to display its frame. The frame is surrounded by eight handles which are the smaller white squares. If I drag one of the handles like so, I'll resize the text frame. InDesign will then re-wrap the text in order to fit inside the frame.
Notice that this particular text is aligned to the bottom of its frame. You can change that if you want to by going to the Object menu and choosing Text Frame Option or pressing Ctrl+B, that's Command+B on the Mac. The B is for text block. I'll go ahead choose the command in order to display the Text Frame Options dialog box, also make sure the Preview check box is turned on, so I can see what I am doing. Notice that this Vertical Justification option is set to Bottom. If I change it to Top, the text will rise to the top of its frame which is the default setting. However, I want to leave mine alone, I am going to Cancel out here, because I want the bottom-lines of these headlines to align to each other regardless of how many lines of text each headline consumes.
Now I am going to go ahead and scale the text frame back to its former size. Notice that my cursor snaps into alignment with the intersection of these guidelines. Now let's create a new text frame. One way to make your frame is to select the Rectangle Frame tool or press the F key, and then use the tool to draw a rectangle inside of the page. Now assuming that Smart Guides are turned on, you'll see these arrows showing you that you filled up the area between the guidelines. You'll also see the dimensions of the text frame listed right next to the cursor. I'll go ahead and release the mouse button in order to make my new text frame.
Now you can just leave it, sit there if you want to. You can leave it empty, go ahead save out a template and allow other people to fill in this text frame in the future, or you can fill in the text immediately if you like. To add text, go to the Type tool, which you can get by pressing the T key, and then click inside of the frame. Now notice how the cursor changes. When outside of the frame, the cursor looks like an I-beam inside of a dotted square, when it's inside of the frame the I-beam appears inside of dotted ellipse, and that indicates that you are going to add text to the selected object.
I am going to click and there is my blinking insertion marker, ready for me to enter text from the keyboard, which I can do of course just by typing. I can also add placeholder text if I want, by going up to the Type menu and choosing Fill with Placeholder Text. You'll frequently hear this kind of text called Latin or Greek or something along those lines, but it's really just gibberish text. It's just intended to fill in the space, so you have something there that's someone can then select if they want to by dragging across it, and then replace with their own text.
All right, that's good for now though. In order to accept your changes to the text block, you press the Escape key which not only deactivates the text as you can see there, but also switches you back to your primary Selection tool. Another way to make a text frame and I think an easier one most of the time, is to just do it with the Type tool in the first place. So I'll select the Type tool and I'll drag with the tool to create a new text frame. Notice that, and see those Smart Guides helping me out, showing me that I am filling both the horizontal and vertical area between the guidelines, and then I would add my text either from the keyboard or once again by going up to the Type menu and choosing Fill with Placeholder Text.
Then I press the Escape key in order to complete the text block and I'll click on an empty area, the pasteboard, the aread out side of the page in order to accept my changes. We have now created a couple of text frames and filled them with placeholder text here inside InDesign.
- Designing master pages
- Changing type color
- Defining paragraph styles
- Formatting bullets and numbers
- Improving display performance
- Determining how text wraps around graphics