How to create columns and pages of threaded text, including such features as Primary text frame, Smart text reflow. The pros and cons of dividing text frames into multiple columns
- [Voiceover] In this movie, I want to look at InDesign's text flow methods beginning with using a Primary Text Frame. I have several documents open. They are all two-column letter size documents. In the first of these when it was created, this check box was checked. So there is a Primary Text Frame. We can identify a Primary Text Frame by this icon. The Primary Text Frame is actually on the master page spread. If I select the frame and then come to the File menu and choose Place, choose my text file, click Open, the text goes into that frame and after a brief pause, will create as many pages as are necessary to accommodate the text.
I'm just gonna press Command or Control + Z to undo that. Had I not selected the frame, then I would have a loaded type cursor. When my cursor is outside of the frame, the dotted line is square. When my cursor is over the frame, the dotted line is curved. Click inside the frame and where I was before. Primary Text Frame works in conjunction with a type preference called Smart Text Reflow. For the pages to be added, Smart Text Reflow needs to be on.
Primary Text Frames are useful for longer text flows because they are created on the master page or master page spread, you can come to the master pages, select the frames, make any adjustment to them that you see fit and that adjustment will be reflected on all of the document pages. Moving now to Manual Text Flow. I will place the same text file, this time using the keyboard shortcut, Command or Control + D.
Before I look specifically at Manual Text Flow, I should point out that there is also the option to click and drag to determine whatever width and height of text frame you want. I'll undo that by pressing Command or Control + Z. Now with manual text flow, where you click in the column, that becomes the starting point of your text frame and the width of your text frame is determined by the width of the column. I'll undo that. If I want my columns to start at the top margin, then I need to mouse over the top margin, you'll see that the arrow changes from black to white and I know that I'm snapping to the top margin.
At the end of the column or the page if it is a single-column page, the text flow stops and we see a red plus indicating overset text. If I click on the red plus, I reload my cursor and I can now continue the text flow. If I want to add another page, the keyboard shortcut is Command + Shift + P or Control + Shift + P, but before I do that, I will reload my cursor at the page and then I can continue my text flow.
Obviously with a long text flow, Manual Text Flow is not really suited, but it does give you a bit more control, for example if I wanted to skip this column, I could just move to the second column and place my text there. Moving now to Semi Automatic text flow. This is like manual but slightly sped up. Once again, Command or Control + D to place my text file. And the key difference is that you hold down the Option or Alt key and that will automatically reload your cursor for you.
And this might be useful if you need to be a bit more directed about exactly where the text is going. Moving to Auto Flow. Once again, Command or Control + D to place the text file. Auto Flow has in many ways been superseded by Primary Text Frame, which is a more recent feature, but like Primary Text Frame, Auto Flow will create pages as necessary to accommodate your text. You get to Auto Flow by holding down the Shift key.
The difference between this and a Primary Text Frame is that this has created two frames that are threaded together rather than, and if I just switch back now to Primary Text Frame, a single frame that is divided into two columns. I'll be talking about the pros and cons of these two different approaches in a later movie. A variant of Auto Flow is Auto Flow without adding pages. Let's say that you have a fixed number of pages but you want to use Auto Flow.
Command or Control + D to place the text file. Hold down the Shift key as well as the Option or Alt key, and this time what happens is it will fill all of your available pages and then the text flow will stop. If I move now to the last page in my document, in this case page eight, we see the red plus indicating overset text. What you do with the overset text is entirely up to you. One way you can manage it is by double clicking into the text frame and then coming to the Window menu and to the Info panel.
After a brief pause, your Info panel will tell you how much overset text you have. To conclude this movie, I would just like to point out a useful viewing preference from the View menu, Extras, Show Text Threads. Now when I select the text frame with my selection tool, I will see these arrows indicating the direction of the text flow. Usually this is self-explanatory but you can sometimes get confused about how the text frames are threaded together.
To get the most from this course, make sure to watch InDesign Typography Part 1.
- Text flow and text threading
- Placeholders and text frames
- Type alignment
- Indents, insets, and spacing
- Bullet and numbered lists
- Text wrap
- Formatting with styles
- Hyphenation and line breaks
- Combining typefaces
- White space and grids