Join Nigel French for an in-depth discussion in this video Understanding text threads, part of InDesign Typography (2012).
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Now, already I've used the term threaded text a few times. I'm going to spend this movie talking about text threads. Text threads; some people refer to this as text linking. I'm going to avoid the word linking, just because it gets confused with this aspect of InDesign, which is linking graphics, but also stories, but primarily graphics. So we're not talking about linking text files, we're talking about threading text files, i.e. the text begins here in column one, continues to column two, three, etc.
Now, you will notice that when I click on one of these text columns, then these arrows pop up. These are our text threads. This is just a viewing preference that we can turn on to remove any ambiguity about where the text is flowing; from what frame it's flowing, and to what frame it's flowing. If we come to the View menu, and to Extras, that's the viewing option right there: Show or Hide Text Threads. The color is going to reflect the color of the layer on which the content resides.
So currently everything is on layer1; layer1 is color coded blue. That's not in any way going to influence how it prints; that's just our visual cue that this content is on the blue layer, and in this case, layer1. So as I move through the document, we can see these arrows indicating how the text is flowing; the direction of the text flow. Now, it maybe pretty obvious most of the time. It's certainly obvious in this case, in which case, you may think, well, what's the point of seeing these text threads? And if you imagine a newspaper or magazine type scenario, where often you have the story beginning on the front page, or cover page, and then it jumps to some interior page, that's when text threads really come into their own.
When your story starts on Page 1, for example, and then it stops, and you get a continued on slug, and it says continued on Page 27, or whichever page it is continued on. If you have multiple stories in the same document, it can sometimes get a little bit confusing where the text flows from, and where it flows to, and that's the purpose of these arrows. Another thing to say about text threads, or text threading; let's just look at this text, and this is just a fairly random text that I've just put in here.
It's just starting on Page 1, it's going through to Page 5, at which point the text becomes overset. There's more text that we're actually seeing. Take a look at the first line in column 2 -- position. However, hard he threw himself -- okay, now if I select that text frame, and I delete it, the text is not deleted; the text will just move to the next available frame in the text thread. Now, that's an obvious and important distinction to make. When you delete the container, you do not delete the content.
The content moves to the next frame within the text thread, and that may cause your text to become overset, and indeed, if we look at the end of the story, it was already overset, but if it hadn't been, it certainly would be now, and the overset is indicated by that red plus. So that's what we mean when we talk of text threads, and under the View menu > Extras, there is the option to show your text threads.
- Understanding text threads and text flow methods in InDesign
- Using Copy and Paste vs. Place
- Choosing and combining typefaces
- Understanding leading and how it relates to type size and column width
- Comparing points, picas, and ems
- Learning the proper use of white space and break characters
- Understanding the finer points of kerning and tracking
- Working with punctuation, special characters, ornaments, and ligatures
- Aligning text
- Applying global formatting with paragraph, character, and object styles
- Refining spacing with indents
- Creating drop caps
- Avoiding common problems associated with justified type and text wraps
- Setting up margins and columns