Join Mike Rankin for an in-depth discussion in this video Using primary text frames, part of InDesign CC: Interactive Document Fundamentals (2014).
Primary Text Frames are an essential tool for adapting layouts because they let you change your page designs by applying different master pages without disrupting the main text flow. Let's see how they work. Here I have a document that will be used to create a college course catalog. And after the table of contents in the introduction, there are several pages of course listings. These document pages are all based on a master page called Courses. I'll double-click it to take a look at it. Press the W key on my keyboard so I can see the frame edges.
And here's the main text frame, it has three columns. And when I select it, notice the icon that appears on the left side. This indicates the frame is a Primary Text Frame. The first thing to know about Primary Text Frames is that you can have only one of them on a page at a time. So if I take my Type tool and drag out a new text frame on the page, and then select it with the Selection tool, I can see that I have a different icon here. This icon means this frame is not a Primary Text Frame, but I can change that and designate this as the Primary Text Frame, just by clicking that icon.
Now the other frame is no longer a Primary Text Frame, but for this movie, I want to keep the three column frame as my Primary Text Frame. So I'll click the icon again and delete that new frame that I created. The second thing to note about Primary Text Frames is that they cannot have any texts in them on the master page. So if I would to type any text in here, and then select the frame, I can see the icon has changed again. And it's no longer a Primary Text Frame. I'll just Undo. So once again this is a Primary Text Frame.
Now to see what a Primary Text Frame can do for us, let's go back to the document pages that were based on this master. We can see that they have the courses listed in a three-column layout. Now if I wanted to use a four column design in some places I can do so with no trouble at all, thanks to the Primary Text Frame. First I'll create a new master page, I'll right-click in the masters area of the Pages panel and choose New Master. I base it on the courses master, and I'll give it name of 4 column.
I'll click OK and then on the masters page I'll select the three column text frame and hold Option+Alt and double-click to bring up Text Frame Options. I'll set the columns to 4 and click OK. Now, let's apply this New Master to some of my document pages. In the Pages panel, I'll select pages six and Shift-click to select page seven as well. And then I'll hold Option or Alt, and click on the name of my new four-column master page.
Now I'll double-click to go to page six. And I can see I have that four-column layout. And even better, my new four-column text frames are still linked to the original text flow. So if I click on the frame, I can see the text links going from the previous page down to the next page. And if I wanted to change these pages back so they use the three-column layout, that's no problem. Again, I can just hold Option then click on the Courses Master. And now I'm back to three columns. In this movie, we saw just how useful a Primary Text Frame can be for adapting layouts to different designs.
It allows you to designate one and only one frame on a master page to hold the main text flow. So you can change which master your document pages are based on and have the text flow seamlessly with no additional work.
- Overview of interactive document types
- Enhancing a project with interactive objects
- Setting up hyperlinks, page transitions, and a table of contents
- Understanding media formats
- Adding HTML animations
- Manage folios with the Folio Producer
- Creating EPUBs
- Adapting a page layout for mobile devices with Liquid Layout
- Changing page designs with primary text frames
- Formatting text with text style mapping
- Workflows for designing interactive documents
- Customizing the workspace
- Organizing content with layers
- Using third-party scripts to work on interactive documents
Skill Level Intermediate
Q: This course was updated on 09/02/2014. What changed?
A: We added movies on creating navigational TOCs and new support for fixed-layout EPUBs in <span class="il">InDesign</span> CC.
Q: This course was updated on 12/12/2014. What changed?
A: We added two new movies covering updates to the EPUB workflow, and revised five movies to reflect other changes in InDesign CC 2014.1.