Join Jay Nelson for an in-depth discussion in this video Understanding items and contents, part of QuarkXPress 8 Essential Training.
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One of the simplest and basic concepts in QuarkXPress is the difference between an item and its content. So for example you may have a picture box with a picture in it, and a text box with text in it, and you may have some lines or other things floating around on the page. Right now let's look at the difference between an item and its content, and how you select items on the page. To do that, let's open the Shapes project, and you'll see that it has some fonts that we don't have available, and there is a reason for that. So just hit the Continue button, and you are looking at just some items on a page.
To make it easier to see what those items are made from, we'll go to the View menu and choose Guides. Now that's not real obvious, because we don't have any guides on this page. But by viewing guides, you are also viewing the outlines of objects. When we turn that on, we see the outlines of each of the items on the page. Up here is a simple text-box; down here we have a picture-box. The first time after installing QuarkXPress that you double-click a box on a page, you'll see this dialog appear. There you can tell QuarkXPress how you would like it to behave each time you double-click a box on the page with the Item tool.
Personally, I prefer for it to switch to the Content tool when I do that, but you can also set it to open the Modify dialog so that you can make multiple changes to an item and then save them. At the top, you can tell Quark how far you wanted to move an item when you hold down the Shift key and press the Arrow keys on your keyboard. If you enable the check box at the bottom that says don't display dialog again, then when you click OK, it will remember your changes and not bother you with this box again. I am going to click the OK button. I'm going to switch back to the Item tool, and Continue.
In the Tools palette, we have four tools that help you work with picture in text-boxes. First is the Item tool at the top, let you move it around and resize and reshape boxes. Beneath that, you have the Text Content tool, which also lets you create text-boxes and fill them with text. Same here with the Picture Content tool. It lets you put pictures into boxes or create a box to put pictures into. But the most versatile tool is the one below it, which is the Rectangle Box tool. If you click and hold on it, you'll see that it's not just a rectangle, but you can also do Ovals, Starbursts, and you can create composition zones which we'll get too much later in this training.
So for now, let's keep it as a simple rectangle box. In the next movie, we'll look at how to use these tools, but for now we are just focusing on the concept of items and content. The other two kinds of items that you might be creating within QuarkXPress would be a line, and a path upon which to put text. Let's look at the line first. With the Line tool, you simply click on your page and drag to wherever you want the line to end. So let's say we want the line to go there. Down in the Measurements palette, we can then tell it I would like this line to be of this style, and there is many to choose from, and I would like it to be an arrow or not, and if it's an arrow, doesn't want to have tail feathers or not, and in which direction does it go.
So let's make it an arrow like this for now, and let's thicken it up a bit, make it nice and fat. Now, that we have the arrow, we can resize it and reorient it by using the Item tool up here, which can also be accessed by its key shortcut, which is simply type a V. So now with the Item tool selected, we can change the angle of the rule, and point it in any direction, and make it longer or shorter. You also use the Item tool to select one or more items in case you want to move them around.
So for example, I might click up here on this text-box, and maybe I want to move this box below it at the same time. To do that, I hold down the Shift key, which let me select an additional object. If I keep the Shift key hold down I can select further items, and deselect them the same way, keeping that Shift key held down and clicking back on these picture boxes and now they are being deselected. Another way to select more than one item is to surround it with what they call a Selection Marquee. To do that, you simply click somewhere outside the items you are looking for, click-and-drag and as long as you touch any part of those items like let's say there, I'm going to select both of those items.
I don't have to completely surround them. I can even start up here, and click-and- drag, and select both of them that way. To move them I simply click-and-drag, and they all move together to wherever I want them to be. I'll undo that, put them back. Now if your goal is to simply select everything that's on the page, the quickest way to do that is go to the Edit menu and choose Select All, very handy keystroke to remember, Command+A selects all or Ctrl+A.Now, they are all selected and I can move them around all together at once. This concept of items and content is central to the way QuarkXPress works and how you interact with it.
In QuarkXPress 8, the simplified tool-set makes it much simpler and easier, and quicker to work with these items and their content.
- Understanding the QuarkXPress interface
- Building a new layout and working with master pages
- Using long document features to streamline workflow
- Building QuarkXPress 8 documents with Adobe and Microsoft files
- Creating custom styles using typography and picture effects
- Collaborating in real time with other users
- Exporting finished projects to PDF, Flash, and the web