Text Frame Threading Tricks in InDesign

April 29, 2004 - 2:00am ||| 0 Comments | Add new

Most InDesign users know that with a loaded text cursor (which you get when you Place a text file or after you click a text frame's red overset text icon with the Selection tool), and the right modifier keys, you can do some fancy autoflowing of text.

To review:

— Shift-click will autoflow the complete file into multiple, threaded text frames, bounded by margin or column guides, adding pages to the document as necessary to place the entire story. The loaded text cursor changes to a solid, serpentine arrow when you hold down the Shift key.

— Option/Alt-click is "semi-autoflow." The loaded text cursor changes to a dotted serpentine arrow to give you a clue that's it's not full autoflow. It creates one text frame bounded by the page's margin or column guides, but it also automatically reloads the cursor with any remaining text. This saves you the step of clicking on the frame's overset icon to reload the cursor yourself.

Did you know:

— Holding down both the Shift *and* the Option/Alt key will give you a different sort of autoflow? It actually has no name, as far as I can tell, though it does have a special cursor: A downward-pointing arrow. (I nominate the name "demi-autoflow.") In this mode, InDesign will autoflow your text into multiple, threaded text frames, but it won't add any pages to your document, as regular autoflow (the Shift key) will. It stops at the last existing page, even if the final frame has overset text.

— If you have a bunch of empty text frames set up, but they're not threaded, you can flow a story into them and thread them at the same time? Load your cursor with text and Option/Alt-click on each frame in turn.

— Option/Alt-click also works as Option/Alt-drag? Starting with a loaded text cursor, hold down the Option or Alt key as you drag out custom text frames on the fly, and InDesign will thread the frames and load your cursor up with overset text as you go.

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