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Text Frames

Lesson 9 from: Adobe InDesign CC for Beginners

Erica Gamet

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Lesson Info

9. Text Frames

Lesson Info

Text Frames

All right, so let's actually put some frames on the page. We've got these that we stole from another document, but let's actually create some from scratch. The first thing I want to create is a text frame. So like I said, everything has to live in a frame of some kind. Whether it's text or it's an object. We can't just put things on the page without some sort of container for it. I'm gonna select that guide and just get rid of it. So the first thing I want to do is create a frame where my text can live. So I'm gonna use the Type Tool. And again, I'm just gonna choose it in the type panel. Make sure it's the Type Tool. And I'm going to click and drag. And this is for when I'm putting text in or I'm putting the frame first and I'm going to put the text in later. If you're importing text you can do this on the fly. And that's the nice thing about InDesign is that you do have to have these containers but a lot of times you're bringing things in from somewhere else and as you place that fro...

m somewhere else InDesign is smart enough to create that frame for you. So if you had a text frame or a text file from somewhere else and you're going to bring that in. And we're going to do that at the end of this course. We're going to bring in a simple file. When you bring it in and place it, it automatically takes that text, creates the frame and fills it with the text you're bringing in. Same thing with images. But in this case, we're going to create a frame to start with and then we're going to put text in it. So I've chosen the Type Tool and I'm just gonna click and drag. And I thought I turned off those Smart Dimensions. I'm gonna just try and bring those back. And, back to my Guides & Pasteboard. My Smart Dimensions are off, but it's showing that. All right, well we're going to leave those on I guess. All right, so I've created this text frame. I'm gonna do that again in case we missed that. Type Tool, click and drag, and let go. Now, I have my flashing cursor, so I'm pretty sure that's a text frame. But what happens is, sometimes we draw frames and then we lose track of what it is we drew them for and we need to be able to visually identify the different types of frames. So, if I don't have my type cursor sitting in there and it's flashing I can go back to the selection tool. Again, because I'm working with the frame itself, and select any frame that I see on my page. And I can tell it's a text frame for a couple different reasons. One is that not only do I have these corners marked, but I have this larger box on the upper left here. And then in the lower right I've got the same thing. That shows me that that's a text frame. And if you have one of the newer versions of InDesign you may or may not have this turned on. And that just tells you that you can check into more type options that way. But I can see that that's a text frame from this upper left and the lower right. And basically those are ports for text. It means text flows in, in the upper left and flows out in the lower right. And that's something we can do, is we can take text frames and link them together. We're going to keep them very simple in this course. We're going to keep single stories that live by themselves in frames. So we're not going to work with those but I just wanted to show you that that's how you can visually identify a text frame. So I've created a text frame. I can double-click on that and I get back to my cursor. So, in that case I've got a couple different options. I can place text from somewhere else inside that existing frame. I can just start typing. But I'm going to use fill with placeholder text because we setup a keyboard shortcut for that. And that keyboard shortcut was F2. And now, it's going to go ahead and fill in that text that's there. And it's going to use the default text that's built into InDesign unless you've updated it. And that's a whole 'nother subject. But you can actually change it and have different text as well. One thing I do want to do though is I want to tell it what the text looks like when I fill that frame. So I'm gonna select it with the Selection Tool and delete. And I want to tell it, whenever I create a new text frame in this document what I want that text to look like. So I'm gonna chose the Type Tool but I don't have any text frame selected. So what I'm doing by making this, setting this default is telling it all new text frames automatically have whatever characteristics I enter right now. So in this case, all I'm going to do is just change the size. That was just a really big font. I didn't really want it that big. So let's make it 18 point. So now, when I select a text frame and I use my keyboard shortcut F to fill that, it automatically fills it with that size font. And again, we're gonna do text later in this particular course. But I want to make sure that every time I fill a text frame it looks kind of similar. So that's a text frame. Gonna delete that. I also have two other sorts of graphics frames and they live over here. I'm gonna pull the type, I'm sorry, the toolbox off. And I have two here. I've got two different rectangle frames. And if I click and hold I can see that I also have an Ellipse and a Polygon underneath that. And the same thing over here. Ellipse and Polygon. The only difference being there's an x in one and the other one's solid. The one with the x is a frame tool and it basically says, at some point you're going to add an image inside this. So the x is sort of just a placeholder and says you're going to put something inside it. This shape says it's a shape and we're not gonna put anything in it. We might put the color, we might change the color of the fill but we're not going to put an item actually inside that frame. The great thing is, at any time you can put something in this frame, an image, and it will change to this frame tool. And you can have a frame tool that you actually never put an image in. So, they're sort of redundant but they have different purposes. I generally keep one set to Ellipse and one set to the Rectangle. Just so that I have them ready to go. But, they work the same way. I select either one of them. Click and I drag. And when I let go I do see that x that basically visually tells me I'm going to put something in there. But again, I don't have to. I can do the same thing with this tool here. I'm gonna use, keep it Rectangle right now. And again, I'm just clicking and dragging out to size. So I'm doing this visually. If I have guides or even look, I can use smart guides. And I can see when it's exactly the same width. The height or when they've lined up by centers. Again, I'm just using smart guides for that. Or maybe I just want to freehand draw that. So I draw out a shape and I let go. Now, if you notice, this one has a fill to it. And that's because with nothing selected I've chosen my fill to be this beige and my stroke to be black. So that every time I create a new shape it automatically looks like that. So only when I do the plain shape. Not the graphics shape. But, when I select each of these they look similar. If I didn't have a fill and stroke on this. In fact, let's delete that one. And I'm gonna tell it none. We're gonna do color later in the course. But I'm just gonna select none for both so that when I draw this out they'll look almost the same, except one has an x and one doesn't. I can also select those items, go up under the Object menu and come down to Content and I can see that that is a graphics frame. The nice thing is, I can change that at any time. I said if I put an image in the shape frame it will switch to a graphics frame, but I can als manually do it myself. I could even decide this needs to be a text frame. When I do that, suddenly the x goes away and I get those boxes. So at any time you can change what the content is. This is great that you've draw out a text frame that you just wanted to have as a frame. Maybe you just needed a color back there. Sometimes people put a text frame instead. But that leaves yourself open to problems. You might accidentally type inside that text frame. So for me, I want to make sure if I created a text frame or I'm opening a file from somebody else, they created a text frame but I really don't want it to be a text frame I'll go up under the Object menu and change the content to something else. Unassigned.

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Fantastic course. I have used Illustrator and photoshop, but learned when under tight deadlines. We are going to begin using inDesign to publish a more extensive multipage newsletter, and I wanted to build a better knowledge foundation of this tool, rather than just diving in. The course was comprehensive and I feel that I'll be able to make a better product after taking the course.


Have loved Erica since I was a baby designer. She is a great educator, and even though I have been using ID for about 8 years, I just changed from CS6 to CC. This was a great refresher as well as a mental upgrade to new options and effects.

Gilbert Beltran

I enjoyed these classes. Learned the Indesign toolbox and picked up a few smart tricks. Erica is great at keeping up the pace and being very clear and easy to follow.

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