Adobe® InDesign® Creative Cloud® Intermediate: Beyond the Basics


Lesson Info

Advanced Text Frame Options

One last thing about text. We're gonna really make sure we know our way around the text in this course. So in the text frame, when I'm working with a text frame, let's actually just, let's actually create, I want a new document here because it's using all my styles. I don't want bubble banners anymore. We're done with those. So I just want to fill a text frame with some text, and I want to work with some more of the text frame options that are here. So I want to be able to tell it what the frame looks like, how the frame is set up. So I'm gonna use Control or Command + B, or go to Object and choose Text Frame Options. And again, it's under Object instead of Text because we're working with the frame itself. Some of the options that I have, that I can work with, in columns, I could tell it it's two columns. Or instead, I could tell it that it's a fixed width, and I could tell it each column is this size. So it would just use the size that I had. But when I try and change the size of the ...

frame, it doesn't let me change it slightly, it lets me jump it so I have three columns, but each column is that exact same size that it was. So I can either shrink it down to two or one, but this is great because if you know how wide your columns need to be, you can just keep pulling it. You don't have to worry about trying to do the math on that. Just tell it this is how wide my columns are, three inches wide or whatever, and number of columns is whatever it ends up being. I can also come in here and say Flexible Width, and I can say that the maximum width needs to be three inches, all right? So the maximum width I can have of a column is three inches. So if I've got a really small text frame, I've got one column. And as it hits three inches or whatever we set up as our maximum, it creates a whole new column. So as I continue to pull this, as soon as it gets to be too wide, it adds another column. So you can see, you can automate that and just tell it how wide your column is. It never gets any wider than that, but it'll add columns as necessary. So you've got several different options here of columns here. I'm gonna go back here and just create this one column, and we'll just give it a nice quarter inch gutter. And I'm gonna go ahead and tell it Auto-Size. I'm gonna choose Auto-Size. One of the things I can do is make my frame grow and shrink depending on the text. Because what happens right now, we've seen it when we were placing text, we put too much text in the frame, we get that overset text. Well, what if we wanted the frame to grow with the text? We could do that. We can tell it to Auto-Size the height, or the width, or both. I'm gonna just do Height Only on this one and say that it needs to grow. And I want it to grow from the top downwards. We can choose to have it grow up and down if we want, but maybe I know it needs to sit at the top and grow downwards as necessary. So I'll say OK. So I'll do that, and if I delete text, I'm actually gonna copy it so I can paste it back in, I'm gonna delete that text. You notice it shrunk it down. Did we tell it, we must have told it, there, I wanted to just do it from the top. So it's kind of pinned to the top. When I delete that text that's there, I delete that, it shortens up that text frame, but if I go ahead and paste some text back in there, it also grows the text frame. If I don't have that, I'll just get that overflow text, and I'll have to do something with that text that's there. Does that make sense? So we can automate that, and that's really great if you've got, say, a sidebar or something you've just got sitting there in a colored frame. We've given it a little bit of an inset maybe, like that. We've told it maybe that we have a colored background to that. And we know that there's this much space right now. Maybe it's an ad, and we want that to grow every time we change the size of this ad or we add to it, it will keep growing as necessary on our page. So again, that's just using the text frame options that are there, the auto-sizing option, and available in that dialogue box. That make sense? Any questions out in the internet out there? Let's see, we had a couple that came in from, some justification questions. Okay. Maybe we can touch on that really quick. A few people were curious, Sprints had written about it. They want to know about justification and justify without gaps. In the text frame options? Yeah, so if we use Justify, it automatically will justify the number of lines that are here, and whoops, I have auto-grow on. Don't want to do the auto-size at the same time because you will never see that happen. Let's turn off the Auto-Sizing. Good, and so when I say justify, it's gonna automatically take the baseline and the ascent where I have that set up, and it's gonna just basically change the gap that's there. So if you're trying to use justification and not have the gaps, that's not gonna work, because that's exactly what justify does is it fills it top to bottom and divvies up the space as necessary to fill that. Or, I don't know if they're talking about that justification or justification right to left, which we've talked about if we have left justified or right and left justified text. You get a lot of extra space in between the letters. What you can do is you can go to your paragraph panel and choose hyphenation, and you can change from your hyphenation slider how much, whether you want better spacing. This gives you better spacing, but maybe you have more hyphens. Or you can choose fewer hyphens, but the spacing gets a little worse. So you need to try and find a happy medium. You've got a lot of other things you can choose here like how many letters you have to have before a hyphenation. Sometimes cranking that up a little bit will help, but again, if you have words that don't fit in that, it's, sometimes I think it's too much micromanaging, and you're gonna be sitting and selecting individual words and changing them as necessary. Kinda trust in the type engine that's there for a lot of the automation processes. Okay, one more quick question before we head to the break. You mentioned a little while ago when you were talking about the keyboard characters, we had a couple of questions coming up about what the keyboard character is for column break. Maybe you could just revisit that for a second? I don't know what the keyboard, oh, for column break, if you want it to jump to the next column, that's actually, come in here, and I'm gonna turn justification off, and let's give us two columns here. So if you want to force it to the next column, if I want this paragraph instead to start, I'm sorry, let's just double-click the space that's in here, and I want that to jump. You need to use, it depends on the keyboard that you have, and if you have the Mac laptop, it's totally different. It's the Enter key, not Return, but the Enter key that is either on the 10 key, or you might have to do Function key and Return if your Return key says Enter really small up top. So right here, I'm gonna use the Enter key, and that jumps me either to the next column or the next frame. And I believe there's also a keyboard shortcut for it in Special Characters, perhaps. I think there is a Break somewhere. I can't find it, but I think there's a Break. Oh, Insert Break Character right here, Column Break, so you can actually use it if you don't have it available on your keyboard, because every keyboard is different. So you can actually use that for the column break instead. Now it just jumped it to the next column, but I don't have a linked text frame there at all for that, so that's what it did.

Adobe® InDesign® Creative Cloud® enables you to create rich documents and layouts that combine graphic elements, images, and text. Advance your design skills with Adobe® InDesign® Creative Cloud® Intermediate: Beyond the Basics with Erica Gamet.

In this class, Erica will help you tackle complex design projects and share best practice techniques in Adobe® InDesign® Creative Cloud®

You’ll learn how to:
  • Manage multi-page documents and use master pages
  • Automate your workflow and save time
  • Select character and paragraph styles
You’ll learn about advanced exporting options and she’ll offer tips on taking advantage of the extensive selection of assets in the Creative Cloud® Libraries.

If you’ve mastered the basics are are ready to advance your design skills, don’t miss Adobe® InDesign® Creative Cloud® Intermediate: Beyond the Basics with Erica Gamet.

Level: Intermediate/Advanced. Recommended prerequisite: Adobe® InDesign® Creative Cloud® for Beginners

Software Used: Adobe InDesign CC 2015.1



  • As an absolute beginner to InDesign, I purchased both of Erica's classes and man was she helpful. I highly recommend this course to anyone unfamiliar with the software to give them some great footing. Thank you Erica and thank you Creative Live!
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