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Intro to Adobe InDesign

Lesson 5 of 10

Text Container Options


Intro to Adobe InDesign

Lesson 5 of 10

Text Container Options


Lesson Info

Text Container Options

text container options. Now, I just told you about the text, but there's a lot of things we can do with a container that is going to allow us to control how the text flows and how everything looks so we can edit the size of our container, the way the type flows, Put in multiple columns, weaken do a border and a Phil on this shape as well. And then we're going to run in some other issues here with our text flowing and our text setting. So we're gonna jump right into that here. Okay, so here's what we have. I can draw text container. And I knew a little trick. I right click inside, filled with a placeholder text. Here is my container. Great. What happens if I'd like multiple columns? I'm not going to draw three separate text containers and then paste the copy and hear what I can dio is I can go when I can take my text. In fact, I'm going to select it all here, and I'm going to make a little bit bigger, a little bit more letting here. There we go. Awesome. Whoops. Look at this right here ...

that Redd plus what is that Red? Plus that red plus shows us the container doesn't have enough room. So what that means is I have to enlarge this container until that red plus goes away. This is called over set text. And what happens is when you have over set text or any other issues, you're going to get this error button at the bottom in this error button. Just just general checking of your file to make sure that everything's good and that over set text is something that will trigger that error. Okay, there's a couple other errors in there that I specifically built in that we're gonna show you later. So people spend a lot of time opening their container up until they get to the end of their text. Don't bother. Here's a really simple way of doing it. Select your container. If you have that little overflow, go to the bottom center. Pull handle DoubleClick. Double click opens it right up. If you have too much container and it's very large and you want to close it up again, you can grab that and run it all the way up. Don't bother. Double click in the bottom center. Pull handle. Let's call the window shade feature. That's awesome. Now I've got my text, and I would like to create multiple columns with this text. So I'm gonna select my text container with the selection tool, and I want to go in to my properties panel here and I want to go with him. He can see down here my text frames. These get really long. By the way, here's my text frame options. I call this the jail cell in the supermarket doors because that's exactly what they look like. Looks like jail cells and supermarket doors that go back and forth. This controls the number of columns inside the given container, and it's one container allows me to flow from one column to the next to the next. The gutters allow me to go in and make larger or smaller spaces between those particular columns. If you make too many columns in the container, all of a sudden the text will disappear because your letter or your words or too long to fit in the column. So keep that in mind when you're going through, and I'm gonna show you what this looks like with all of our edges turned on here was hit by W on my keyboard. So one container, multiple columns. That's great. I've got my over set text. I'm gonna double click. Open that up. Fantastic. Okay, so that's one thing I can dio with this multiple columns Move it all around. The columns will always be equal, so I can never have unequal columns in the same container. And it's all one container. So that super useful, return it back to a single column container. Just set that back toe one, and we're all good now, sometimes you may want to go ahead and put color inside this container. Am I going to draw another box behind it? Absolutely not. Because then I have to worry about the alignment of the box in my text container. So in in design, a container is a container is a container. Why do I say that you're going to see that when we get Teoh images in design really doesn't care what the container is used for. If you draw a container and click on it with whatever tool it becomes that specific container, people think that they're special containers. There really isn't container is a container is a container. So and not going to do two containers. I'm gonna playa color to this container as well as the type and put a border around it as well. I'm gonna go to my fill in my properties panel, and I'm gonna fill my frame or my container with a color. And I do that. I don't like that Color is a bit intense, so I'm gonna knock that down and tent that color a little bit. And now I'd like to color the text. So in the same window, I can click the text here, and I'm gonna make that text say, 80% black, so it's a little bit lighter. I think I'm gonna put a stroke around the type as well. So I'm gonna go, Not the type. I'm sorry, the frame here and I'll put a stroke around the frame with that. So I want to know I didn't want to do the fill their I wanted to dio a stroke right there with that. Apply that to the frame. There we go. And then I will need to bump up the stroke. There it is. Okay. Now, one major problem. Do you see how the type is right up against the edge of my container? That's not good. That's why people do two containers. One container is enough. We're gonna go over to our text frame options here, and there's our text train. We're gonna click on options. This is going to call up all of her options. We can also go into the object menu and bring our text frame options up here. Command, be nice to have we did our columns just recently. Here's how we can set our columns What I want to show you. Now make sure the previews clicked on so you can see what you're doing. We're gonna go ahead and we're gonna do the inset spacing, which allows me to put this little force field or buffer zone inside the container so that the type doesn't bump up against the edge. This is great because it puts beautiful space around all four sides and this gives us perfect space right here. And when I'm done, it's like, Oh, I've got overflow. I'm gonna double click and the centre bottom pull handle and it snaps everything perfectly. One container, multiple items. If I had two containers they're never gonna line up. They're gonna be different from page to page. Yet I did this all in one single team container, and that was my text frame options and the inset spacing right there. Good stuff. So there's several different things we can do with our text containers, and there they all are. There's what we can do with them. Our text columns are inset spacing and our overflow here. Now let's talk about overflow when we have text that has to go to multiple pages. That's really important. We have just a text container here that's on this one page, and I'm going to turn off the fill in the stroke here just to get that out and go into my options. Shut off my inset. So it's just a basic text container here. Now, when we have a very large story and we're flowing this over multiple pages, which is going to end up happening here, I mean, am not have enough room on this page for this container, or I may want a container that's very wide in the container that's very narrow, can't have it divided up into columns and have won wide and narrow column in the same container. So here's what I'm gonna do. I click on my container. I see I have more text than it can handle on the selected container. Click once on the red overflow button. The red goes away. I get an arrow. I also get a loaded cursor. It's waiting for me to draw another container on this page or any other page, and then I draw the container and the text flows from that container to the next. Now, in order to see those container threads or their little connectors there, you don't see them normally cause they're not turned on by default. View. Extras show text threats. The text threads only show up when you turn them on. Onley. When you have your containers connector selected right there, it flows from one to another, and it's just like water. You push it out. One it goes into the other. You open it up and the type flows. You can connect as many containers together as you want to, and if I have a very long story that flows over multiple pages, I can link these altogether. Linking is really quite simple just think of it, those links in the chain. But it goes one step further cause it's self healing. I can get rid of a container in my entire set of link containers here, and it never gets rid of that text. It just simply flows it into the next available container. If I delete that it has now just floated into the next container, that simple. If I want to get a little bit more funky, I can go when it's I can. You know what? I'd like this over here, but I'd like another container here. Not a problem. Select on the container I'd like to link from. Click on the outgoing link, draw another container which will then put that link in the chain. Simple. If I want to get rid of the containers, Aiken simply delete them. And as long as I don't delete dull last container doesn't matter if it is the first or second or 3rd 1 that I've drawn. I just need to have one container left. All my copy is still in there. I just can't see it all. So text linking something is very, very, very important and something that we're gonna do quite a lot of next getting into drawing containers. And when we're drawing containers here, that's because everything goes in the container. Even if we want color, I need to go ahead and I need to put it into a container. So if I'd like a colored background or something or do ingredient, it's got to go into a container, and I can also edit existing containers, my text containers, my image containers. I can also edit those. So we have very basic drawing tools in here. We've got rectangles ellipse in the polygon tool. And you know we can do basic things in here. This is not a drawing application. I am not going to go in and draw snowman or a wonderful little some are seeing in here. I'm probably gonna do that an illustrator or take a photo and photo shop and bring this in in design. Sole purpose is to go ahead and be able to do layout, so creating artwork inside here is not what it's made for. In the problem with the creating artwork inside here is that we have no way to export that artwork to other applications. So this is not a drawing application, But there are some basic things that we can do with this that can be quite interesting. So we're gonna jump down to our drawing section here. We're gonna show you some over basic containers. Now, one of the things you may notice is we have our rectangle, ellipse and polygon tool. And next to that, we have our rectangle frame tool or lips frame to honor polygon frame tool. What is the difference? Well, for now, there really is no difference because I've said a container is a container is a container on some people say Oh, but you have to have this in order to put an image in. No, you don't going to show you that a container is a container is a container, so I'm just gonna go the with ones that are really easy right here. I draw shape and I can go to my appearance panel, and I can apply a fill to that. I can click on my stroke. That's my border, and I can apply a color, and I can go ahead and apply weight to that border, and I've got a whole bunch of different styles that I can apply to my stroke in my border. Drawing shapes basic things. Now this can also be a text container. If I have a text container and I have text inside it, it's still a container. It's no different than this, other than there's no text in it. If I have a text container, can I fill the whole thing? Sure I can. That doesn't look good, but you know I can do it. Can I apply a stroke to that container? Sure I can. I can put a stroke around that as well. And I can make that a wavy stroke again. I shouldn't. But you can do that because the container is a container is a container. Now, if I want to draw a container, perfect circle or perfect square, basic things Select the container. Hold down your shift key and that's going to constrain and make it a perfect square. Or if I use my lips tool, I could do a perfect circle right there. Easy stuff. I can use my selection tool. I'm gonna go back, use the letter V to get my selection tool to select those and delete those If I would like to draw a shape a certain size. I don't want to draw it and then resize it afterwards. I'm going to click on that shape, click directly on my page here, and it calls up the dialogue box. I put in my values, use my tab key to jump from field to field and then click OK Return and allows me to draw that shape at that size without having to draw that shape. Going over into my properties panel on resetting the size So pretty simple stuff. I also have my polygon tool, which allows me to go in and draw a polygon. I draw that polygon that's like, How do I get the different sides? Well, if I've drawn the polygon, I can change the sides, but I'm gonna take my polygon to on him in a click and not drag. Just simply click. Here is where I can go when I can set the height and I can also go we and and set the number of sides as well. And I've got this thing called star inset. So I'm just gonna do a Pentagon right there. There's my Pentagon. I'm gonna click again with a polygon tool. The star inset is taking the line segments here, the middle of the line segments and pulling them into the center. So if I do a star instead of 50% and there's no preview button here, that's the problem. If I do a star instead of 50% with five sides, that gives me a traditional star. That star inset is pulling the centre sides here in halfway to the middle. All right, now, once I do that and then I draw that shape. That's my new default as they begin to draw the one cool thing within design. If I draw my polygon and I don't like it, I don't have to delete it and redo it. I could go back to my polygon tool double click on the Polygon Tool with it active, and then I can change that right here. The problem is, there's no preview, so I kind of have to guess about what it looks like. It's then going to change the shape so I could dio very basic shapes that I have here. There is no clip, art and design, not a couple people that get disappointed. No clip art you want art. Go to illustrator Goto Photoshopped Goto a stock house by it, No clip art done. You can create basic things, and those are the very basic shapes that we have in here. But we aren't limited to just those shapes being really boring. One of the other things we can do when we draw something with corners is we can adjust our corners here in the properties panel. Now we have five different types of corners. We have none, basically are square corners. And then we have rounded and we have inverse, rounded and then devil. And, of course, and we have fence. Say no, it's not fancy. It's fancy because it's fancy. I mean, come on, you have to say it fancy. You can control the size of those corners were going in and adjusting those like such and get those. Now, if you don't want to do all four of the corners here, click on the corner link in your appearance panel, and this will call up your corner options, which you can also go on your object menu and call up your corner options. Here, click the preview button. If you would like to do one corner independently unlinked the link in the middle here, and then you can go in and you can control those corners separately to get independent corners so you're not limited to just a basic box. You do have corner options here and those air in there and when they're underlined here, these air links to get more options, by the way, on the properties panel so I can get those corner options and do things like that. I could do this on my polygon tool as well. I don't have corner options on a circle. There are no corners on a circle, so going through an editing, those containers could be quite simple. Now, if I want to put text in this container, it's a container. I can simply take my type tool and guess what? Click inside there, and I can put text in there just like that, because, as I said, container is a container is a container, so I don't feel like it's like, Oh, I gotta delete that draw text container. It's just waiting to be a text container just by clicking in there doesn't have to be. But if I wanted to have a colored background. And in my document I would have to go ahead and draw container and then apply a color to it. So very basics about drawing the containers here. We've been able to go in and draw them, draw basic circles and polygons and do the live corners. Now the grid. If I feature who, baby, Here we come. This is cool. I would like to create a series of shapes, lines, whatever. And if I go in on a draw rectangle and like to make a whole set of squares here rectangles, I'm gonna draw one rectangle first. I'm not gonna let go of my mouse. There's times let go. This is not one of those times. Draw the rectangle. Don't let go of the mouse up. Arrow is going to give me Rose. Right? Arrow is going to give me columns. If I hold down my shift key, this will give me perfect squares. And then when I'm done and let go of my mouse and I've just done the gratify feature seriously Now, if I do this with circles, same thing happens. I take my lips tool, draw one large one. Don't let go with mouse up arrow. Right arrow, Hold down the shift key. Scale them multiple shapes. Isn't that awesome? Yeah, it is. We're going to revisit this in a different way because we're gonna apply this grid if I feature, but this is awesome. If you want really quick textures in here or want to do fill colors and stuff, this works. Awesome. Now, with this grid, if I feature there is an awesome thing here and it's kind of hidden inside here. I'm gonna do the polygon to Ottoman Draw star. Now, Same thing if I use my up arrow and right arrows is gonna create a whole bunch of stars for me, and that's awesome. But remember when we were drawing with a polygon tool I could click with the polygon tool and I could go ahead and say, Okay, I wanted this big, but there's no preview right here to see what it looks like. And I draw and it's like, Oh, I don't like that I edit the polygon and I now I don't like this, and I keep changing this, uh, here's what I'm gonna do to draw the polygon tool. And the trick to this is when you draw the polygon tool again. Do not let go of the mouse. I want you to tap the space bar once. It doesn't look like it does anything but it really does. That's the secret little code to get into edit the polygon. I have not let go of my mouse. I tap the space bar once Now I'm going to use my up air out while I'm drawing my polygon adds points down, Arrow takes them away, Right Arrow is going to give me spike your points left arrow is going to go ahead and take the spike Your points away now if I do not tap my space bar when I get in here and I'm just draw my polygon and use my up arrow is just going to get me into the grid If I feature yeah, it will, but if I tap the space bar once while I'm drawing up and down Arrow left and right arrow right there. Not that's cool. Okay, so remember, it's kind of part of the gratify feature. It's kind of hidden. And then we go ahead and show you that Oh, yes, we did. Right there. That's what you dio and it's really quite awesome to be able to go through and do that. Okay, there it is. When drawing a polygon, Don't let go the mouse tap the space bar.

Class Description


  • Navigate the InDesign CC Workspace
  • Create a new document from scratch
  • Create, Add and Edit Text
  • Place images and graphics into your page
  • Apply Color Swatches
  • Add and manipulate pages
  • Save a packaged pdf of your document


Adobe® InDesign® is the go-to software for making layouts that combine images and text. In this beginner’s guide to InDesign basics, Jason walks through the most efficient and simple ways to start and create well-designed layouts for your publishing needs.

Armed with step-by-step video tutorials, you’ll learn how to navigate the InDesign workspace, work with text, add images and play with color. Jason will show you how to build layouts that work and where to save them for your publishing or printing needs.

In Intro to Adobe InDesign, get a quick start to creating eye-catching and professional layouts with ease, whether for mobile apps, print, or digital publishing.


This class is designed for beginners; no prior Adobe InDesign experience is required.


Adobe InDesign CC 2019


An Adobe® Certified Expert and Adobe® Certified Instructor, Jason Hoppe has accrued more than 17 years’ experience in high-end production training, photo retouching, color correction, and creative workflow management. Active in high-end electronic production since the industry’s inception, he’s also taught prepress and electronic design to hundreds of Seattle-based creative professionals and aspiring designers in various settings, including one-on-one tutoring, classroom instruction, live webcasting, and large group training. A founding Instructor at Creative Live, he currently teaches the Adobe® Creative Suite at The School of Visual Concepts, Luminous Works and Seattle Central College.

You can find Jason’s website and blog with Adobe Illustrator tutorials at jasonhoppe.com.


  1. Class Introduction

    Jason orients you to the InDesign interface in this lesson. Learn the essential components of the interface, how to use the properties panel, how to nest panels to work efficiently, navigate pages, access preset workspaces, and save your own custom workspace for future use.

  2. Zooming and Navigation

    Efficient navigation will allow you to hone your InDesign skills: Jason advises on how to best use the zoom tool and teaches you helpful shortcuts in this lesson.

  3. Creating a New Document

    All InDesign projects start with a new document; see the options and presets you have for print, web, or mobile purposes.

  4. Choosing Fonts and Editing Text

    Choosing and manipulating type is the heart of InDesign and essential to any page layout. Jason demonstrates how to choose type, select text, format text, and use the text wrap feature. Learn how to use shortcuts to navigate with ease and efficiency, and increase your type know-how with an overview of formatting type size, lettering, kerning, and tracking. Jason shares valuable advice regarding how and when to format text.

  5. Text Container Options

    How do you create a clean and sharp magazine layout? Effective page design begins with text frames. In this lesson, learn how to create and format text containers, wrap text, add columns, adjust inset spacing, and manage text overflow and text flow. Jason models the power of the text container and shares key shortcuts that will speed up your workflow.

  6. Drawing Lines and Properties Panel

    InDesign may not be the graphic designer’s choice for drawing as it is layout-centered and other Adobe applications offer more drawing options, however, some projects may require simple graphics work within the application. Jason gives you quick tips on how to use the line, pen, and pencil tools, draw lines, and edit strokes.

  7. Transform Containers

    In this lesson, Jason models how to rotate, resize, duplicate, change, and group shapes to create your desired layout. He demonstrates how to use the direct selection tool and how to make edits to an isolated object without ungrouping it other containers.

  8. Create and Apply Color Swatches

    How do you create a library of preferred colors to access across the creative cloud? Jason shows you how to work efficiently with color swatches: using the color swatch panel, creating new colors, and applying and editing colors. Learn how to edit all instances of a specific color in one step.

  9. Working With Images and Artwork

    How do images integrate into an InDesign document? Jason explains the difference between image previewing vs. the original file, and how to avoid and manage missing and broken links. How can you quickly edit an image in Photoshop through InDesign? How can you import text quickly from a Microsoft Word document? Jason gives you tips on how to integrate text and images seamlessly.

  10. Managing Pages and Saving Files

    In this final lesson, learn how to navigate pages using the pages panel and make formats like adjusting page size. Jason explains the different file formats available to you, exporting file formats, and very valuable - packaging your file for editing and publishing purposes.


- Emma -

Love this class! Very well explained, easy and clear instructions. The instructor is cool, knowledgable and fun. Very engaging. Highly recommend to those new to InDesign!

a Creativelive Student

Such a great class to get up and running with InDesign quickly. Straightforward, to the point, easy to follow and understand. Class materials also great reference.