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Chapter 1. The Basics > The QuarkXPress building blocks

The QuarkXPress building blocks

  • To place text on a page, you must type or import text into a rectangular or irregularly shaped text box or along the edge of a Bézier text path .

    A text box with a frame


    Text on a path


    Similarly, to place a picture on a page, you must first create a container for it, whether it's a simple rectangular or intricate Bézier picture box. Then you can import a picture into it. If you want the border of a text or picture box to print, you must apply a frame to it .

    A picture in a picture box (with a delicate .5-point frame)


    A picture in a box without a frame


    Lines can be straight or curved and function as decorative elements. Tables hold a checkerboard of cells, which can contain text or pictures.

  • A text box, text path, picture box, table, or line is called an item. The picture or text a box contains is called its contents.

    A picture or text box can also be rendered contentless, after which it functions strictly as a colored shape.

  • Tool selection appears as a step in most of the instructions in this book. To create an item, for example, you'll use an item creation tool, such as the Line tool or the Rectangle Text Box tool.

    To move a whole item or a group of items across a page, you'll use the Item tool , since you'll be working with the overall container.

    The two workhorse tools


    To copy/paste, delete, or restyle text or a picture after it's input or imported, you'll use the Content tool, since you'll be working with the contents of, not the outside of, the container.

    For some tasks the Item and Content tools are interchangeable. For example, the Content tool can be used to reshape or resize items, or to select multiple items, and the Item tool can be used to import a picture.

  • An item or its contents must be selected before either one can be modified .

    A picture box that isn't selected


    Eight handles display when a box is selected.


  • The readouts on the Measurements palette vary depending on which tool and which kind of item are selected. The left side of the palette displays information pertaining to an item—a picture box, text box, text path, table, or line—if that item and the Item or Content tool are selected (, next page). Item information includes dimensions and location on the page.

    The Measurements palette when the Item tool and a text box are selected


    If an item is selected with the Content tool, the right side of the Measurements palette displays content information about that item (e.g., picture size, font, type style) (, next page). If a line and the Item or Content tool are selected, the right side of the Measurements palette displays line style and width information. The palette is blank when no items are selected (, next page).

    The Measurements palette when the Content tool and text are selected


    The Measurements palette is blank when no items are selected. Select an item to make the palette light up.



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