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Chapter 3. Text > Creating Text Frames

Creating Text Frames

Before you can add text to your InDesign publication, you’ve got to have something to put it in: a text frame. To create a text frame, you can use any of the following methods.

  • Draw a frame using one of the frame drawing tools (the Rectangular Frame, Oval Frame, or Polygonal Frame tools). QuarkXPress users may think these tools only make “picture boxes” because they have an “X” in them. Not so, they’re just generic frames. To convert the frame to a text frame, choose Text from the Content submenu of the Object menu, or click inside the frame using the Text tool (see Figure 3-2).

    Figure 3-2. Converting a Graphic Frame to a Text Frame

    Select a frame drawing tool.

    Drag the tool to draw a frame.

    InDesign sets the content type of the new frame to “Graphic.”

    ...select Text from the Content submenu of the Object menu.

    InDesign converts the graphic frame to a text frame.


  • Draw a frame using the Rectangle, Oval, or Polygon tools, and then convert it to a text frame by choosing Text from the Content submenu of the Object menu (or click the Text tool inside the frame; see Figure 3-3). Remember that the only difference between these tools and the frame tools is that these tools create shapes (usually with stroked borders). Use the frame tools when you know a frame will contain pictures or text.

    Figure 3-3. Converting a Basic Shape to a Text Frame

    Draw a path. InDesign creates a frame with a content type of “Unassigned.”

    Click the Text tool inside the frame...


  • Click the Text tool inside any empty frame. If the frame is an empty graphic frame, clicking it with the Text tool converts it to a text frame (see Figure 3-4).

    Figure 3-4. Click a Frame with the Text Tool

    You’ve probably figured this out already, given the previous illustrations, but what the heck. Position the Text tool over any empty frame (the frame does not have to be selected).

    Click the Text tool inside the frame. InDesign converts the frame to a text frame.

    Enter or place text.


  • Drag the Text tool to create a frame whose height and width are defined by the area you specified by dragging (see Figure 3-5).

    Figure 3-5. Drag the Text Tool

    Drag the Text tool.

    InDesign creates a text frame that’s the width and height you specified by dragging.


  • Drag a text place icon. The text place icon appears whenever you import a text file, or when you click the in port or out port of a text frame (see Figure 3-6). For more on text place icons, and the in port and out port of a text frame, see “Importing Text” later in this chapter.

    Figure 3-6. Drag a Text Place Icon

    Drag the text place icon...

    ...to create a text frame that’s the width and height you specified by dragging.


  • Deselect all (Command-Shift-A/Ctrl-Shift-A) and then paste text into the publication (or drag it out of another application and drop it into the publication, which accomplishes the same thing). InDesign creates a text frame containing the text (see Figure 3-7).

    Figure 3-7. Paste Text

    Copy text out of another application...

    ...and paste it into InDesign.


  • Drag a text file (or series of text files) out of your operating system’s file browser (the Finder on the Macintosh, or the Windows Explorer in Windows) and drop it into an InDesign publication (see Figure 3-8).

    Figure 3-8. Drag and Drop Text Files

    Drag a text file (or files) out of a Finder window (on the Mac OS) or Explorer window (in Windows) into the InDesign publication window.

    Drop the file. InDesign places the file in your publication.



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