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Lesson 4. Publishing a Newsletter > Working with text frames

Working with text frames

InDesign's frames are containers for text and graphics. In the following steps, you will create frames for the text, link the frames together, and fill them with placeholder copy. Both text frames and graphic frames can be moved or otherwise altered to lay out their contents on the page.

Text can be entered in a text frame by importing it from a word processing application, by copying and pasting text from other applications, or by typing directly into the InDesign document. You can edit text directly in InDesign's layout view, or use the built-in Story Editor (Edit > Edit in Story Editor). In the Story Editor window, only the most basic text styling attributes are shown, so that you can concentrate on writing and editing text.

The next step is to set up one text frame in the left column of page 1 for a table of contents, and next to that, a second text frame spanning columns two through four. At the top of the page, leave space for a masthead that will be added later.

A.Masthead height. B. Text frame height. C. Table of contents text frame width. D. Main story text frame width, spanning three columns.

If the Pages palette is not visible, choose Window > Pages to show it. In the Pages palette, double-click the icon for page 1 to open that page in the document window.

Select the Type tool from the toolbox.

Make sure that the Info palette is visible (Window > Info) and that Snap to Guides is turned on (View > Grids & Guides > Snap to Guides).

Move the cursor to the left side of the first column, about one third of the way down from the top of the page. Look at the Info palette, and position the pointer exactly 3 picas from the left edge of the page, and 21 picas from the top.


The measurement units displayed in the Info palette can be changed by Right-clicking / Control-clicking the rulers in the document window (View > Show Rulers), and choosing between Points, Picas, Inches, etc. (12 points = 1 pica, 6 picas = 1 inch).

You can also use guides to help with the positioning of the elements on the page. Guides are easily created by positioning the pointer inside a horizontal or vertical ruler, and then dragging to the desired location on the page.

Click and drag with the pointer to the lower-right corner of column one. (See illustration on next page.)

At this stage the text frame has the width of one column, and an insertion point (the I-beam shaped cursor) will be blinking in the top-left corner of the frame.

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