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InDesign: Using Text
Version: Adobe InDesign 2020. Be aware that different versions of InDesign will vary in appearance and functionality. Full Guide: View/Download
Text is contained within frames, which create a defined space. Text frames can be moved like any other object or element. The Type tool is used to add text. Select the Type tool from the Toolbar to the left and click-and-drag to create a frame. Text can then be typed or pasted into the frame.
If there’s too much text to fit within the frame, it won’t be visible in the frame, although the text is still there. Overflow text is represented by a red box with a plus sign near the bottom-right-edge of the text frame. Adjust the size of the frame or the text format until everything is visible, or see the Linking Frames section for more details.
FormattingWhen text is selected, formatting options will appear in the Options bar to the top of the window. Two formatting modes are available: Character, and Paragraph. Switch between these modes with the buttons to the left in the Options bar.
Character FormattingOptions include standard settings such as font and size. Additional formatting includes:
|Leading(pronounced led-ing) is the space between lines of continuous text. Select a few lines of text and try increasing or decreasing the leading to see what change it makes. Leading can be useful when a block of text needs to fill up a little more less space.||Kerning|
The white space between individual letters. Unless small changes need to be made, “Optical” is recommended.
|Scale (Horizontal & Vertical)Stretch or squash the text in a vertical or horizontal direction. This is useful for changing the shape of a title to fill a certain area.||Tracking|
The white space between each letter in a selected block of text. The default settings are usually fine, tracking can be adjusted to alter the look of a word, such as to fit a title all on one line or to stretch it to fill a large area.
|Fill & Stroke Color|
The internal color of the letter shape. The color that outlines the letter shape. Having an outline on title font can sometimes increase readability.
Paragraph FormattingOptions include alignment, indents, and spacing before and after paragraphs.
Linking Text FramesLinking frames allows text to flow between two or more frames. This feature is especially useful for longer documents that have text spread out over several pages, because words will automatically shift between linked frames; if the design of the document or the frame sizes change, the text automatically moves between linked frames as space becomes available. It allows text to be edited in one continuous chunk, instead of separated in individual text frames throughout the document.
To create a linked text frame:
- Select the Selection tool from the Toolbar. A small red square will be visible at the bottom-right of a text frame with overflow text.
- Click the red plus that’s on the border of the text box. The cursor will become “loaded” with the text.
- Click-and-drag to create a new text frame. The frames will be link together, and the text will automatically wrap into the new frame.
Alternatively, pre-existing text frames can be linked: Click the red square within the first text frame so the cursor is “loaded.” Click anywhere within the second text frame to link them together.
Paragraph StylesThe formatting of text can be saved as a type of preset, known as a Style. Styles are useful for applying the formatting of text from one part of a document to text elsewhere. Instead of needing to highlight and re-configure all formatting manually, such as font and size, a saved Paragraph Style can apply all formatting with one click. Using Paragraph Styles will help keep design consistent across the entire document and save time.
To save a new Paragraph Style:
- Format a section of text as desired (font, size, etc).
- Click the Paragraph Styles panel to the right of the interface. If it isn’t an option, navigate to Window > Paragraph Styles.
- Click the Create New Style icon at the bottom of the panel. A new style named “Paragraph Style 1” will appear in the list.
- Select the new Style.
- Click the name of the Style and enter a new title.
To change the formatting of a Paragraph Style, apply changes to the text as normal. Then, right-click the style in the Paragraph Styles panel and select “Redefine Style”. All text that has that Paragraph Style applied to it will update automatically to match the new formatting.
If the formatting of text with a Paragraph Style is changed, a plus icon will appear next to it in the Paragraph Styles panel. To clear changes and revert back to the original Style, right-click it and select “Apply ___, Clear Overrides”.
See InDesign: Text Wrap and InDesign: Text on a Path or Shape for more details about using text.
- InDesign: Information
- InDesign: Interface Overview
- InDesign: Creating a New Document
- InDesign: Working with Pages
- InDesign: Using Guides
- InDesign: Layering & Object Arrangement
- InDesign: Using Text
- InDesign: Text Wrap
- InDesign: Text on a Path or Shape
- InDesign: Using Images
- InDesign: Drawing Shapes
- InDesign: Applying Color
- InDesign: Applying Gradients
- InDesign: Applying Effects
- InDesign: Errors & Troubleshooting
- InDesign: Saving, Exporting & Transporting Projects