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Getting to Know Indesign

Chapter Description

In this sample chapter from Adobe InDesign Classroom in a Book (2020 release), authors Tina DeJarld and Kelly Kordes Anton walk you through the basics of InDesign. You'll learn about the building blocks of an Adobe InDesign layout: objects, text, and graphics.

Adding text

With InDesign, most text is contained by a text frame. (Text can be contained in table cells and flow along paths as well.) You can type text directly into a text frame or import text files from word-processing programs. When importing text files, you can add the text to existing frames or create new frames to contain the text. If text doesn’t fit within a single frame, you can “thread,” or link, multiple text frames.

Typing and styling text

You’re ready to start working on the incomplete postcard. To get started, you’ll edit and style the text under the headline.

  1. Select the Type tool (typetool.jpg) and click immediately after the word “Café.”

  2. Press Backspace (Windows) or Delete (macOS) four times to delete the word “Café.”

  3. Type Bistro in the text frame so the restaurant’s descriptor is changed from “Café & Bar” to “Bistro & Bar.”

  4. With the insertion point still in the text, click three times to select “Bistro & Bar.”

  5. Locate the Character controls of the Properties panel at the right. From the Font Style menu, select Bold.

  6. Choose File > Save to save your work.

Importing and flowing text

In most publishing workflows, writers and editors use word processors. When the text is almost final, they send the files to graphic designers. To complete the postcard, you will import a Microsoft Word file into a text frame at the bottom of the page using the Place command. You will then link the first text frame to the second frame using a process called “threading.”

  1. Using the Selection tool (selectiontool.jpg), click a blank area of the pasteboard to make sure no objects are selected.

  2. Choose File > Place. At the bottom of the Place dialog box, make sure that Show Import Options is not selected.

  3. Navigate to the Lesson02 folder, in the Lessons folder, and double-click the Bistro.docx file.

    The pointer changes to a loaded text icon (placetxt.jpg). You’ll add this text to the text frame in the lower-left quadrant of the postcard. (The text frames are outlined by light blue nonprinting lines.)

  4. Position the loaded text icon in the text frame, and then click.


    The text in the Word file fills the frame, but it doesn’t all fit. A red plus sign (+) in the out port of the frame (in the frame’s lower-right corner) indicates overset text. You will thread the two bottom text frames so the text flows through them.

  5. Using the Selection tool, select the text frame that now contains the text.

  6. Click the out port (+) of the selected frame to display the loaded text icon. Click in the text frame immediately to the right.

    At this point, text is still overset. You will resolve this problem by formatting the text with styles later in this lesson.

  7. Choose File > Save.

4. Working with styles | Next Section Previous Section

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