Link Text Boxes in Adobe InDesign 2021.
In the Adobe InDesign desktop publishing application, if you are working with a long or complex document – or even a single page document with multiple design elements – you will most likely want to link your text boxes. Because the length of text can change in any document, it is important to accommodate these changes so that you do not have to completely redesign the document layout.
Imagine you are posting an article from a magazine. In this walkthrough, we’ll show you how to link text frames so that text flows smoothly from one frame to the next, even if you insert additional text elsewhere in the article. These instructions should work for all versions of Adobe InDesign, including CS5.5, CS6, and InDesign CC, which is part of Adobe Creative Cloud.
Get Your InDesign Vocab Down
The text frame is one of the basic building blocks of InDesign projects. (The terms text frame and text box can be used interchangeably. QuarkXPress users will especially call them text boxes.) Any text you add to a document is in a container called text frame or text box. You can move and resize text frames, and you can change things like the number of columns in a frame or the amount of space between the margins between a text frame and the text within a frame.
Use the Type tool to create a text frame.
(This tool looks like the letter T.) Click and drag across the page to create a text frame. Then use the Selection tool (black arrow) to resize the created text frame by selecting and dragging the square handles at each corner of the frame.
Now think about the layout of your document. You want text to flow from one text frame to another, either in a different section of the document, or on another entire page. When you connect two or more text frames, it is called chaining or linking text frames. A collection of linked or linked text frames is called a story.
Each text frame has an input and output port. You will use these ports to bind text frames. Once you select the text box, you will see a square at each corner of the frame. You can drag these handles with the Selection tool to resize the frame. You will also see slightly larger squares in the upper left and lower right corners. The large square in the upper left corner is the input port. The one at the bottom right is the output port.
If there is a red plus sign on the output port of a text frame, it means that the frame is not large enough to display all of the text in the frame, and you have some overset text.
How to Add a New Text Frame to a Thread
Now that you have the jargon, take a look at the image below. Notice the red plus sign to indicate that text has been overwritten in the frame. Let’s move the extra text in this frame to a new text frame at the bottom of the page.
- Use the Selection tool (black arrow) to select the output port of the overset text frame.
- The text icon will be loaded. (This is also called a text cursor because your cursor will look like a block of text.)
Now click or drag the text icon to an empty area to create a new text frame containing offset text.
If you change your mind after you start linking two text frames, you can always undo this by pressing the Escape key or choosing any other tool from the InDesign toolbar. Do not worry, in this case you will not lose the text.
How to Add an Existing Frame to a Thread
What if you have an existing frame filled with text and want to add it to the thread? In this case, follow these steps.
- Use the Selection tool to select a text frame.
- Then select an input port (to refer to a frame before the selected frame) or an output port (to connect to a frame after the selected frame). The text icon will be loaded.
- Hover the loaded text icon over the frame you want to link to. You will see the loaded text icon change to a thread icon.
- Now click inside the frame you want to link to and drag it to the first frame.
The existing frame is now part of the multithreaded history.
How to Add a New Text Frame to the Middle of a Thread
The process of adding a new text frame to the middle of a series of linked frames is very similar.
- Use the Selection tool to select the frame’s output port in the story where you want to insert the frame.
- Release the mouse button and you will see the loaded text icon. …
- Then either drag to create a new text frame, or select a different frame. This frame will be inserted into a chain of linked frames containing your story.
How to Unthread Text Frames
If you want to break the link between a text frame and all other text frames in the chain that follows it, you can use one of these methods.
An easy way to unpack text frames
Using the Selection tool, double-click an input or output port. Told you it’s easy!
Alternative method for unpacking text frames
Here’s another way to unpack text frames.
- Using the Selection tool, click once on an input or output port that is already associated with another frame.
- You will see the loaded text icon.
- From there, you can hover the loaded text icon to the previous or next frame. You will now see an icon with no thread.
- Finally, click inside the frame that you want to remove from the chain.
How to Delete a Text Frame from a Thread
Let’s say you have three linked text boxes and you want to remove the middle frame.
- Using the Selection tool, select the frame you want to delete. (Hold Shift to select multiple frames.)
- Press Backspace or Delete.
Deleting a frame in a stream will not delete the text that was contained in that frame, because text frames are just containers. Instead, the text flows to the next frame in the chain. If there is no other frame in the chain, you will see an offset icon.
Take Advantage of InDesign’s Features
If you’re new to InDesign, take a moment to learn about its features. Learning about tools such as master pages can help you create documents faster and with fewer errors. You will not regret it.
Link Text Boxes in Adobe InDesign 2021
Link Text Boxes in Adobe InDesign 2021
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