Adobe InDesign CC – Advanced Training

How To Automatically Place Lots Of Text Onto Multiple Pages In InDesign CC

Daniel Walter Scott || VIDEO: 44 of 74

Download Exercise Files



You need to be a member to view comments.

Join today. Cancel any time.

Sign Up

Hi there, in this video we're going to do some cool stuff where we take a lot on bit of text, and you see, my pages over here, there's nothing. I import it, and voilà, it creates lots of pages for me. Auto flows them without you having to go and do the fun game of linking text boxes. All right, let's go and do that now in this video.

So we're going to flow some really long text into an InDesign document without having to do the painful, linking every text box. So we're going to start with a new document, 'Print', 'Letter'. And we're going to have '2' columns. And that's going to be it, we're going to click 'Create'. So let's bring in our document. Let's go to 'File', 'Place'. And in your '05 Long Documents' grab a long text, either one of those two. Let’s click 'Open'. Now the trick here is that I need to hold down the 'Shift' key because without it I just drag and drag boxes, but then I'm going to click this box and link it to this box, and life is tough.

So all I need to do is, when I'm placing, undo, till it's placed again. Let's hold down the 'Shift' key, and what you'll notice is, can you see the icon changes to the little wiggly line? And what that means is, if I click in the top corner here it's going to go through, match the columns that I have, and see, magically over here I've got a bunch of different pages with all the text flow through it. So that might work for you perfectly. What you might find though is, I can-- I don't want it to flow in through all the text, because if you do this I don't have columns, if I delete this guy, 'New document', 'Print', 'Letter'. Only one column could create. Bring in the text. I'm not sure why I'm going this long way to show you, but I am.

We're here now, hold down 'Shift'. Watch this. Just going to flow like big chunks of text across the page, and that's probably not what you want. So what you can do is, before I place it I'm going to hit 'Esc'. On your Master page, I'm going to double click the 'A-Master'. I'm going to put a couple of boxes on here. I'm going to say, maybe I just want one that is, that size, on this page. And over here, I'm going to copy and paste it. So I've got another version that sits inside here. I'm not sure why I have text boxes sitting down here. Let's just say that I've got some boxes here. It's going to have some Factoids in it. Duplicate it. Now I'm getting off track, but now I've got these guys on the Home page. And what I want to do is link them together.

So with my Black Arrow I'm going to click on this box here. And what you can do is, go to 'View', 'Extras', 'Show Text Threads'. And as long as you're not in that preview mode, with 'W', you can kind of see where they're linked. So once you've done that, go back to 'Page 1'. Now bring in your long text, 'File', 'Place', 'Long Text'. Now hold 'Shift', now click inside this box anywhere. And because you've got them on the Master page you'll notice that all my pages there kind of match what I did on the Master pages and flows through nicely.

One other option you can do with this, this is called Flowable Text. Hold the 'Shift' key down, there's something next we're going to look at, it's called the Primary Text Frame. I'm going to close this down without saving, even though-- it's been ages designing those, the Master pages. Let's go to 'Create new'. This one's going to be specific because we're going to use it later on when we're dealing with something called Books. So we're going to go to 'Print', let's go into the 'US Letter'. We're going to have Columns of '2'. Go to that Gutter at 1/2", it's '0.5'. And we're going to have really big Margins, we're going to have inch all around. And let's click 'Create'.

The first thing I want to do is I'm going to go to my Master page like I did earlier. And I'm going to grab a Text box, and it's going to be-- we're going to have a text box that goes all the way across these two columns. And I'm going to get the columns to match. Remember our shortcuts now, 'Command-Option-7' to change paragraph. We're going to go '2' Columns, with a Gutter of '0.5 inches'. So it should match what I had before. I'm going to grab another copy of it, move it across. Make sure they're linked. Grabbing the Black Arrow, clicking in this box, making those two. And the big difference is going to be something called a Primary Text Frame. So I'm going to click on this first one, and there's this option here that says I want to make you a Primary Text Frame. Nothing really changes, the icon changes. Both of them change because they're connected. And why are they different? Let's have a little look.

Let's go to page 1 and import my text. So, 'File', 'Place', let's bring in my 'Long Text' document. Let's just click on the page here. It gets the Primary Text Frame, you don't have to hit the Shift key. It's not a big advantage, I guess, but it's going to do the same thing. It's going to rechart and grab all the pages I need. And what makes the Primary Text Frame better than maybe just doing the Autoflow Text? It's got something called Smart Text Reflow. Now why that's useful is, let's say some of our Chapter Headings-- I'm going to find a Chapter Heading here, there's one, 'Oak'. It's on-- let's see if it's on page 3. I want any of these Chapter Headings, they need to start on their own page, and have a slightly different layout. So what I'm going to do is create another Master page.

To do it, at the top here, I'm going to say, I would like a 'New Master'. I'm going to call it 'B-Master'. You might have to kind of move this down a little bit, so you can see them all. And on my B-Master, what I'd like to do is I'm going to-- from A-Master, I'm going to copy-- Double click 'A-Master', I'm going to copy the text box that I made. Paste that on B-Master. And what I'd like to do is-- they're going to start on their own page. And they're going to be about half the size. So I want two of them. I want to do two things, I want to link them. I can do it on the A-Master, and I also want to make them a Primary Text Frame. This is where the magic happens. You might just use Autoflow. Often that's what I'm doing, but if you're doing a book you'll see the benefits of this now.

So let's go to 'Page 3', find 'Oak'. So in front of Oak here I'm going to say, you my friend, start on its own page because you are Chapter Header. Where are you? 'Insert Break Character'. You see, it starts on a new page. There he is there. So he's on his own page. But I want it to match the B-Master, I can drag it down but I want it to match exactly what I'm doing with my B-Master. It's easy to do. On page 4, I've got it selected, right click it and say 'Apply Master to Page'. And it's still at 'A', not 'B'. And this is where the magic happens. You can see, it's pulled the text box styling from B-Master and applied it to this. Technically it's called Smart Text Reflow, but really we don't call it that, we just call it the Primary Text Frame, and it means you can create as many Masters as you need. And you can just apply them to different pages and it will try and reflow the text for you.

If you don't use the Primary Text Frame and just use your standard frame, like we did in the first part, it will not reflow it for you. You'll have to kind of cut and paste it and try and get it to link back up, which can be a real hassle. You can see again, say this page, moves on. I can say, you my friend I can apply Master again, and go back to being A-Master, and it reflows the text. One thing you might do whether you're doing Primary Text Frame or just the Autoflow is that it generates pages for you, but it doesn't delete them for you, like Word does. Word has that kind of, like it gets bigger when it needs to, and gets smaller when it needs to.

Let's say that we've kind of got rid of lots of text. I'm going to delete all this. I'm just deleting text. You can see, it just leaves-- that's kind of all pages all by itself. You can make that an option where it deletes empty pages. So you can go to 'InDesign', 'Preferences', go to 'Type'. It's 'Edit', 'Preferences', 'Type' on a PC. And in here there is 'Delete Empty Pages'. It just means that when they start deleting stuff, watch this, it should start deleting pages. There it goes. Deleting all the ones that were empty. Kind of need it together till I get it to check by deleting or adding something. But yes, that is an option that I don't like on by default. So I'm going to go and turn that back off.

Let's go and jump to the next video while I'm doing that. All right, see you then.