Learn about positioning Text Frames in this Adobe CS3 Design Workflow training video series.
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Alright. So what am I going to do with these text frames? Well, I want one on each of my pages. So this guy, I want him to sit on page 1, this guy can go down to page 2 and this guy is going to go down to page 3. How am I going to do it? Well, there is a few different ways to do it. I'm going to highlight my second guy, because he is the guy that I'm going to move first. I'm going to zoom out a bunch of times. I'm just hitting Command+Minus(-) or Ctrl+Minus(-) on the PC and by the way, when you zoom all the way out, all of your text changes to gray lines. This is called greeked text if you've ever heard that before, greeked text, and it's just a display thing, that's all it is. InDesign doesn't want to try and render each individual character so it's just going to give me these gray lines.
Now I'm just going to grab my second text box, drag him down beside page 2, I'll take my third text box, and drag him over beside page 3, I'll take my first text box, pull him over to the right hand side of page 1 and there we are. Everything is positioned the way we want and by the way you can see the pasteboard that surrounds all of my pages here in InDesign CS3.
Alright, we're looking good. With that out of the way, I want to show you a couple of other things related to a text box. I'm going to zoom in again on page 1. I'm just going to hit Command+0, remember that trick, or Ctrl+0 if you're running on the PC and I'll pan over just a little bit to the left and grab my first text box and I would like to point your attention towards your Control bar, which is way up at the top of InDesign's interface. There are all kinds of options on the Control bar and we certainly don't have enough time to go through everything, but let me point out a couple of common ones.
First of all, I have my X and Y coordinates. That's the horizontal and vertical positioning of the currently selected object which obviously is my first text box. I can also set the width and height of my text boxes. So for example, maybe I want this guy to be exactly three inches by exactly seven inches. So I'll just tab to the Height field, type in 7, hit Tab again, you an see my text frame on the page updating right away. I can also do such things to scale them and rotate them and shear them on and on and on. I'll leave it up to you to experiment with some of these other options. I just wanted to point out that you can set your width and height and your X and Y using precise numeric values on InDesign's Control bar.
Here is one final thing. I'm going to make sure that my first text box is selected and I'll head up to my Object menu and then I'll go down to Text Frame Options. My Text Frame Options dialog box allows me to throw in all kinds of settings for my selected text frame. For example, you can see here I have Columns, I have Inset Spacing, I have some Justification, a few other little things, but the first thing that I want you to do is turn on your Preview way down in the bottom left hand corner. Most InDesign dialog boxes have a little preview, unfortunately, you have to turn them on manually.
It's kind of a stinker, but, the cool thing is, with the Preview turned on, I can now come up and start popping in options for my text box. For example, maybe I want three columns and because my Preview is turned on, I can see the result of my effects happening live as I'm applying them. I'll go back to just a single column and I'll hit Tab to move forward.
The one thing that I do want to set is my Inset Spacing and if you're not sure what that is, what it is, is the distance between the edge of my text frame and where my text begins inside and with your Preview turned on, if you begin adding in inset, you'll know right away what I'm talking about. You can see it happening directly on my page there. It creates this little gap or this little margin between the edge of my text frame and the actual text itself.
So, I'm going to set that to an eighth of an inch, and an eighth of an inch as a decimal is 0.125. So that's looking good, I'm happy with that, so I'll click on OK.