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What we are going to do now is that a couple of elements to the left hand side of our spread so I am just going to scroll over here for a second. This middle column we see here on the layout is actually going to be the Introduction to the Museum. So we are going to create a colored band in here which will be transparent over a background image and then use the central column here to drop some typing. Now when it comes to creating texts or standard graphic elements in InDesign, it has got some very interesting tools and ways of approaching it. You come up here to the Tools palette. The main tools we would access at this particular point will either be the Type tool here, the standard Rectangle tool or what they call the Rectangle Frame tool. Now this thus is confusing when you use this to the program as well. Why should we have a standard rectangular tool when we have what looks to be another rectangular tool which just has a cross to it? Well, effectively, a rectangular frame tool is like the image frame tool inside of QuarkXpress. So for those people coming in across from Quark, this is instantly recognizable. The good thing about InDesign actually is that it does not really care. Whatever you create can be turned into a text frame, a graphic frame or an image frame, depending on whether you click on it or place something directly into it.
So just to highlight this, let us say we select the standard Rectangle tool at this point and simply click and drag anywhere in the document just to draw a shape. At this point, I want to go back to the main selection tool and everything we have done so far is simply to go back and select it. There are keyboard shortcuts for most of these tools. The one that we will use very often is to hit the V key on the keyboard to jump you straight back to the main selection tool. So anytime we need to do that, just go ahead and hit the V key. Now we have drawn here a graphic frame. What we can do is if we go up to the Object menu here and come down to the content option and you can see it actually says, “this object is unassigned”. So it does not really know yet whether it is going to be a text frame or an image frame although we could go across and choose either of those if we wanted to assign it now. But let us say we wanted to turn this into a text frame, what we would have to actually do is get the type tool, hover it over the text frame as if you move it above, the cursor becomes sort of square which suggest this would draw a new text frame. But if you hover it over an existing shape, it becomes rounded. As soon as you click that, this has now turned as unassigned frame into a text frame. Go ahead and just type in a few characters there, you could see that they are applied inside the object.
Now, likewise, if we go back to the selection tool for a second, hit the delete key to remove that. this time, select the rectangle frame tool once again, just draw another shape. you could still, even though this visually shows us it is an image frame, go to the type tool, click back again, over the top of it, InDesign immediately converts that back into a text frame. So again, InDesign has this wonderful attitude towards whatever you create; it will happily convert it to another object, simply by clicking on it with the title.
Now, when it comes to placing elements that is very important as well because we could draw a text frame and have nothing in it and choose to place an image and it will turn it into an image frame. But we will get onto that in a short while.