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Because text is the building block most visual media uses, and is the primary means of communicating information, being able to get your text just right is crucial to creating effective documents. InDesign CS2 makes working with text a cinch, and this chapter will give you the knowledge you need to manipulate text like a pro.
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When I started in advertising around twenty-five years ago, setting type was an involved process. First, the copywriter typed out the text on pieces of paper. The art director or typographer then marked up the page of copy with a red pencil to indicate the typeface, point size, leading, and so on. Then, the copy was sent to a typesetting house where a typesetter retyped the text into a special typesetting machine. The text was printed onto special photographic paper and sent back the next morning. The copywriter then had to proof the text to make sure that there were no errors.

That’s why I am amazed every time I use a program such as InDesign to set text. I don’t type the copy onto a piece of paper; I type right onto my actual layout. I don’t have to send the copy out overnight; it’s right there on my computer screen. And I know that the only mistakes are the ones I make myself!

Creating Text Frames

InDesign holds text in objects called frames. Before you can start typing text, you need to create a text frame. The easiest way to do this is with the Type tool.

To create a text frame with the Type tool:

  1. Click the Type tool in the Toolbox 1.gif.

    050fig01.jpg

  2. Move the cursor to the page. The cursor changes to the Type tool cursor 2.gif.

    050fig02.jpg

  3. Drag diagonally to create the frame 3.gif.

    050fig03.jpg

  4. Release the mouse button. The text frame appears with an insertion point that indicates you can type in the frame.

The Type tool will always create rectangular frames. However, you can use the frame tools to create other geometric shapes such as ellipses and polygons to hold text.

To draw an elliptical frame:

  1. Click the Ellipse tool in the Toolbox 4.gif.

    050fig04.jpg

  2. Drag diagonally to create the ellipse 5.gif.

    050fig05.jpg

  3. Release the mouse button when the ellipse is the correct size.
  4. Click the Type tool inside the frame to convert it to a text frame.

The Polygon tool also lets you draw stars as well as ordinary polygons.

To draw a polygon frame:

  1. Double-click the Polygon tool in the Toolbox 6.gif. This opens the Polygon Settings dialog box 7.gif.

    051fig01.jpg

    051fig02.jpg

  2. Enter a number in the field for the number of sides.
  3. Leave the Star Inset amount as 0%. If you increase the star inset, you create a star. (See the next exercise.)
  4. Drag across the page to create the polygon 8.gif.

    051fig03.jpg

  5. Release the mouse button when the polygon is the correct size.
  6. Click the Type tool inside the frame to convert it to a text frame.

To create a star frame:

  1. Double-click the Polygon tool in the Toolbox to open the Polygon Settings dialog box 7.gif.
  2. Enter a number in the Number of Sides field for the number of outer points.
  3. Enter a value for the Star Inset amount. The greater the amount, the sharper the points will be.
  4. Drag to create the star 8.gif.
  5. Release the mouse button when the star is the correct size.
  6. Click the Type tool inside the frame to convert it to a text frame.

You can also create rectangular frames using the Rectangle tool.

To draw a rectangular frame:

  1. Click the Rectangle tool in the Toolbox 9.gif.

    052fig01.jpg

  2. Drag diagonally to create the rectangle 10.gif.

    052fig02.jpg

  3. Release the mouse button when the rectangle is the correct size.
  4. Click the Type tool inside the frame to convert it to a text frame.

The Ellipse and Rectangle frame tools let you numerically specify the frame size.

To set the size of a frame numerically:

  1. Choose the Ellipse or Rectangle tool from the Toolbox.
  2. Position the cursor where you want to create the frame.
  3. Click. A dialog box appears 11.gif.

    052fig03.jpg

  4. Set the Width and Height of the frame.
  5. Click OK. The frame appears with its upper-left point where you first clicked.

Frames created with the Ellipse, Polygon, and Rectangle tools must be converted to use as text frames.

To convert unassigned frames:

  1. Select the frame you want to convert.
  2. Choose the Type tool and click inside the frame.

    or

    Choose Object > Content > Text. An insertion point appears indicating that you can begin typing.

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