Tagged: text

Viewing overset text in your InDesign document

When you’re entering or placing text in a text frame in your document, InDesign lets you know when you have more text than it is able to display in the frame by adding a tiny red + icon in the lower right corner of the frame indicating overset text. For obvious reasons, you might want to know how much text is overset, but expanding the frame to see how much text is overset is, well, overkill.

Overset Text

InDesign can display exactly what text is overset in a text frame

Instead, you can view exactly what text is overset by simply hitting Command + Y with the text frame selected. This brings up a small window called the Story Editor.

At the bottom, you’ll see a red bar along the side, as well as a gray divider line showing exactly how much text is overset. To save time, you can edit your text right in the Story Editor until it all fits in the frame, if that’s what you choose to do.

Tutorial: Stone-Textured Text

Stone texture tutorial

This simple Photoshop tutorial will help you add a little pop to your text

There are very few tutorials that I come across which I find might actually be useful. Don’t get me wrong, you can learn a lot going through a tutorial even when the end result isn’t very useful in your day-to-day work. This stone textured text tutorial I found at DesignM.ag is one of the few exceptions. In going through the tutorial, I immediately thought of several uses (such as divider pages in long documents. I also loved the flexibility it offers you — you don’t have to follow the tutorial to the letter to get great results.

Spanning your InDesign headline across multiple columns of text

In the past you had to create a separate text container for your headline when you wanted to span it across a multi-column text box in InDesign. This presented problems with accurate spacing, and was a general pain in the behind. Thankfully, Adobe InDesign CS5 makes the process simple.

InDesign column spanning

Headlines look pretty horrible in multi-column text by default

As you can see in the image above, a headline that stays in the multi-column format looks pretty horrible. Most people want to have the headline span across both columns. It’s simple to do, and you don’t need to create a separate text box to do it.

First, select the text you want to span columns, then click the fly-out menu icon in the Paragraphs panel and choose Span Columns… to activate the Span Columns dialog box you see below.

InDesign Span Columns dialog

InDesign's Span Columns dialog box offers you plenty of customization

Simply choose Span Columns from the drop-down menu, choose the number of columns you want the headline to span, and optionally choose how much space before and/or after the spanned text you want.

InDesign's Span Columns results make it easy to work with your text

InDesign's Span Columns results make it easy to work with your text

After you hit OK, your text will span the columns (as seen above), and will easily reflow with any text changes you make to the body text before or after the spanned text.

How to balance text in multiple columns in your InDesign document

One of the cool new features found in Adobe InDesign CS5 is the ability to balance the amount of text appearing in multiple columns.

Unbalanced columns of text

Unbalanced columns of InDesign text

Take the image above for example. Rather than inserting hard returns, using the Enter key to force text to the next column, or adjusting the size of the text container itself, you can simply use the Balance Columns feature. To do so, select the text container to make it active, then go to Object>Text Frame Options… (or hit Command + B). In the dialog box that appears, tick the Balance Columns checkbox. The results are a balanced columns of text, regardless of the text container size as seen in the image below.

Balanced columns of InDesign text

The same text with InDesign's Balance Columns feature applied

The beauty of this feature is that you can add more text later and the text columns will always adjust to stay balanced, as opposed to having to go back manually and remove hard returns or re-adjust the size of the text container.

Centering InDesign text at the top of a circular path explained

A frequent question to Adobe InDesign users looking to center text at the top of a circular path is “for the love of God, why does InDesign move the text to the bottom of the circle (upside down) the second I center the text?”

While every designer on the planet would think that clicking at the top center of the circle with your text tool, typing your text and centering it would result in the text being centered at the point you first clicked; that’s not the way software engineers think. To make sense of why your text gets centered at the bottom of the circle, you must first think of the circle as a straight line – with the top of the circle being the start of the line. So it stands to reason that the middle of the line is the bottom of the circle. See the graphic below if you’re still not getting it.

Text at the top on a circular path

So the simple solution is that if you want to center your text at the top of the circle, you must click the text tool at the bottom of the circle first – which makes the bottom of the circle the start of the line – which makes the top of the circle the center… if that makes no sense to you, then you can forget any chance of a career as a software engineer.

Keys to great typography

When you’re dealing with text-heavy documents such as annual reports, booklets or magazines, properly formatted typography can make the difference between something people want to read now, and something they eventually toss in the trash having only skimmed the headlines. Here are a few tips for making your typography a little more readable. (more…)

Exiting text edit mode when switching tools in Adobe InDesign

Adobe InDesignYou’ve probably done this many times before if you use keyboard shortcuts. You’re editing text and want to switch to the Direct Selection tool by hitting V (the shortcut to switch to the Direct Selection tool), or maybe M (to switch to the Rectange Shape tool) – but wait, you’re in a live text box, so instead of switching tools you end up typing the letter V or M. INCREDIBLY ANNOYING! Thankfully, if you hold the Command key down and click the text box, it deactivates text edit mode so you can safely switch tools with your keyboard.

How to properly resize text in Adobe Illustrator

Yesterday, you resized an Illustrator text frame and the text reflowed, staying the same size. Today, you enlarged an Illustrator text frame and the text grew right along with it. How do you force Illustrator to act the way you want it to? Adobe IllustratorMordy Golding, Illustrator guru and author of several books on Illustrator, often gets questions about scaling text in Illustrator CS, CS2, and CS3. For example, someone scales his text frame only to find that the text within the frame becomes scaled as well. He wants to simply resize the frame, allowing the text within to reflow without changing size. Sometimes it works as he wants it to, while other times, it doesn’t — which leads to frustration and acts of computer violence. Why this seemingly inconsistent behavior? Mordy covers the differences between Illustrator’s two text options: Point Type and Area Type, as well as how to properly scale text in Illustrator in this article at CreativePro.