InDesign How-To: Link Text Frames Together (Video Tutorial)
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InDesign How-To: Link Text Frames Together (Video Tutorial)

September 10, 2019

Hi, I’m Erica Gamet with InDesign Secrets.
In this video I’m going to show you how to link or thread text frames together
in InDesign. When we want text to continue from one frame to the next in different
places on a page—or across pages—we have to thread them together. We can do this
with text already in the frame or with empty text frames. We can also do it with
existing text or as we’re placing new text into our document. In this example, I
have way too much text in my frame. I can tell there’s more to the story by this
little red plus in the lower right corner. Using the selection tool, I need to click on that plus to pick up the rest of the
text. I can then click and drag out a new frame which will fill as much of the
story as it can giving me the overset text alert if needed. I can also click
inside an existing frame to connect those frames. Before we go on, let’s make
sure we can see how the frames are actually linked. If we head up to the
View menu and choose extras and choose show text threads, we can then click on
any frame and see the flow of text. Here’s where it flows in and here’s
where it flows out. Here’s where it flows in and there’s the overset text ready to
be flowed into a new frame. You can avoid having to click on that red plus every
time. After clicking on the first red +, hold down the Option or the Alt key as
you drag out a new frame or click inside an existing one. This semi auto flow
feature places as much text as possible, then picks up the remaining text for you. If you want to place all of the remaining text at once, you can use Auto
flow. To do that, select your frame, click on
the overset text, then hold down the Shift key and click. This will create a
text frame that fills the page across the margins and will even add pages as
necessary to place all of the remaining text. Even after you’ve threaded text you
can easily add new frames to the thread. I’m going to shorten up this frame just
a little bit so we have some extra room. Click on the out port of the frame you
want to link from, then roll over a new frame you want to add to the thread and
click. OR drag out a brand new frame for the text to flow into. That new frame
becomes part of the thread and the text even continues to flow through the
existing links in the thread. You can do the same thing in reverse by selecting a
frame—such as this one here—and then simply deleting it. The text will reflow
through the remaining links in the thread. Like I said, you can do this with
no existing text (for instance if you’re setting up a template and you just need
placeholder frames). Use all of the same steps to set up your frames, but then
when we place the text it will automatically flow through the thread.
I’m gonna go up to the File menu and choose Place and select a text file and
click open. And then I’m going to roll over the first frame on this page where
I’ve got all of these frames linked together. [I’m] gonna click with the loaded place
cursor in the first frame and the text will flow through the text that I’ve
created. I certainly hope you found this tip
helpful. Be sure to check out InDesign for thousands of InDesign
articles and tutorials and to subscribe to our monthly publication, InDesign
Magazine. And thanks for learning with us!

Only registered users can comment.

  1. Thank you Erica for this helpful instruction, especially the combination with modifier keys! Yet I still miss how I can unlink text frames from each other.

  2. Hello, Erica. Take a look at this:
    Two little scripts that allow us to split stories or thread textFrames based on selection.

  3. I've done this and a blue line linking the frames shows up. However, if I search for text while in the previous set of frames, the search can't find the text in the following set of frames.

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