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5.2 How to Make Columns and Link Text Boxes in InDesign

In this lesson, you will learn how to make columns in InDesign. You’ll learn how to link text boxes in InDesign so that the text flows from one text box to another. And you'll discover how to split a text box into two or three columns.

5.2 How to Make Columns and Link Text Boxes in InDesign

Hi there, this video we're gonna look at adding long texts to a document, in our case a brochure, it could be a magazine, it could be an annual report. Okay, in this case the text goes from being over here to here, and it flows. Watch this, if I make this box smaller, you see it flows along there. So linking text boxes, we'll talk about how to create columns as well. That's what we're gonna be working towards in this video. All right, to get started, make sure you're on our spread here, page two. So double-click page two, and make sure the W key's off, so you can see everything. Let us bring in text. Let's go back to our Properties panel, and we can click Import File. It depends what you do with your text. A lot of people just copy and paste, they'll draw a text box, and just paste it out of an email, or out of a Word doc. We've got ours sitting in a nice little file. So I'll show you this way while we're here. So I had nothing selected import file, and we're going to use text one, but a copy, click open and the text becomes loaded. So this kind of saves time. I don't have to draw a text box and then paste it into it. What I'm going to do is you can see it's kind of it's the same as the image before I can click hold. Drag our box, draw it nice and big. Don't worry about matching the size, just get it somewhere like that. That brings in my text, okay? Now what happens with text is like it did earlier on in the course, that little red box, I'm always as a designer in InDesign, always keeping an eye out for that box. That's a danger box. It means I've lost some text, it means that's overset and there's more down here. I can tell by dragging it down. There is a layer. I know that's enough two pages. So I'm gonna show you how to link to text boxes. So just kinda resize it so it's roughly the same size as mine, it doesn't have to be perfect, something like that. Now to connect this page to this page. What you do is, with your black arrow, so your Selection tool, click this little red plus button, just click it once. Just click it once, okay? And your cursor becomes loaded. If it goes horribly wrong, just hit the Escape key. As you're like, I didn't know what I was doing, I'm lost. Hit Escape key, delete any random text boxes you might have. You might delete everything and start again. Don't be afraid to do that when you're new, okay? But let's say I click it once, I've got this thing. What I can do is move across here a little bit, okay? And click and drag another box. Cool? And those two boxes are linked. So go back to this first box and shrink it down, so I clicked the ones, grab the bottom one, drag it up you can see it spills over into this other box. They're always connected. You keep connecting by clicking on this, I've made it small enough so that this box has become overset. Remember the red plus. Click it once again and I can either make another column, or I can undo that and I can just move down to the next page and paste it down here, so all three boxes are linked. If I adjust this box. I'll just do it here, can you see? It spills over to that one. All right. I'm going to undo, don't look back. A couple of things you'll have questions about, is that if I delete this box, what happens to the text. If I had delete to that's on my keyboard, it actually just flows back into here. It doesn't actually delete. Same thing if I delete this first box, look what happens. So it starts with New Zealand, you can see it just pushes over to the next box. So, unless you delete all the boxes, okay, it should all hang around. So I'm gonna undo because I kinda wanna start with this. So if I want two columns because my example here, right, has, where is it? This is where we're gonna end up, okay? Is we're gonna have a first box of text, okay and then we're going to have these two and I could draw one box and link it like we have and then link a second box. I'm gonna show you especially if your doing a long document so an annual report might have like 50 pages or 100 pages or some sort of documentation. Okay you don't want to be drawing two text boxes you just want split this one in half. And I wanna show you both of these. So what we gonna do is this fellow here. I'm gonna make sure it is lined up here, not too worried about the height, but I want it lined up with the edge of this okay, our margin and I want this side to line up with the other side of the margin. So it's like a full width. What you can do is black arrow width is selected, you'll notice over here there's options for the text frame. You can see it's just one column, click on that, it becomes two columns. Cool? This next one here, we can adjust the space between. It's called the gutter. You can just it's the space opening up in between this. So you might have a document that actually is just this, you're linking the two pages together. Okay, so you link this page to this page to the next page to the next page, you really long, text-heavy document columns is just a handy little trick rather than linking two separate text boxes. I'm gonna undo cuz that's kind of where I want. All right, before we go and I'm just kind of make it look a little bit nicer. So, what I want is you can skip now we're not doing anymore linking text boxes. Just going to get a little bit closer to this design here. So I want this kind of big rectangle here on the left, okay, and it is exactly one third of the document. So we're going to use our handy math tricks. So, I'm gonna grab the rectangle tool and I'll zoom out, and I'm gonna draw this fella. Bring it to the height, so it goes all the way into the bleeds and don't mind which color it is even though I'm gonna pick a color. But it's gonna be in the image later on. Okay, what I want to do is make sure it's exactly one third. How do I do that? It's I go through and I make it this width. Then I go into width, I go divide by three. Hit return, and that is a third, plus a little bit of bleed. [INAUDIBLE] But here you go. Got my third, this fella here is going to same height, but just a little bit wider. I'm going to try and use the same sort of margin size of the slide. Hit W. How's it looking? Now I'll remember our command zero. Okay, does the full page I like to see full spread. So it's a bit of a hard shortcut either all the time. In this case, it's command+Option+0, okay. If you're on a PC, it's Control+Option+0. Okay. Just to get the whole spread in the middle. Don't worry too much about we've got this kind of missing chunk over here. We're gonna adjust the font size a little bit and we'll end up filling up this gap. Or if you don't even have one we might just shrink these guys down, you'll notice I can shrink them down, you see those cool smart guides that line, you see the green things over there, I can't really point to it but you can see there they line up nicely on the top. All right, it's enough for this video, let's jump into the next one where we start looking at something called paragraph styles, super helpful for longer text, I'll see you there.

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