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Adobe InDesign - Understanding Text Frames & Editing Text

This guide will will show you how text operates in InDesign and how to manipulate text frames.


Like graphics frames, text frames can be moved, resized, and changed. The tool used to select a text frame determines the kind of changes that can be made:

  1. Use the Type tool  to enter or edit text in a frame.
  2. Use the Selection tool   for general layout tasks such as positioning and sizing a frame.
  3. Use the Direct Selection  tool to alter a frame’s shape.
  4. Use the Type tool  to create a plain text frame for horizontal text, and the Vertical Type tool  to create a plain text frame for vertical text. Use the same tools to edit existing text in a frame.

Text frames can also be connected to other text frames so that the text in one frame can flow into another frame. Frames that are connected in this way are threaded. Text that flows through one or more threaded frames is called a story. When you place (import) a word-processing file, it comes into your document as a single story, regardless of the number of frames it may occupy.

Move a text frame

  1. Using the Selection tool, drag the frame.
  2. Using the Type tool, hold down Ctrl (Windows) or Command (Mac OS) and drag the frame. When you release the key, the Type tool is still selected.

Resize a text frame

  • Do any of the following:
    1. To resize using the Type tool  , hold down Ctrl (Windows) or Command (Mac OS), and drag any frame handle.
    2. To resize using the Selection tool  , drag any of the frame handles on the frame’s border. Hold down Ctrl (Windows) or Command (Mac OS) to scale the text within the frame.

Add columns to a text frame

Create columns within a text frame by using the Text Frame Options dialog box.
Columns of unequal width cannot be created in a text frame.

  1. Using the Selection tool, select a frame, or using the Type tool, click inside the text frame or select text.
  2. Choose Object > Text Frame Options.
  3. Specify the number of columns, the width of each column, and the spacing between each column (gutter) for the text frame.

Adding and Editing Text


Select text

  1. Using the Type tool, do one of the following:
    1. Drag the cursor over a character, word, or an entire text block to select it.
    2. Double-click a word to select it. Spaces next to the word are not selected.
    3. Triple-click anywhere in a line to select a line.
    4. Quintuple-click to select the entire story, or click anywhere in a story and choose Edit > Select All or Cmd + A (Mac) Control+A (Windows)

If you need further assistance please contact the Information Technology Help Desk at 920-424-3020 or

Keywords:"Move text", "resize text", columns, id,   Doc ID:64361
Owner:Richard L.Group:UW Oshkosh
Created:2016-06-22 12:54 CDTUpdated:2016-12-20 13:01 CDT
Sites:UW Oshkosh
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