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Adobe InDesign - Placing and Threading Text

This guide will show you how threading text allows you to efficiently edit text.


Place (import) text

This option creates a link to the placed file. The Links panel can be used to update, relink, or remove links to text files.

  1. Do one of the following:
    • To create a new frame for the placed text, make sure that no insertion point is present and that no text or frames are selected.
    • To add text to an existing frame, use the Type tool  to select text or place the insertion point.
    • To replace the contents of an existing frame, use a selection tool to select the frame.
  2. Choose File > Place.
  3. Select Replace Selected Item if the imported file should replace the contents of a selected frame, to replace selected text, or to be added to the text frame at the insertion point. Deselect this option to flow the imported file into a new frame.
  4. Select Show Import Options, and then double-click the file to import.
  5. Set import options, and then click OK.

Thread text frames

The text in a frame can be independent of other frames, or it can flow between connected frames.

  • To flow text between connected frames (also known as  text boxes), the frames must be connect first.
  • Connected frames can be on the same page or spread, or on another page in the document. The process of connecting text among frames is called threading text. It is also referred to as linking text frames or linking text boxes.
  • A small arrow in in the bottom corner of a frame indicates that the frame is linked to another frame.
  • When the text frame is selected with the Selection Tool, there is a little box in the upper corner of the frame. It's very similar to the one in the lower right corner.
  • Those little squares are called the ports.There's an inport and an outport. All text flows into the inport on the left, and out from the outport on the right.
  • A red plus sign (+) in the corner of the frame indicates that there is more text in the story to be placed but no more text frames in which to place it. This remaining unseen text is called overset text.


                                          Threaded frames

Add a new frame to the thread

  1. Using the Selection tool   , select a text frame, and then click the red (+) symbol indicating there is overset text.
  2. Position the loaded text icon  where the new text frame is to appear, and then click or drag to create a new text frame.

Use Smart Text Reflow

The Smart Text Reflow feature adds or removes pages when typing or editing text. This feature is useful when using InDesign as a text editor and a new page needs to be added whenever more text is typed than can fit on the current page. It’s also useful in avoiding overset text or empty pages for situations in which the text flow changes due to editing text.

  1. Choose Edit > Preferences > Type (Windows) or b (Mac OS).
  2. Select Smart Text Reflow.
  3. Select any of the following options and then click OK.
  4. Change settings to allow pages to be added or removed when working in text frames that aren’t based on master pages. However, a text frame must be threaded to at least one other text frame on a different page for Smart Text Reflow to work.

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

Keywords:"Text frames", "Smart text", reflow, iD   Doc ID:64362
Owner:Richard L.Group:UW Oshkosh
Created:2016-06-22 12:17 CSTUpdated:2016-06-22 12:25 CST
Sites:UW Oshkosh
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