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Text Length in InDesign
May 11, 2010 11:38 AM   Subscribe

This seems like it should be simple, but I'm not sure how to search for it: after placing images into an InDesign file, the text flows around it, but it isn't automatically extending the pages at the end of the document to make up for it. How do I do this?

The text is currently just cutting off where the document ended based on placing the text to begin with. Adding images is necessarily making the text longer, but InDesign isn't making the document any longer to accommodate the extra space.
posted by interrobang to Media & Arts (19 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
I think InDesign will only add pages when you're actively flowing copy. That is, merely placing images that push text down won't do it. If you shift-click the last, overset text frame and link it to a new page, new frame it should start the flowing process again and add pages.

This is managed by the "Smart Text Reflow" option in the Type section of the preferences dialog. Depending on how your file is set up, unclicking the "Limit to Master Text Frames" may help.
posted by wemayfreeze at 11:59 AM on May 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Here is a tutorial
posted by abirae at 12:00 PM on May 11, 2010


This is managed by the "Smart Text Reflow" option in the Type section of the preferences dialog. Depending on how your file is set up, unclicking the "Limit to Master Text Frames" may help.

I don't seem to have that in my preferences. Is it a CS4 thing? And why wouldn't it automatically generate new pages? This makes absolutely no sense to me.
posted by interrobang at 12:31 PM on May 11, 2010


And why wouldn't it automatically generate new pages?

Ugh. Because it's InDesign. There are so many frustrating things about InDesign that could be so much better.
posted by amanda at 12:33 PM on May 11, 2010


OK, maybe I just needed to learn how to add pages, then place the remaining text onto them?
posted by interrobang at 12:38 PM on May 11, 2010


But, really, it is a layout program not a document writing program like Word. So, it wants to know where you want the text to flow and what size of a box you want -- multiple column layout? funny shapes? Whatever. If it just made twenty pages for oversized text document then you'd probably need to flow that into other kinds of text boxes. It just tells you to do that as you go. It would be nice to have a setting that you could switch on and off to make pages.

Here's a fun tip when working with a lot of text -- use apple+Y or Edit > Edit in Story Editor to get a nice text-only workspace.
posted by amanda at 12:39 PM on May 11, 2010


Remember, InDesign gives you the control over page layout. It's like the opposite of MS Office...if it hits the end of the available text box, it's not going to just make more where it thinks they go. (Unless you are flowing text as described above.)

I usually add a bunch of pages to the end, then delete the ones that don't get used.
posted by JoanArkham at 12:45 PM on May 11, 2010


I think I'll try that, but how do you delete a page?
posted by interrobang at 12:47 PM on May 11, 2010


The text is currently just cutting off where the document ended

And why wouldn't it automatically generate new pages? This makes absolutely no sense to me.

Because it's assuming that the end of the document is actually the end of the document. If Indesign started adding pages to documents just because text reflowed, you'd hear screaming from around the world from various designers and layout people. A lot of them work with fixed numbers of pages and would hate a feature that allowed Indesign to just at pages at will.

Documents often have multiple master pages, so then the question becomes what one of those master pages do you want to use? See how that can get confusing?

You can use the story editor as amanda says or do what I do and draw a text box off to the side and let the text flow there to give you a rough visual of how much text is overflowing.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:48 PM on May 11, 2010


Deleting a page: Menu>Layout>Pages>Delete Spread or right click on a page in the Pages palette and choose Delete.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:50 PM on May 11, 2010


To delete pages: in the "Pages" palette (um, I think they call them something else now but I can't remember what) just highlight the extra pages by clicking on them and hit "delete" or drag to the trashcan. I suggest saving first so you can "revert" if that makes your pageflow all wonky.

I will now bow out, as I am a mostly self-taught dilettante here.
posted by JoanArkham at 12:52 PM on May 11, 2010


Good answers above, but in a little more detail for a non-expert user (like myself): one way to flow text across new pages is to create one new blank page, and from the original page, click on the red + at the bottom of the overset text box, which will 'load up' your cursor with the balance of the story. Click at the top of the margins in the blank page, with the shift key down, and it will flow the extra text across a newly-created textbox matching the margins of the page, and create as many blank pages as you need, all with the same layout.
posted by Eldritch at 12:59 PM on May 11, 2010


And why wouldn't it automatically generate new pages? This makes absolutely no sense to me.

Suppose you are making a magazine or a catalog. You know in advance that it will be exactly 144 pages, because that is the size that maximizes your return on investment. You also know that the feature article will be 6 pages, because features are always 6 pages, and the writer has been instructed to provide X words because you know you get Y words per page, and X is 6 times Y. You also know what pages the feature will be on, because the feature article is always on those pages. The text boxes for the feature article already exist too. In fact you are simply using the same blank InDesign template you always use, which has the text boxes for the feature article on the six pages where it always goes.

If you paste the writer's text into the feature article's text boxes and it doesn't quite fit, do you want InDesign to add another page? No, because the page after the feature article can't move. Something else goes there, probably an ad related to the feature. Instead, what you want to do is adjust the leading and the tracking, make the illustrations and photos a little smaller, until the text fits the space allocated for it. Maybe you even have to delete a paragraph or two.

That's what InDesign is for. You are using it for something other than what it's designed for. A sign of this is that you're putting the images in after the text, instead of the other way around. So naturally there will be some friction. What you actually want is a program like Adobe FrameMaker, which works the way you'd expect when text overflows, creating new pages as necessary.
posted by kindall at 1:08 PM on May 11, 2010


All right, thanks, everyone! Between all these answers, I think I have it figured out, mostly.
posted by interrobang at 1:27 PM on May 11, 2010


hold down the shift key when you flow more text and it will automatically add new pages. when you hold down the shift key, the icon will change and have a flow symbol in it.
posted by elle.jeezy at 8:19 PM on May 11, 2010


+1 for the comments that Indesign is for layout, not for authoring. I've spent the last few months of my life copying and pasting from Word to Indesign because the powers that be think Indesign is the bees knees for technical documents.

Hey, it's a professional publishing program, so the documentation *must* be good!
posted by flutable at 1:50 AM on May 12, 2010


Pssst...I know I said I'd bow out but...you don't want to copy-and-paste you want to import.
posted by JoanArkham at 5:54 AM on May 12, 2010


Yeah, I know that. I think the important lesson for me here is to make a bunch of pages, place the text, and then delete excess pages. I'm not writing in InDesign or anything, the articles are all by different people and are different lengths.
posted by interrobang at 7:39 AM on May 12, 2010


Whoops, I mean, "make a bunch of pages, place the images, then place the text, then delete the excess". I don't have a page limit for the thing, so I didn't appreciate any feature that took that into account.
posted by interrobang at 7:40 AM on May 12, 2010


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