Title trick using InDesign
I have been using Adobe’s InDesign CS4 for a while. This is an essential tool for any serious digital designer working on projects to produce printed or downloadable material. This software is extremely powerful with texts and graphics as well as other objects to be laid on pages in common magazines, books, brochures, etc. InDesign has excellent text manipulation features such as paragraph styles, rotation, text variables, wraps and so on. While I was working on a project with some articles I discovered that the title of the article needs to spread in a single column while the text body below the title flows in two columns (picture 1). InDesign does not do this trick automatically, but with a few keystrokes one can achieve the desired result.
- Add a normal text frame with the title and body text.
- Open the Text Frame Options window and set the number of columns to 2 (picture 2).
- At this point the title is a separate paragraph and is entirely in the left column (picture 3).
- Select the title paragraph excluding the carriage return character at the end of the line and choose Convert Text to Table... from the Table dropdown menu.
- Drag the right edge of the table all the way to the right edge of the text frame across the columns.
- We are now only half the way as the body text in the right column doesn’t automatically wrap under the bottom of the title’s table (picture 4).
- Place the cursor in the first line after the heading and open the Info palette (picture 5).
- Open the Text Frame Options window again and select Baseline Options tab (picture 6).
- Change the first baseline offset to Fixed.
- Look for the Y-value in the Info palette and enter that number as the Min value of the distance from the top of the frame to the baseline of the first line.
Taming InDesign to do the tasks I want is not always so straightforward. I usually need to play around with various features until I get the results required. This easy trick, however, puts the title in its place while the rest of the text flows underneath it. It may not look too professional solution, but gets the work done, anyway.