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Turning on Primary Text Frame for an existing document

New Here ,
May 31, 2020

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I'm creating my first document. When I set it up I didn't understand what "Primary Text Frame" was so I didn't select it. Now I realize that I really want to use it but the option is greyed out. Is there a way to turn this on for an existing document?

Correct answer by Frans_van_der_Geest__ACP_ | Adobe Community Professional

Go to the Master Page(s);

Draw the desired text frames where you want then;

Connect frames from the left page to the right page (click outport on the right below on the frame in the left page, (think like the red plus sign for overflow), click on the Text frame(s) on the right page:;

Now go to the Text frame on the left page and click once on the little page icon that sits in the upper left corner of the Text frame, that way you have converted the Text frame (and all those you 'connected') to a Primary Text frame;

Re-apply the Master page(s) to the correct Document Pages(!), best is if those are empty and not yet filled with text, otherwise you end up with double Text frames...

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Turning on Primary Text Frame for an existing document

New Here ,
May 31, 2020

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I'm creating my first document. When I set it up I didn't understand what "Primary Text Frame" was so I didn't select it. Now I realize that I really want to use it but the option is greyed out. Is there a way to turn this on for an existing document?

Correct answer by Frans_van_der_Geest__ACP_ | Adobe Community Professional

Go to the Master Page(s);

Draw the desired text frames where you want then;

Connect frames from the left page to the right page (click outport on the right below on the frame in the left page, (think like the red plus sign for overflow), click on the Text frame(s) on the right page:;

Now go to the Text frame on the left page and click once on the little page icon that sits in the upper left corner of the Text frame, that way you have converted the Text frame (and all those you 'connected') to a Primary Text frame;

Re-apply the Master page(s) to the correct Document Pages(!), best is if those are empty and not yet filled with text, otherwise you end up with double Text frames...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 31, 2020

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Go to the Master Page(s);

Draw the desired text frames where you want then;

Connect frames from the left page to the right page (click outport on the right below on the frame in the left page, (think like the red plus sign for overflow), click on the Text frame(s) on the right page:;

Now go to the Text frame on the left page and click once on the little page icon that sits in the upper left corner of the Text frame, that way you have converted the Text frame (and all those you 'connected') to a Primary Text frame;

Re-apply the Master page(s) to the correct Document Pages(!), best is if those are empty and not yet filled with text, otherwise you end up with double Text frames...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 31, 2020

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Not practially, and at this point I'd suggest you probably don't need it.

 

If you're placing a bunch of text into an InDesign document, just hold down the Shift key when you first click the place gun inside the margins and you'll get most all the benefits of using a primary text frame without, well, using primary text frames.

 

Placing text with the Shift key will fill the entire area inside the margins, even within preset columns, until it completely fills the area. Then, if overset makes it necessary, will automatically create the next page and fill the entire area between the margins, even within preset columns, of that next page. It'll keep repeating that process until there's no extra text to place.

 

Hope this helps,

 

Randy

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 31, 2020

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The question was not about placing text, it was specificaly about how to 'turn on' Primar Text Frames when that option is greyed out. 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 31, 2020

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I understand. That's why I first said I believed it wasn't practical to do so.

 

The rationale that followed was an effort to help the original poster with the issue, after identifying the practical answer was no. And I appreciate how you explained that was technically possible, as well as illustrated the point that the process was extensive enough, with added complications, to consider whether it was worth it.

 

Hope this explains things more clearly,

 

Randy

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 31, 2020

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I'm creating my first document. 

The main reason to use primary frames is because you anticipate changing the paper size or margins after the document has already been laid out. The use of primary frames makes that kind of an adjustment really easy. Primary frames will also have smart text reflow enabled, so that InDesign will add remove pages for you at the end of the document. 

 

If you just go with Randy's approach—which is to auto-flow the text onto the body pages and forgo trying to backtrack and add the primary frames to the master pages—you can still adjust the paper size and margins if you need to, by enabling adjust layout. You can also easily add and remove pages using the Pages panel.

 

Personally, I think primary frames are great, but I would only backtrack to add them if you aren't too far into your layout.

 

~Barb

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