Creating Scrollable Text Frame in InDesign CS6


The Digital Publishing Suite Tips app for Adobe InDesign on the iPad and iPhone is a great app and a great resource, but sometimes their demonstrative graphics and text just don't really cut it. I spent a good part of an hour sitting and deciphering this so I could teach it to my group members, so maybe it's useful to someone else.

So I just have a plain text box with content here, overlaid on top of a rectangle I drew, which has a white background and 80% transparency in this particular example.

Text box over a rectangle

So that the text is not right up against the edge of the frame of the rectangle with the white background which we call the 'container', we can use Command + B or right click and go to Text Frame Options to change the inset spacing, to something like 10px. Since the 'Make all settings the same' chain-like icon is depressed, I only need to type it once.

Changing inset spacing with Text Frame Options

This should leave you with some nice padding around it, to use some web vernacular..

Text box with inset spacing over a rectangle

Resize the text box so it is the same size as the content inside it, exceeding the length of the container frame (white rectangle in this case). There's an easy way to do it in Text Box Options I believe, but I prefer to select the text box and click and drag until the 'little red thing' (that looks like a box with a + sign on it, appearing right-bottom edge of the text box) disappears. Often this extends beyond my working space, so I just zoom out (command + -) until I can see if the box is the right size, and then zoom back in (command + 0 will size to screen).

Text box exceeds container frame

Making sure this text box is selected, go Edit → Paste Into.

Edit, Paste Into from options at menus the top of the screen

Text box should be pasted into the container frame, and not look like it's any longer than the container (though it is). Finally, you can go Folio Overlays (if you can't find it, go Window → Folio Overlays), and choose Scrollable Frame. Then Scroll Direction to 'Vertical' and I prefer 'Use Document Position'.

Folio Overlays, Vertical options from sidebar, or Window and then Folio Overlays

A few times I set the Scroll Direction to 'Horizontal' instead and wondered why I was unable to scroll up and down in my text frame. Rookie mistake!