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Using the InDesign Story Editor

by Ron Kurtus (revised 1 November 2015)

Although you typically enter text and edit your documents in the layout view, InDesign also has a Story Editor feature that allows the entire story to appear without layout or formatting distractions. A story is an individual text frame or set of threaded text frames within a document.

Questions you may have include:

This lesson will answer those questions.



Advantages of using Story Editor

If you have a document of several facing pages, it is often inconvenient to go through the material, flipping from left to right. Likewise, editing can be awkward when you have columns or wrap-around images.

The story editor displays the story in one page, similar to a word processor. There is no formatting, but the left column does indicate the paragraph styles. Hidden characters are more visible in the Story Editor, allowing you to readily make changes.

However, you can't edit text in table cells in the Story Editor.

Some features

Two major features of the Story Editor are being able to deal with overset text and identifying attributes or invisible markings.

Overset text

Overset text is having more text than will fit in a text box, where you need to thread the text to another text box.

You can edit overset text or write copy to fit. The Overset Text Indicator in the Story Editor shows where text is flowing out of the last text box. However, unlike in layout view, you can still see and edit the text that is overset. This makes editing copy to fit much easier than in layout view.

Attributes

Attributes or invisible items show up more clearly in the story editor view. Several have icons that help identify them:

Icons show attributes in Story Editor

Icons show attributes in Story Editor

Use Story Editor

You can easily open the Story Editor and use it when convenient.

Open the Story Editor for a document by clicking on a text frame or interest and selecting Edit > Edit with Story Editor or typing Ctrl-y. (You can remember this short-cut by associating y with story.) You can also toggle between story editor view and layout view with Ctrl-y.

If you want to change the Story Editor preferences from the default, select Edit > Preferences > Story Editor display... to set your preferences, such as font and text size.

Summary

Although you typically enter text and edit your documents in the layout view, InDesign also has a Story Editor feature that allows the entire story to appear without layout or formatting distractions. A story is an individual text frame or set of threaded text frames within a document.


Make your work easier


Resources and references

Ron Kurtus' Credentials

Websites

How to Use the InDesign CS5 Story Editor - InDesign for Dummies

Editing Text - Use the Story Editor - Adobe InDesign Help

Don't Overlook InDesign's Story Editor

Hidden Gems: The Story Editor - InDesign Secrets

InDesign Resources

Books

Top-rated books on InDesign


Questions and comments

Do you have any questions, comments, or opinions on this subject? If so, send an email with your feedback. I will try to get back to you as soon as possible.


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