How to Work with Threaded Text in Adobe Illustrator

Text can continue from one text frame to the next. This tutorial will explain how to link text frames.

  1. Select the Type Tool [ ]. Drag out one text frame, then press Ctrl+Shift+A to Deselect All and create a second text frame. Here they are side by side.
    Text Frames
  2. Insert your text cursor in the first frame, then go to File > Place. In the dialog box, select any text file and check the Replace option. Then click Place and click OK on any Import Options that may open.
  3. If there is more text than will fit, you'll see a red plus sign (+) at the lower right in the frame's Out Port.
    Text Frame
  4. Switch to the Selection Tool and go to View > Outline so that you can see both frames. Select the first frame and then click the Out Port. Go to the upper left edge of the second text frame and click when your cursor displays a link icon [ Link Icon ].
    Two Text Frames
  5. Go back to View > Outline to return to the full-color artwork view.
  6. Notice the line connecting the Out Port of the first frame to the In Port of the second frame. Experiment with making the first frame larger and smaller and watch how the text reflows.
    Resized Text Frame
  7. You can thread as many text frames as you want between multiple artboards, if needed. The text threads view can be toggled on or off by going to View > Show/Hide Text Threads.
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Author: Kate Cahill

Kate Cahill is a graphic designer, writer, and creative director who has developed content for print and web. As creative director, she has produced award-winning work for agencies focused on the pharmaceutical and health and beauty aid industries. She has also served as production manager, with responsibility for the successful fulfillment of long-run print contracts. Kate has been delivering training for Webucator clients since 2010. Her enthusiasm for cutting-edge technology, combined with hands-on practical experience, brings an added benefit to her classes. Kate teaches real-world techniques and integration of Adobe software, as well as Microsoft PowerPoint, to produce a fully developed and cohesive brand identity.

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