Karolo Design

Digital Design & Branding

Automatically expand text boxes in Indesign to remove overset text

Automatically expand text boxes in Indesign to remove overset text

After years of designing product catalogues you tend to pick up a few tips and tricks along the way to increase your speed. Here’s a handy one we thought might save you some time resizing text boxes.

Indesign is a great layout tool and one I couldn’t be without, but understandably it does have a few annoyances that after the 1000th time of changing, tend to get on your nerves. Manually having to extend text boxes to accommodate for overset text from Data Merged products is one of them!

Overset Icon Hate this icon? It used to be the bane of my life come catalogue time.

However there is a great plug-in called Typefi Autofit, that allows an InDesign text box to automatically expand with the content that is typed/pasted in. Believe me, on a 500 page catalogue this will save you hours! In effect the plug-in gives the selected text box a ‘soft bottom’ enabling it to grow. Not only that, you can also set it up so two text boxes have a relationship, so when one grows the other moves, maintaining the space between text boxes and saving loads of time adjusting layouts.

Download & install Typefi Autofit plugin

Click here to visit http://www.typefi.com, register your details (free) and download Typefi Autofit.

  • Close Adobe InDesign if you have it open.
  • Copy the Typefi folder into the Plug-Ins directory of your InDesign application.
    Example: C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe InDesign CS5\Plug-Ins
  • Open Adobe InDesign

How to set your indesign text boxes to automatically expand

Typefi Autofit

  • Go to Window > Typefit > Autofit.
  • Select the text box you wish to apply the auto fit to.
  • You can hover over each of the icons to see what each option does, but basically the top options allow you to set minimum and maximum dimensions to your text boxes.
  • Click the drop down at the bottom of the panel and choose where you want the text box to resize from. Just in case...'Resize from Bottom' means that the text box will get longer with the top remaining in the same position.
  • That's it! You can now add in more text and the text box will grow automatically.

How to create a positional relationship between Indesign text boxes

This is not to be confused with linking text boxes (so text flows from one to the other), this tip will allow you to create a relationship between the positions of text boxes - so when one grows using the autofit tools above, the other moves with it.

  • Select the Typify Autofit Tool: Typefi Autofill Tool
  • Click on the bottom line of you text box. You will see a plus and black downward facing arrow (represented in yellow below). If clicked successfully the arrow will turn white.
    Text box example 1
  • Now click on top line of the text box below
    Text box example 2
  • The two text boxes will now be linked, signified by a dotted line between them. Now if you add text to text box 1, the box will grow and text box 2 will move down.
    Text box example result


Mark Stevenson - Creative Director

Mark Stevenson - Creative Director

Mark is a co-founder of Karolo, and provides the creative direction behind the business. Spending his time working directly with clients and the Karolo team, Marks passion revolves around producing creative solutions for web and print.

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