Understanding text frames

Typically, text in PagePlus goes into text frames, which work equally well as containers for single words, standalone paragraphs, or multipage articles or chapter text. You can also use artistic text for standalone text with special effects, or table text for row-and-column displays.

What’s a text frame?

A text frame is effectively a mini-page, with:

  • Margins and column guides to control text flow.

  • Optional preceding and following frames.

  • Text and optional inline images that flow through the frames.

The text in a frame is called a story.

  • When you move a text frame, its story text moves with it.

  • When you resize a text frame, its story text reflows to the new dimensions.

Frames can be linked so that a single story continues from one frame to another. But text frames can just as easily stand alone. Thus in any publication, you can create text in a single frame, spread a story over several frames, and/or include many independent frame sequences. By placing text frames anywhere, in any order, you can build up newspaper or newsletter style publications with a story flowing from one column to another (below) or even across pages.

Frame 1

Frame 2

PagePlus frames Understanding text frames


Text frames have a range of properties and operations that can be performed on them. Here’s a breakdown of text frame capabilities.



Margins and column guides


Breaks (column, page, and frame)


Resize/move frame


Crop frame


Rotate frame


Frame linking




Export as text


Line attributes


Solid fill and line color


Gradient and bitmap fill








2D/3D Filter Effects


Instant 3D


1 If applied, will export frame as a graphic (Web Publishing mode only).

Creating text frames

You add frames to a page as you would any other object. PagePlus supports a wide variety of frame shapes which can be resized and morphed into new shapes once placed on the page (just like QuickShapes).

To create a frame:

  1. Select a standard or shaped text frame from the PagePlus tbr tools shapedframeflyout Understanding text frames Text Frame flyout on the Tools toolbar.

  1. Click on the page or pasteboard to create a new frame at a default size.
    – or -
    Drag out to place the text frame at your chosen dimensions.

To create a frame (from a shape):

  • You can also draw a shape and select Convert to>Shaped Text Frame on the Tools menu (text is not auto-aligned).
    – or -

  • For QuickShapes, type directly onto the QuickShape to automatically create a shaped frame (text is automatically centered vertically and horizontally). Useful for creating objects for diagrams!

To delete a frame:

  • Select the frame—click its edge until a solid border appears—and then press the Delete key. (If there’s a selection point in the text, pressing Delete will remove characters after the cursor.)
    – or -
    With or without an insertion point, choose
    Delete Object from the Edit menu, or press Ctrl+Delete.

You can select, move, and resize text frames just like other objects. When you select a frame’s bounding box, indicated by a solid border line plus corner and edge handles, you can manage the frame properties; selecting inside a frame created a blinking insertion point in the frame’s text (the frame’s boundary box becomes hatched to indicate editing mode). In this mode, you can edit the text. (For details, see Editing text on the page.)

  • The frame’s handles use the color you’ve assigned to the layer it’s on.

Putting text into a frame

You can put text into a frame using one of the following methods:

WritePlus story editor:

With a selected frame, click PagePlus tbr contexttext writeplus Understanding text frames WritePlus on the Frame context toolbar.
– or -
To start
WritePlus, right-click on a frame and choose Edit Story (shortcut Ctrl+E).

(See Editing text with WritePlus.)

Importing text:

Right-click on a frame and choose Insert Text File… (shortcut Ctrl+T) to import text.

If there’s an insertion point in existing text, the new text appears at that point. If there’s a range of text selected, the new text replaces it. If only the frame is selected, the new text is inserted at the beginning of the story if the frame is empty; if the frame is filled with existing text this will be replaced with the imported text.

(See Importing text from a file.)

Typing into the frame:

Select the Pointer Tool, then click for an insertion point to type text straight into a frame, or edit existing text. (See Editing text on the page.)

Pasting via the Clipboard:

At an insertion point in the text, press Ctrl+V.

Drag and drop:

Select text (e.g. in a word processor file), then drag it onto the PagePlus page.
If you drop onto a selected frame, the text is pasted inline where the insertion point had been placed previously. Otherwise, a new frame is created for the text.

  • Add a footnote or endnote to your text frame by choosing Footnote/Endnote… from the Insert menu.

  • For testing purposes only, when designing your frame layout, use Fill with Placeholder Text on the Insert menu to populate frames with text.

Frame setup and layout

The frame layout controls how text will flow in the frame. The frame can contain multiple columns. When a frame is selected, its column margins appear as dashed gray guide lines if set in Frame Setup. Note that unlike the page margin and row/column guides, which serve as layout guides for placing page elements, the frame column guides actually determine how text flows within each frame. Text won’t flow outside the column margins.

You can drag the column guides or use a dialog to adjust the top and bottom column blinds and the left and right column margins.

PagePlus frames2 Understanding text frames

A – Column margins, B – Column blinds

To edit frame properties directly:

  • Select the frame object, then drag column guide lines to adjust the boundaries of the column.

PagePlus frames1a Understanding text frames

PagePlus frames1b Understanding text frames

PagePlus frames1c Understanding text frames




The illustration above shows how the cursor will change when hovering over the selected bounding box (1), after dragging inwards the column margin can be adjusted (2), and after dragging downwards, the top margin blind can be moved (3).

To edit frame properties using a dialog:

  1. Select the frame and click PagePlus tbr contexttextframe framesetup Understanding text frames Frame Setup on the Frame context toolbar.
    – or -
    Right-click on the frame and choose
    Frame Setup….
    – or -
    Frame Setup… from the Format menu.

  2. From the dialog, you can change the Number of columns, Gutter distance between columns, Left Margin, Right Margin, and enable/disable text wrapping around an object.

  3. To change the column widths and blinds (top and bottom frame margins), click a cell in the table and enter a new value.

  4. If the frame has more than one column, you only need to enter top/bottom values for the first one. Then click the Top and/or Bottom headers to repeat the entries instantly in the cells below.

How a story flows through a sequence of frames

You can have just one frame on its own, or you can have many frames. Frames can be connected in linked sequences so that the story associated with a given frame sequence flows through the first frame on to the next and keeps flowing into frames in the link sequence.

A key difference from a word processor is that PagePlus does not normally add or remove frames according to the amount of text. The text simply flows until the text runs out (and some frames are left empty), or the frames run out (and some text is left over), i.e.

  • If the text runs out before the last frame, you have some empty frames. These frames will be filled with text if you add more text to the story, or if you increase the size of the story text.

  • If there is still more text to go after filling the last frame, PagePlus stores it in an invisible overflow area, remembering that it’s part of the story text. If you later add more frames or reduce the size of text in a frame, the rest of the story text is flowed in.

PagePlus keeps track of multiple linked frame sequences, and lets you flow several stories in the same publication. The Text Manager (accessed via the Tools menu) provides an overview of all stories and lets you choose which one you want to edit.

On text overflow, the frame’s PagePlus linkbtn4 Understanding text frames AutoFlow button can be used to create new frames for the overflowed text. To control how the frame text is spread throughout available frames, you can use Fit Text, Enlarge Text, or Shrink Text. These options scale a story’s text size. See Fitting text to the frames.

Understanding text frames