6 Editing Text

Lesson Overview

In this lesson, you’ll learn how to do the following:

  • Sync fonts from Typekit.

  • Handle a missing font.

  • Enter and import text.

  • Find and change text and formatting.

  • Check the spelling in a document.

  • Edit a spelling dictionary.

  • Automatically correct misspelled words.

  • Use the Story Editor.

  • Move text by dragging and dropping.

  • Track changes.


This lesson will take about 60 minutes to complete.

Please log in to your account on peachpit.com to download the lesson files for this chapter, or go to the “Getting Started” section at the beginning of this book and follow the instructions under “Accessing the Lesson Files and Web Edition.” Store the files on your computer in a convenient location.


InDesign offers many of the text-editing features you find in dedicated word-processing software, including the ability to search and replace text and formatting, check spelling, automatically correct spelling as you type, and track changes as you edit.

Getting started

In this lesson, you will perform editorial tasks commonly expected of a graphic designer. These include importing a new story and using the editorial features in InDesign to search and replace text and formatting, check spelling, enter and track text changes, and more.

images Note: If you have not already downloaded the project files for this lesson to your computer from your Account page, make sure to do so now. See “Getting Started” at the beginning of the book.

  1. To ensure that the preferences and default settings of your Adobe InDesign program match those used in this lesson, move the InDesign Defaults file to a different folder following the procedure in “Saving and restoring the InDesign Defaults file” on pages 45.

  2. Start Adobe InDesign.

  3. The InDesign Start Screen displays. Click Open at left. (If the Start Screen does not display, choose File > Open from the InDesign menu bar.)

  4. Open the 06_Start.indd file in the Lesson06 folder, located inside the Lessons folder within the InDesignCIB folder on your hard disk.

    images Note: If the Goudy Old Style and Urbana Light fonts happen to be active on your system, this alert will not display. You can review the steps on replacing a missing font and then move on to the next section.

  5. When the Missing Fonts alert displays, click Sync Fonts. Click Close when font syncing is complete. (If necessary, click “Turn Typekit On” in the upper-right corner.)


    The Adobe Typekit online service will locate, download, and activate the missing Urbana Light font. The Goudy Old Style font is not available through Adobe Typekit and will remain missing for now.

    You will fix the problem of the missing Goudy Old Style font in the next section by replacing it with a font installed on your system.

  6. To ensure that the panels and menu commands match those used in this lesson, choose Window > Workspace > [Advanced], and then choose Window > Workspace > Reset Advanced.

    images Tip: In general, it is not necessary to display images at full resolution when working with text. If you are working on a slower computer, you can leave the display at Typical Display or even gray out the images with Fast Display.

  7. If necessary, choose View > Display Performance > High Quality Display to display the document at a higher resolution.

  8. Choose File > Save As, rename the file 06_Text.indd, and save it in the Lesson06 folder.

  9. If you want to see what the finished document looks like, open the 06_End.indd file in the same folder. You can leave this document open to act as a guide as you work.


    images Note: For higher contrast in the printed manual, the screen captures in this book show the Medium Light interface. Interface elements such as panels and dialog boxes may be darker on your screen.

  10. When you’re ready to resume working on the lesson document, 06_Text.indd, display it by clicking its tab in the upper-left corner of the document window.

Finding and changing a missing font

When you opened the document in the previous exercise, the Goudy Old Style font may have been listed as missing. If this font is active on your computer, you did not receive an alert message, but you can still follow the steps for future reference. You will now search for text formatted with the Goudy Old Style font and replace it with the Minion Pro Regular font.

  1. Choose View > Screen Mode > Normal so you can see layout aids such as guides.

    Notice that once you leave Preview mode, the word “city” on the right-facing page is highlighted in pink. This indicates a missing font.

  2. Choose Type > Find Font. The Find Font dialog box lists the fonts used in the document. An alert icon (images) appears next to any missing fonts.

  3. Select Goudy Old Style in the Fonts In Document list.

  4. For the Replace With option at the bottom of the dialog box, choose Minion Pro from the Font Family menu.

    images Tip: If you select Redefine Style When Changing All in the Find Font dialog box, any character styles or paragraph styles that specify the missing font will be updated to include the Replace With font as well. This can be handy for quickly updating documents and templates—as long as you’re sure the font change is appropriate.

  5. Choose Regular from the Font Style menu.


    images Tip: To display more information about a missing font (such as character count, page where it is used, and font type), click More Info in the Find Font dialog box.

  6. Click Change All.

  7. Click Done to close the dialog box and see the replaced font in the document.

  8. Choose File > Save.

Entering and importing text

You can enter text directly into your InDesign documents, or you can import text prepared in other applications, such as word-processing software. To type text, you need to use the Type tool and select a text frame or text path. Options for importing text include dragging files from the desktop, “loading” the cursor with one or more text files to import, or importing text into a selected text frame.

Entering text

While graphic designers are not generally responsible for the text in all their layouts, they are often asked to enter edits from a marked-up hard copy or Adobe PDF. In this exercise, you will use the Type tool to revise the headline.

images Note: If you cannot see the frame edges, be sure that the screen mode is set to Normal (View > Screen Mode > Normal).

  1. Choose View > Extras > Show Frame Edges. The text frames are outlined in gold so you can see them. Locate the text frame on the left-facing page under the images containing the headline “Urban Renewal.”

  2. Using the Type tool (images), click in the text frame next to “Urban Renewal.”

  3. Type a space and the words with Respect.

  4. Choose File > Save.

Importing text

When working with a template for a project such as a magazine, designers generally import article text into existing text frames. In this exercise, you will import a Microsoft Word file and apply body-copy formatting to it.

  1. Using the Type tool (images), click in the first column of the text frame on the right-facing page.


    images Tip: In the Place dialog box, you can Shift-click to select multiple text files. When you do this, the cursor is “loaded” with those files. You can then click in text frames or on the page to import the text from each file. This works well with content such as long captions that are saved in different text files.

  2. Choose File > Place. In the Place dialog box, make sure Show Import Options is not selected.

  3. Navigate to and select the Feature_February2018.docx file in the Lesson06 folder, located inside the Lessons folder within the InDesignCIB folder on your hard disk.

  4. Click Open. If the Missing Fonts dialog box displays, click Close to dismiss it. You will apply a different font through a paragraph style.

    The text flows from column to column, filling the three columns.

  5. Choose Edit > Select All to select all the text in the story.

  6. Click the Paragraph Styles panel icon at the right to display the panel.

  7. Click the Body Paragraph style to apply it to the selected paragraphs. If a plus sign displays next to Body Paragraph, click Clear Overrides (images) at the bottom of the Paragraph Styles panel.

    images Note: Now that you have changed the formatting, the story may no longer fit. In the lower-right corner of the text frame on the right-facing page, a red plus sign (+) will indicate overset text (additional text). Later, you will use the Story Editor to resolve this.

  8. Click in the first body paragraph starting with “We rush past.” Click the First Body Paragraph Style in the Paragraph Styles panel to apply a style that includes a drop cap.

  9. Choose Edit > Deselect All to deselect the text.

  10. Choose View > Extras > Hide Frame Edges.

  11. Choose File > Save.

Finding and changing text and formatting

Like most popular word-processing software, InDesign lets you search and replace text and formatting. Often, while graphic designers are working on layouts, the copy is still being revised. When editors request global changes, Find/Change helps ensure accurate and consistent changes.

Finding and changing text

For this article, the fact checker discovered that the tour guide’s name is not spelled as “Alexis”—it’s “Alexes.” You will change all instances of her name in the document.

  1. Using the Type tool (images), click at the beginning of the story before “We rush past” (on the right-facing page in the far left column).

  2. Choose Edit > Find/Change.

  3. Click the menu in the Query field to see the built-in Find/Change options. Click each tab across the top to view other options: Text, GREP, Glyph, and Object.

  4. Click the Text tab for a simple search and replace of text.

    images Tip: You can toggle the search direction by pressing Ctrl+Alt+ Enter (Windows) or Command+Option+ Return (macOS).

  5. Click Forward for the search Direction.

  6. Type Alexis in the Find What box.

    Press Tab to navigate to the Change To box. Type Alexes.

    Using the Search menu in the Find/Change dialog box, you can choose to search All Documents, Document, Story, To Beginning Of Story, To End Of Story, or Selection (when text is selected).

  7. Select Story from the Search menu, which defines the scope of the search.


    When using the Find/Change dialog box, it’s always a good idea to test your settings. Find one instance of the search criterion, replace it, and review the text before you make global changes. (Alternatively, you may opt to look at each instance with Find as you make the changes so you can see how each change affects surrounding copy and line breaks.)

    images Tip: When the Find/Change dialog box is open, you can still click in the text and make edits with the Type tool. The Find/Change dialog box remains open so you can resume your search after editing the text.

  8. Click Find Next. When the first instance of “Alexis” is highlighted, click Change.

  9. Click Find Next, and then click Change All. When the alert indicates that two additional replace­ments were made, click OK.

  10. Leave the Find/Change dialog box open for the next exercise.

Finding and changing formatting

The editors request one more global edit to this article; this one concerns formatting rather than spelling. The city’s HUB bike program prefers to see its name in small caps rather than lowercase.

images Tip: For acronyms and abbreviations, designers often prefer to use Small Caps style (abbreviated versions of capital letters) rather than All Caps style (all capital letters). The small caps are generally the same height as lowercase characters, and they blend into body copy better.

  1. Type hub in the Find What box. Press Tab to select the text in the Change To field and press Backspace or Delete.

  2. Point at each icon in the row below the Search menu to view its tool tip and see how it affects the Find/Change operation. For example, clicking the Whole Word icon (images) ensures that instances of the Find What text within another word will not be found or changed. Do not change any of the settings.

  3. If necessary, click the More Options button to display formatting options for the found text.

  4. In the Change Format section at the bottom of the dialog box, click the Specify Attributes To Change icon (images).

  5. On the left side of the Change Format Settings dialog box, select Basic Character Formats.

    images Tip: If you are unhappy with the results of Find/Change, you can choose Edit > Undo to undo the last “change” operation, whether it was Change, Change All, or Find/Change.

  6. In the main part of the Change Format Settings dialog box, choose Small Caps from the Case menu.

  7. Leave the other options blank, and then click OK to return to the Find/Change dialog box.

    Notice the alert icon (images) that appears above the Change To box. This icon indicates that InDesign will change text to the specified formatting.

  8. Test your settings by clicking Find Next and then clicking Change. Once you confirm that “hub” changes to “hub,” click Change All.

  9. When the alert indicates that two changes were made, click OK. Click Done to close the Find/Change dialog box.

  10. Choose File > Save.

Checking spelling

images Tip: Be sure to discuss with your client or editor whether you should be the one checking spelling in InDesign. Many editors strongly prefer to check spelling themselves.

InDesign has features for checking spelling similar to the options in word-processing programs. You can check the spelling in selected text, an entire story, all the stories in a document, or all the stories in several open documents at once. To customize which words are flagged as possible misspellings, you can add words to your document’s dictionary. In addition, you can have InDesign flag possible spelling issues and correct spelling as you type.

The Check Spelling dialog box provides the following buttons to handle the words shown in the Not In Dictionary field (otherwise known as suspect words):

  • Skip: Click Skip when you are confident of the spelling of the current suspect word but would like to review any other instances of the spelling in context.

  • Change: Click Change to change the spelling of the current instance of the suspect word to the spelling in the Change To field.

  • Ignore All: Click Ignore All when you are confident that the spelling of the suspect word is appropriate for use througout the selection, story, or document.

  • Change All: Click Change All when you are confident that changing the spelling of the suspect word is appropriate for the entire selection, story, or document.

Checking spelling in the document

images Note: Depending on the InDesign preferences set for Dictionary and Spelling, or whether you’ve added words to a custom dictionary, different words may be flagged. Simply experiment with the various Check Spelling options to get familiar with them.

Before a document is ready for print or electronic distribution, it’s a good idea to check spelling. In this case, we suspect the newly imported story may be a little sloppy, so you will check the spelling now.

  1. If necessary, choose View > Fit Spread In Window to view both pages of the document.

  2. Using the Type tool (images), click before the first word of the article you’ve been working on: “We.”

  3. Choose Edit > Spelling > Check Spelling.

    Using the Search menu in the Check Spelling dialog box, you can choose to check All Documents, Document, Story, To End Of Story, or Selection.

  4. Select Story from the Search menu at the bottom of the dialog. The spell check starts automatically.

  5. InDesign highlights various words that do not match the spelling dictionary.


    Handle the flagged words as follows:

    • Meridien’s, Alexes, nonprofits: Click Ignore All.

    • renaisance: Select “renaissance” in the Suggested Corrections list and click Change.

    • Nehru: Click Ignore All.

    • recieve: Type receive in the Change To field and click Change.

    • pomme, Grayson, Meridien: Click Ignore All.

  6. Click Done.

  7. Choose File > Save.

Adding words to a document-specific dictionary

With InDesign, you can add words to your user dictionary or to a document-specific dictionary. If you work with multiple clients who may have different spelling preferences, for example, it is better to add words to a document-specific dictionary. In this case, you will add “Meridien” to the document’s dictionary.

images Tip: If a word is not specific to one language—such as a person’s name—you can choose All Languages to add the word to every language’s spelling dictionary.

  1. Choose Edit > Spelling > User Dictionary to display the User Dictionary dialog box.

  2. Select 06_Text.indd from the Target menu.

  3. Type Meridien in the Word box.

  4. Select Case Sensitive to add only “Meridien” to the dictionary. This ensures that a lowercase use of “meridien” is still flagged when you check spelling.

  5. Click Add.

  6. Type Meridien’s in the Word box.

  7. Make sure Case Sensitive is still selected, and then click Add.

  8. Click Done, and then choose File > Save.

Automatically correcting misspelled words

Autocorrect takes the concept of dynamically checking spelling to the next level. With Autocorrect activated, InDesign automatically corrects misspelled words as you type them. Changes are made based on an internal list of commonly misspelled words. You can add other commonly misspelled words, including words in other languages, to this list if you like.

  1. Choose Edit > Preferences > Autocorrect (Windows) or InDesign CC > Preferences > Autocorrect (macOS) to display Autocorrect preferences.

  2. Select the Enable Autocorrect option. By default, the list of commonly misspelled words is for English: USA.

  3. Change the language to French and note the commonly misspelled words in that language. Try other languages, if you’d like. Change the language back to English: USA before proceeding.

    The editors have realized that the name of their city, “Meridien,” is frequently typed as “Meredien,” with an “e” in the middle rather than an “i.” You will prevent this mistake by adding the misspelling and correct spelling to the Autocorrect list.

  4. Click Add. In the Add To Autocorrect List dialog box, type Meredien in the Misspelled Word box and Meridien in the Correction box.

  5. Click OK to add the word, and then click OK again to close the Preferences dialog box.

    images Tip: Words are autocorrected as soon as you finish a word, as indicated by typing a space, period, comma, or forward slash.

  6. Using the Type tool (images), type the word Meredien followed by a space anywhere in the text.

  7. Notice that Autocorrect changes the spelling from “Meredien” to “Meridien,” and then choose Edit > Undo until the word you added is deleted.

  8. Choose File > Save.

Editing text by dragging and dropping

To quickly cut and paste words in your document, InDesign allows you to drag and drop text within the same story, between frames, and between documents. You’ll now use drag and drop to move text from one paragraph to another in the magazine layout.

  1. Choose Edit > Preferences > Type (Windows) or InDesign CC > Preferences > Type (macOS) to display Type preferences.

  2. In the Drag And Drop Text Editing section, select Enable In Layout View. This option lets you drag and drop text in Layout view in addition to the Story Editor. Click OK.


    images Tip: When you drag and drop text, by default InDesign automatically adds and deletes spaces before and after words as necessary. If you need to turn off this feature, deselect Adjust Spacing Automatically When Cutting And Pasting Words in Type preferences.

  3. Locate the subhead below the “Urban Renewal with Respect” headline. Adjust the zoom level as necessary so you can read the subhead text.

  4. Using the Type tool (images), double-click in the word “ECLECTIC” to select it.

  5. Position the I-bar pointer over the selected word until the pointer changes to the drag and drop icon (images).


    images Tip: If you want to copy a selected word instead of moving it, hold down the Alt (Windows) or Option (macOS) key after you start dragging.

  6. Drag the word to its correct location before “URBANISM.”

  7. Choose File > Save.

Using the Story Editor

If you need to enter many text edits, rewrite a story, or cut a story, you can isolate the text with the Story Editor. The Story Editor window works as follows:

  • Text displays without formatting—with the exception of the styles bold, italic, and bold italic. Any graphics and other nontext elements are omitted to make editing easier.

  • The column to the left of the text displays a vertical depth ruler and the name of the paragraph style applied to each paragraph.

  • Dynamic spelling (if enabled) highlights misspelled words, just like in the document window.

  • If the Enable In Story Editor option is selected in Type preferences, you can also drag and drop text in the Story Editor, just as you did in the previous exercise.

  • In Story Editor Display preferences, you can customize the font, size, background color, and more for the Story Editor window.

The article on the right-facing page is too long to fit in the text frame. You will delete a sentence in the Story Editor to help it fit.

  1. Choose View > Fit Spread In Window.

  2. Using the Type tool (images), click in the first full paragraph in the third column of the article.

    images Note: If the Story Editor window goes behind the document window, you can bring it to the front by choosing its name from the bottom of the Window menu.

  3. Choose Edit > Edit In Story Editor. Position the Story Editor window next to the far-right column on the spread.

  4. Drag the vertical scroll bar in the Story Editor to the end of the story. Note the line that indicates the overset text.

  5. In the Story Editor, scroll up to locate and select the following sentence: “The long arcade is a kaleidoscope of nature’s colors—fruits, vegetables, and meats meticulously arranged in bins by their growers and producers.” Be sure to select the final period.

  6. Press Backspace or Delete. Leave the Story Editor open for the next set of steps.

  7. Choose File > Save.

Tracking changes

For some projects, it’s important to see what changes are made to the text throughout the design and review process. In addition, reviewers may suggest changes that another user can accept or reject. As with a word-processing program, you can track text that is added, deleted, or moved using the Story Editor.

In this document, you will edit a few words. When the final edits are made, the text frame should no longer have overset text.

  1. Choose Type > Track Changes > Track Changes In Current Story.

    images Tip: In Track Changes preferences, you can customize which changes are tracked and how the changes display in the Story Editor.

  2. In the Story Editor, scroll up to the second paragraph of the story starting with “One of Meridien’s.”

    images Tip: InDesign provides a Notes panel and a Track Changes panel for reviewing and collaborating on documents (Window > Editorial, Type > Notes, and Type > Track Changes). The panel menus provide access to many of the controls.

  3. Using the Type tool (images) in the Story Editor, make the following changes in the second paragraph:

    • Change “eight” to “five”

    • Delete “controversial”

    • Insert “more” before “robust social service programs”

    Notice how the changes are marked in the Story Editor window.

  4. With the Story Editor window still open, choose Type > Track Changes, and review the options for accepting and rejecting changes. Once you have reviewed the possibilities, choose Accept All Changes > In This Story.

  5. When the alert dialog box displays, click OK.

  6. Click the Story Editor window’s close box. If necessary, choose Edit > Spelling > Dynamic Spelling to disable this feature.

  7. Choose File > Save.

Congratulations. You have finished the lesson.

Exploring on your own

images Tip: Companies generally follow a style guide that governs issues such as spacing and punctuation. For example, The Associated Press Stylebook specifies a space on either side of an em dash, while The Chicago Manual of Style does not.

Now that you have tried the basic text-editing tools in InDesign, experiment with them more to edit and format this document.

  1. Using the Type tool (images), add subheads to the story and format them with options in the Control panel.

  2. If you have additional text files on your system, try dragging them from the desktop to the layout to see how they’re imported. Choose Edit > Undo if you don’t want to keep them in the document.

  3. Use the Find/Change dialog box to find all em dashes in the story and replace them with an em dash with a space on either side of it. Click the @ icon next to the Find What box to search for special characters such as em dashes.

  4. Edit the story using the Story Editor and Track Changes. See how the different changes are marked, and experiment with accepting and rejecting the changes.

  5. Experiment with changing Spelling, Autocorrect, Track Changes, and Story Editor Display preferences.