Pages: Linking Text Boxes

| TMO Quick Tip

When you're setting up a document's layout in Pages, you may run across the problem of overset text in floating text boxes. Having overset text just means that the text box isn't large enough to display everything you've put in it.

Obviously, I didn't end my sentence that way, but you can always tell if a box has too much text to be displayed by the small plus button that appears.

There are, of course, a bajillion ways you could fix this problem. You could enlarge the box until it fits the text. You could make the font smaller. You could even edit out any wordiness, jargon, or silliness. Readers who are familiar with my writing know that I am not a fan of the latter approach.

So anyhow, one nifty solution is to set up linked text boxes. These allow you to position separate text boxes anywhere in your document, and any text you add or change gets distributed properly between them. This will mean that you won't have to copy and paste and line things up exactly if you enlarge the font or add text—it'll just reflow automatically. Sweet! To set one up, first select a text box, and you should see blue arrows on either side of it.

These arrows will let you connect text boxes together to flow text either into the currently selected box or out of it. So click one of those arrows, and you'll get a set of instructions for how things'll work.

As you can see, you can click anywhere on your page to create a new text box, or if you've already got one you'd like to link to, click on that. As soon as you do, your text will flow from the first box into the second, so no matter how you change what you've written, it'll always look great.

No more overset text, either! Whew.

Afterward, you can add on more linked boxes, even if they're on different pages in your document. Any time you select one, blue lines will indicate how the text is set to flow between them.

As the instruction box above indicates, you can drag these blue lines away from their boxes to cancel the linking, too.

Poof!

I'm sure you can see that this is really handy, especially if you've got lots of images and other page elements floating around or if you need to have some text from one page continue later on in the document. Goodness knows we wouldn't want to have to edit out silliness in our writing to save space. That's just crazy.

Comments

Lee Dronick

Great tip, two thumbs up!

BurmaYank

Thank you again, Melissa, again!

Melissa Holt

Thanks, Lee and BurmaYank! You guys rock for reading my stuff. smile

—Melissa

wab95

Very, very practical stuff. What sly devils those Pages folk are.

Many thanks, Melissa.

Melissa Holt

You’re welcome, wab95! Happy to be of service.

—Melissa

Jb Lim

This doesn’t work with the updated Pages version 5. :-(

Melissa Holt

Wow, Jb. That really, really stinks. :(

One of my favorite Pages features, too…

Dirk Maurits Boersma

Indeed, in version 5 this feature has disappeared. I used it a lot. I am looking for an alternative. Anyone?

I will take a look at the new templates and see if they have text flowing to the next page. They probably solve this by skipping text boxes altogether, and you just put your text on the page (in ‘Word processing view’, as opposed to ‘Page layout view’ (the one I like).
I will leave version 4.3 on my harddisk for the time being.
Cheers, Dirk

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