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How to Create Multicolumn and Threaded Text in Adobe Flash CS6

Like many existing Adobe applications, Flash CS6 now lets you split single text areas into multiple columns as well as thread text across several individual text boxes at once. This capability is especially handy if the amount of text in a box is too large for that area alone; using threaded text, you can make text that originates in one box flow into a different box elsewhere in your movie.

To create multicolumn text, follow these steps:

  1. In a new or existing file, add a new layer to the timeline by choosing Insert→Timeline→Layer.

  2. Select the Text tool from the Tools panel. Make sure that the text drop-down list at the top of the Property Inspector (below the <Instance Name> field) is set to TLF Text.

  3. Click and drag on the stage to create a text box that has a fixed width and height.

    The text box appears with a bounding box and handles on all four sides and corners.

    image0.jpg
  4. To adjust the size of the box, hover the mouse pointer over a handle on any corner or side until a double arrow appears. Click and drag the handle to resize the box.

  5. Click within the box and either type or paste some text into the box.

    For best results, enter enough text until you eventually see a red plus sign appear on the out port of the box.

    Typing too much text in a fixed-size text box creates an overrun, indicated by a red plus sign in the out port of the text box.

  6. With the Text tool still active, locate and expand the Container and Flow options in the Property inspector.

    You should see a Columns option, already set to 1.

  7. Click and drag over the 1 to set it to 2, or double-click the 1 and enter 2 instead.

    This step creates two columns in the text box and reformats your text appropriately.

    image1.jpg

    Next, you add a second text box and thread it to the first so that any text that overruns the first box automatically appears in the second.

  8. On the same layer and with the Text tool selected, click the stage to deselect the first text box and then click and drag to draw a second text box somewhere next to it.

  9. Use the bounding box handles to adjust the size of this new box on the stage.

  10. Click the first text box on the stage to make it active, and click the out port directly (where the red plus sign appears).

    The icon changes to indicate that you’re carrying overrun text from that box.

  11. Hover the mouse pointer over the new box you created, and click it to make it active.

    A line appears between the two boxes, and the overrun text from the first box continues into the second. The two boxes are now threaded.

    image2.jpg
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