Updated: Empty Frame Remover 1.1

fixsplash

Released in Christmas 2013, this handy script aimed at being the solution to ridding a document of any empty frames that weren’t required, whether they were empty text frames from stories that had been cut and pasted into InDesign, or empty graphic frames that were no longer required.

Since then, it has come to my attention that the script had two bugs: There was a minor bug that would show an error if there were no text boxes in the active document, and a major bug that would remove frames that despite having no fill/stroke etc, did contain a frame/frames within it (i.e. frames had been placed into another frame using the “paste into” command).

These bugs have now been removed and the latest version of the script can be downloaded from the downloads page. In case it isn’t clear, don’t use the old script anymore – use the latest version!

Please note that the script is still in Beta version and that it is used at one’s own risk.

Feedback on the script would be appreciated. Full details on how the script was created along with contributors details can be found here.

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Live Text Masking in InDesign

Until now, to make a text-mask with InDesign, type normally has to be converted to curves so that the type can now be treated like a placeholder. This works fine until the type has to change, such as:

  • Correcting a typographical error;
  • Including more text or resizing it; or
  • During a data merge.

In these instances, it would be ideal for the type to still be live so that changes could be made while maintaining the masking of the type.

Surely someone had thought of this before… but instead of being an easy search in Google, it took hours of research to find this little nugget of information from the Phoenix InDesign Users Group:

Excited, I followed the instructions to the letter, but discovered that this trick isn’t true text masking. Let me explain.

A text mask created the usual way of converting to curves and then placing the image within the new shape works this way:

However, a text mask created using the tutorial from the Users Group behaves more like a stencil. That is, it does mask the image, but shows the stencil:

This is fine if the background is white… but in this instance the background is pale yellow. The solution in this instance is to make the image to be masked sent to the background, and the image which is in the background become the foreground:

So while this technique works, it does not work as well as masking within shapes, given that:

  • not all effects (drop shadows, bevels, transparencies) can be applied to the masked text; and
  • the background effectively is brought forward; and the item to be masked is effectively in the background.

This technique also works with background images. To demonstrate this, I’ve upgraded an earlier post featuring “Square Pegs Round Holes” to demonstrate how this masking works with live text.

As usual, files for the above demonstration can be found here.

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