The Frame that Tries to Steal Your Text (Why You Can Click Through Some Frames and Not Others)
I create the “guts” of the document and then draw a nice 2 pt black box around the page to give it a frame. But when I try to edit one of the text frames on the page, it selects the border frame instead of the object underneath — even though it’s filled with None. In PageMaker, the assumption was that the frame was empty.
Leonard, this is because the border frame is topmost in the stacking order on the page. Because you “hit” it first when you click on the pile of objects on the page, it prevents you from clicking through to the frames beneath. You can Command-click (PC: Control-click) repeatedly to drill down through stacking order until you select the correct frame, but you will still encounter some frustration if you’re not careful. Because any empty frame in InDesign will accept text entry (regardless of its original species), you’ll often find yourself typing in the wrong frame. It’s also easy to inadvertently drop a graphic into an unintended frame, just because you encounter the frame first in stacking order.
There are three types of frames: text, graphics, and “unassigned.” Create text frames with the Type tool, create graphics frames with the Rectangle Frame tool (the one with the “x” through it), and create empty, stroked frames with the Rectangle tool (plain old rectangle icon). You can put a stroke on any species of frame, as you’ve discovered. The unassigned frames automatically carry a 1-point black stroke, and this is indeed reminiscent of PageMaker. But while the unassigned frames are initially completely hollow (disembodied, floating keylines), it’s much too easy to accidentally click in one of these rascals and place text or graphics when you didn’t mean to.
Regardless of what kind of frame you use to carry the stroke, I’d suggest that you create your stroked frame on a separate layer, all by itself, and lock the layer in the Layers panel. Position this layer above or below the rest of your layers (depending on the design). Because it’s quarantined on a locked layer, you won’t inadvertently put content in it, and it won’t get in the way when you intend to select other content.
Additionally, to prevent accidentally typing in an empty frame, you might change your preferences. Launch Preferences: InDesign > Preferences > Type (PC: Edit > Preferences > Type), and UNcheck the “Type Tool Converts Frames to Text Frames” option. However, if you then want to convert, say, a graphics frame or unassigned frame to a text frame, you’ll have to first select the frame and choose Object > Content > Text. Then you’ll be able to type in it.
Hope this helps!