This manual describes how to use the CopyFit™ software for Adobe® InDesign® to fit text automatically in any number of frames, according to an extensive variety of customizable parameters. For documents that require copy fitting, CopyFit offers a unique, complete range of options to fit text according to your standards.
Additionally, CopyFit has been tightly integrated with DesignMerge® Pro (a powerful software suite of variable data tools from Meadows Publishing Solutions) and with DesignMerge® Catalog (a powerful suite of data publishing, price updating, document versioning, data exporting and reporting software from Meadows Publishing Solutions).
Topics Covered in this Manual:
Meadows CopyFit software is designed to adjust text automatically to remedy text overflow and underflow conditions. All parameters are user-definable and there are several different “copy fitting styles” to choose. You can copy fit a single frame, just frames that are “tagged” for copy fitting, or all frames in a document. You can also Undo/Redo applying CopyFit.
CopyFit is a standard component of the DesignMerge Pro software package for InDesign and has been tightly integrated with that product. Additionally, CopyFit is an optional component of the DesignMerge Catalog software package for InDesign. When used in conjunction with DesignMerge Pro or DesignMerge Catalog, the module provides on-the-fly copy fitting of overset (or underset) variable text frames. For more information about the DesignMerge Pro and DesignMerge Catalog software packages, visit the web site at www.meadowsps.com.
The workstation where the CopyFit Module will be running must meet the system requirements of the InDesign application where the CopyFit Module is installed.
The CopyFit module is controlled exclusively through the CopyFit panel. To display the CopyFit panel in InDesign, select MPS CopyFit from the InDesign Window menu. This opens the CopyFit panel, as shown in the picture below:
In general, to use CopyFit, you simply need to tell it which text frames to work on, what it should do when it works on them, and then click the panel’s Fit… button, which means “do it”. The Fit… button on the top right corner of the panel, circled in the picture above, will be titled Fit Frame, Fit All, or Fit Tagged, depending on your selection in the Fit popup menu on the top left corner of the panel, also circled in the picture above.
If you have not selected an individual text frame in the document when Frame is selected in the Fit popup menu, the Fit Frame button will be dimmed.
CopyFit has its own special Find feature. This feature can be used to find frames that are overset in your document. The buttons for the Find Overset Frame feature, circled in the picture below, are displayed towards the top of the CopyFit panel:
Click the Find First button to have CopyFit scan your document and locate the first overset frame. Click the >> (Find Next) button to locate the next overset frame, and click the << (Find Previous) button to locate the previous overset frame. If you click any of these three buttons and hear a beep, this means that no (more) overset frames can be located in the document in the specified search direction.
The Find First and the Find Next/Previous features only search for overset text frames; they do not search for underset text frames.
You can set a CopyFit preference to ignore any frame whose overflowing text consists only of non-printing characters. See the “Setting CopyFit Preferences” topic later in this manual for more information about this option.
There are six different text formatting attributes that can be applied by CopyFit in order to copy fit a frame: Tracking, Horizontal Scaling, Point Size, Leading, Space Before (a paragraph), and Space After (a paragraph). The default settings for these attributes, marked by a red box in the picture below, are shown on the CopyFit panel.
To apply a CopyFit formatting attribute, check the box next to it. Then, establish the “adjustment range” for the attribute. Each attribute has a Minimum (Min) and Maximum (Max) allowable adjustment value, as well as a Step amount. The Step amount is the amount by which a particular attribute will be adjusted—increased or decreased—in order to fit the text. Enter any values you wish, up to the limits of InDesign. If you would like CopyFit to remember these changed settings so you can easily use them again, click the Update Set button (CopyFit Sets are described in more detail later in this manual).
Each formatting attribute is assigned a priority to determine the order in which its specified adjustment is applied. The priority of each attribute can be set by changing the number in its Priority (Pri) column. Valid priorities are from “1” to “6“. Attributes with a priority of 1 will be adjusted first. Those with a priority of 6 will be adjusted last. Attributes that have an equal priority will be adjusted in the order in which they appear on the CopyFit panel, reading from top to bottom.
CopyFit will adjust Leading only when an absolute amount of Leading has been applied to all of the text in a text frame. CopyFit will not adjust the Leading of text if Auto-Leading is applied.
Much of the power and flexibility of the CopyFit software can be found in three of the panel’s popup menus: Fit, Method, and Style. Following is an explanation of each of these:
Use this popup menu to select which frames you want to copy fit. You can select Frame to fit a single, currently selected, frame; select All to fit all frames in the current document; or select Tagged to fit only those frames that you’ve “tagged” with the Tag Frame button (described in more detail later in this manual).
CopyFit provides a variety of methods to fit text in a frame. These methods can be categorized as being either a Standard Method or a Line-Wrap Method.
CopyFit provides three different standard methods of copy fitting: shrinking text to fit, expanding text to fit, and either as necessary. All three of these methods will allow lines containing breakable text to wrap. Each method is described below:
Shrink to Fit will change only overset frames and ignore underset ones. CopyFit will adjust overset text until the text fits or until all attribute parameters are out of range.
Expand to Fit will change only underset frames. CopyFit will adjust underset text until the text “just fits” the frame or until all attribute parameters are out of range.
Best Fit will adjust both overset and underset text frames. CopyFit will shrink the text if the frame is overset and will expand the text if the frame is underset.
A line-wrap is when Adobe InDesign determines that a line is too long to fit the width of the frame, so it forces the line to break and “wrap” to the next line in the frame. Under certain circumstances, the user will want to have more control over line-wraps. There are two methods that deal specifically with line-wrap conditions. Each is described below:
No Break: Fit will treat a line-wrap condition as if it were an overset condition. In other words, if any of the lines in the frame have wrapped, CopyFit will continue to apply parameters to the frame until no oversets or line-wraps exist. Note that this method behaves identically to the Shrink to Fit method, except that it will continue to adjust text until both the overset and line-wrap conditions have been addressed.
This CopyFit method can be useful for address information that is being merged by DesignMerge. As an example, compare the two address blocks below. As you can see, the address block is not overset, but by using this method, CopyFit continues to adjust the text until all of the line-wraps have been removed. This ensures that none of the address lines will wrap during the variable data session.
No Break: Truncate is a special CopyFit method designed for use with CopyFit Server and therefore is most commonly used in conjunction with server applications that implement maximum character count per-line restrictions rather than utilizing copy-fitting parameters. This method instructs CopyFit to truncate any lines that wrap within the frame to the point where the maximum number of characters appear on a single line without wrapping. After truncating the wrapped lines, if the frame is overset, CopyFit will then adjust the overset text until the text fits or until all attribute parameters are out of range. If you want only to truncate the text (and allow the text to remain overset), select this method but disable all of the CopyFit settings by unchecking the frames in the panel and re-tagging the frame.
The No Break: Truncate method is designed for server applications and should (generally) be avoided when working on desktop documents.
Each copy fitting style presents a different way in which CopyFit will apply formatting attributes. This unique and exclusive option lets you fine-tune your application of CopyFit to best suit your needs. Below is a description of each CopyFit style:
(Default) This is the fastest copy fit style. It’s similar to the One at a time style (described below), except that the effects of prior attributes are not reverted to what they were originally. Each attribute will be applied in turn until the text fits in the frame or until all attributes fall outside of their allotted ranges.
This is the slowest method but also the one that generally provides the best result because it uses a methodology similar to what a designer would use when trying to copy fit a frame. This style applies one adjustment for the first priority attribute to the text in a frame. If the text does not fit, CopyFit increments the first priority attribute by its step amount and then applies the new adjustment to the text. This continues until the text fits or the specified Maximum/Minimum for that attribute is met. If the text still requires fitting, CopyFit starts over. This time, CopyFit applies one adjustment of the second priority attribute, and then applies successive adjustments of the first priority attribute in increments until the text fits or the range is exceeded. If the text still requires fitting, CopyFit starts again, but this time applies two adjustments of the second priority attribute and then successive adjustments of the first priority attribute. This copy fitting style continues in this manner until it has filtered down through all selected attributes.
This method tries each of the attributes one at a time, in succession, always resetting that attribute in the text to its original value if adjusting the attribute fails to fit the frame. For instance, assuming Tracking is assigned Priority 1, this style would first apply successive adjustments of Tracking to the text in the frame. If Tracking adjustments cannot fit the text, the original Tracking value for the text is reestablished, and CopyFit then tries Horizontal Scaling (or whatever the second priority attribute is). If this fails to fit the text, CopyFit resets the text to its original value for that attribute and moves on to the next attribute. The effects of one attribute are always removed before continuing on with the next attribute so this is considered a non-cumulative method.
This style successively applies one incremental adjustment of each of the attributes to the text and then continues to cycle successively through the attributes until the text fits or until all attributes fall outside of their allotted ranges. For each attempt, CopyFit applies only one incremental adjustment of an attribute and checks the fit of the text before moving on to the next attribute.
CopyFit includes 10 distinct sets of CopyFit parameters that you can customize, allowing you to recall quickly specific combinations of CopyFit selections (formatting adjustments, priorities, methods, and styles) for particular situations. To display the settings for a CopyFit Set in place of the existing settings on the CopyFit panel, select that Set from the Set popup menu, shown circled in the picture below:
When first installed, the 10 CopyFit Sets have the same default parameters. To modify a set, select it from the Set popup menu, change any of its options, and click the Update Set button. The Rename Set button allows you to give a set a more descriptive name.
You can use the CopyFit Tag Frame feature to store CopyFit settings with a frame. Any text frame can be assigned its own custom CopyFit settings. When you are ready to fit all of the frames that are “tagged” with CopyFit settings, simply click the Fit Tagged button on the CopyFit panel. CopyFit will fit the text in each “tagged frame” according to the CopyFit settings that have been stored with that frame.
To tag a frame, select the frame. On the CopyFit panel, change any of the settings as you wish and then click the Tag Frame button, shown circled in the picture below:
The current CopyFit panel settings will now be stored with the frame. Note that it is not the name of the CopyFit Set that is tagged to a frame. Instead, it is the selected settings on the CopyFit panel (formatting attributes, method, and style) that are stored with the frame. Therefore, updating a CopyFit Set to have different settings later on will not change the settings that have been stored with any frame.
Frames that have been tagged with CopyFit settings will display a Tagged Frame visual indicator, as shown in the picture below:
To show the Tagged Frame visual indicator in InDesign, select Show Frame Edges from the InDesign View menu. To hide the visual indicator in InDesign, select Hide Frame Edges from the View menu.
If the selected frame is linked to another frame, the Tagged Frame visual indicator will be displayed in the first frame of that text chain. All of the frames in the chain will be tagged with the same settings and you can select any frame in the chain to read, remove, or change these settings.
Additionally, two Tag-related buttons on the CopyFit panel are activated. These two buttons, the Read Frame Tag Data button and the Remove Tag button, are shown circled in the picture below:
When a tagged frame is selected in the document, you can click the Read Frame Tag Data button to read its stored settings. The stored settings will be read from the frame and will replace the existing settings on the panel. Click the Remove Tag button to remove the CopyFit settings that have been stored with the frame.
To modify the CopyFit settings that are stored with a frame, load the panel with settings by clicking the Read Frame Tag Data button or by choosing a CopyFit Set, change any of the loaded settings you wish, and click the Tag Frame button again (you don’t need to click Remove Tag first).
Once your options have been set, you are ready to start a CopyFit session. There are three different types of CopyFit sessions available: Fit Frame, Fit All, and Fit Tagged. As mentioned earlier, the selection in the Fit popup menu determines which type of CopyFit session will be used. Below is a description of each of these sessions:
To copy fit an individual frame, select that frame with either the Text or Direct Selection tool. On the CopyFit panel, select Frame from the Fit popup menu. Next, select your CopyFit settings (as explained earlier), and then click the Fit Frame button on the CopyFit panel, as shown below:
The selected frame will be copy fit using the current panel settings. If the selected frame is a tagged text frame (as explained earlier) and the CopyFit parameters stored with the frame are different from those in the panel, CopyFit will display the message shown below:
Click the Use Frame Settings to copy fit the text according to the settings stored with the frame. (This will also replace the settings on the CopyFit panel.) Click the Use Panel Settings to copy fit the text according to the settings displayed on the CopyFit panel. To cancel and return to the document instead, click the Cancel button.
To copy fit all of the text frames in a document, open the CopyFit panel and choose All from the panel’s Fit popup menu. Next, select your CopyFit settings and click the Fit All button on the CopyFit panel, as shown below:
If your document has been changed since it was last saved, CopyFit will display the message shown in the picture below before copy fitting all of the frames:
Click the Save button to save the document before copy fitting or click the Don’t Save button to copy fit the frames without first saving the document. To cancel and return to the document instead, click the Cancel button.
Each frame will be copy fit in the same fashion, using to the settings that are visible in the CopyFit panel. Note this differs from Fit Tagged (described next), which copy fits only tagged frames according to the CopyFit settings stored with each frame, which may be different than those that are currently selected on the CopyFit panel
To copy fit all of the tagged frames, select Tagged from the Fit popup menu and click the Fit Tagged button, as shown below:
If your document has been changed since it was last saved, CopyFit will display the message shown in the picture below before copy fitting all of the tagged frames:
Click the Save button to save the document before copy fitting or click the Don’t Save button to copy fit the frames without first saving the document. To cancel copy fitting, click the Cancel button and you will return to the document.
Each tagged frame will be copy fit according to the custom settings that have been stored with it. Note how this differs from Fit All, which copy fits all frames (tagged and non-tagged) according to the same CopyFit settings, those that are currently selected on the CopyFit panel.
When a longer CopyFit session is in process, a progress window will be displayed. To cancel the process, you can click the Cancel button in this window at any time. The current process will stop. However, changes made to the document before the Cancel will not be reverted automatically. To revert a CopyFit session, please see the following information.
You may undo the changes applied to the document by the CopyFit session by using the InDesign Undo edit feature, or by applying the InDesign Revert file feature to return the document to its last saved state.
When you tell CopyFit which text formatting adjustments it can make to fit copy in a text frame (by checking/unchecking the text attributes on the panel), you also set the minimum and maximum values for each adjustment. For instance, you might check the Point Size attribute, and enter a minimum value of “8 pt“ and a maximum value of “14 pt“.
If CopyFit reaches the limits of the settings it is applying and still can’t get the text to fit—for instance, in this example, CopyFit has reduced the point size of overset text to 8 points but the frame is still overset—CopyFit will display an Out of Range alert message, shown in the picture below:
To solve an Out of Range problem, first click the alert window’s OK button to dismiss the window. CopyFit will display the frame that encountered this problem and the frame will be selected. Then, assuming you can’t edit the text or the size of the frame to resolve the overset/underset condition, you’ll need to enable additional attributes that CopyFit can adjust (by checking these options on the panel), or increase the range of one or more of these attributes (by changing the minimum and maximum values on the panel), or a combination of the two. Then click the Fit… button again (or click the Tag Frame button if you are modifying a tagged frame).
If you want to save current CopyFit settings with the frame, remember to click the Tag Frame button when you’re done with your changes. Also, if you want to save these as new settings for the current set, click the Update Set button.
CopyFit has several preference options. To access the preferences, click the Prefs button on the CopyFit panel. This will open the CopyFit Preferences window, shown below:
This preference determines whether you are warned before copy fitting all frames (Fit All) or tagged frames (Fit Tagged), providing you the opportunity to cancel the CopyFit. If checked (the default setting) when you click Fit All or Fit Tagged, an alert window will be displayed where you can choose to continue or cancel. If this preference is unchecked (default), CopyFit will not display this warning before copy fitting.
Some frames are overset solely due to superfluous, non-printing characters at the end of the text. Although technically the frame is overset, practically speaking it doesn’t matter. The overset characters would not print even if they fit. Checking this preference instructs CopyFit to allow non-printable characters to overset the frame. If you uncheck this preference, CopyFit will attempt to fit all characters into the text frame, including non-printable characters such as spaces, paragraph returns, tabs, etc.
CopyFit can be set to check automatically for overset frames during certain user actions. You can enable the overset checking to occur whenever you choose Save, Save As, Print, and/or Export from the InDesign File menu.
For example, assume you’ve checked the Print preference on the CopyFit Preferences window and you have an overset frame in a document you’re about to print. When you select Print from the File menu, CopyFit immediately scans the current document for overset text frames before the Print window appears. If any oversets are encountered, you will be prompted with the following message:
If you click Yes, the overset frame will be selected and the CopyFit panel will be opened (if it is not already visible). Click No to ignore the overset frame and continue with the selected operation.
Be sure to uncheck all Overset Check preferences when using CopyFit with DesignMerge. Using CopyFit with DesignMerge Pro is described in the next section in this manual.
CopyFit can be used as a stand-alone product with any document and has also been tightly integrated with DesignMerge for the express purpose of preventing text frame overflows in merged output. This lets you produce customized variable copies that are adjusted individually to ensure frames are not overset.
An example of a variable data frame that overset when merged without CopyFit
An example of the same variable data frame except this time the frame was merged with CopyFit — no overset!
To use CopyFit during a merge session, click the Options button on the DesignMerge window, and then select a CopyFit option to fit text while merging. The CopyFit menu is shown circled in the picture below:
When a CopyFit fitting option has been selected, DesignMerge will do the following:
If you need to apply dissimilar CopyFit parameters to variable text frames in the same document during a merge session, use CopyFit’s Tag Frame feature described in the “Using CopyFit” topic earlier in this manual. Once the frames are tagged and you are ready to merge, select Tagged Frames Only from the CopyFit popup menu, shown circled in the picture below, before you start the merge:
When DesignMerge merges the document, it will copy fit only variable frames that have been tagged for copy fitting, fitting the text in each of these frames according to its assigned CopyFit settings. Again, only frames that are variable will be copy fit.
If you prefer to apply the same CopyFit Set to all variable text frames during a merge session, select the Set from the CopyFit popup menu, shown circled in the picture below, before you start the merge:
When DesignMerge merges the document, it will apply that CopyFit Set’s current settings to all variable text frames that need copy fitting.
For additional details about using CopyFit with DesignMerge, see Tutorial #2 in DesignMerge Documentation.
For more information about DesignMerge and its modules, please see the information provided in DesignMerge Documentation, as described below:
Tutorials present various features of DesignMerge in an easy-to-follow, step-by-step format to help you quickly learn more about using DesignMerge.
Manuals for the modules in the DesignMerge software package present more detailed information about the features that a particular module provides.
Remember: Help is available! If you have any difficulty at all, we are here to help. Please feel free to open a support ticket by going to the Meadows Online Support Center: