Frame grids

About frame grids in InCopy documents

When you create a new document in InCopy, you can decide whether the text area will contain a frame grid or plain text frame. A frame grid includes a set of squares into which Japanese characters appear. Frame grids are essentially the same as plain text frames in function and appearance except that they contain grids that can affect the appearance of text.

Frame grids have the following characteristics:

  • Frame grids contain character attribute settings. These preset character attributes are applied to placed text. Plain text frames, meanwhile, do not have character attribute settings. When text is placed, it takes on the character attributes currently selected in the Character panel.

  • Frame grid character attributes can be changed using File >Document Setup. Because plain text frames have no character attributes, you will need to select some placed text and set attributes using the Character panel. You can also select text placed in a frame grid and use the Character panel to change the character attributes.

  • The grid of the frame grid is determined by the grid attributes (text direction, vertical and horizontal percentage, character aki, and line aki). You cannot change the color of a frame grid in InCopy.

  • When you place the InCopy document into an existing InDesign frame grid or text frame, the InDesign settings are used to format the text. If you click the loaded text icon while placing the InCopy document, the InCopy document maintains the text area setting defined in InCopy.

  • Unlike InDesign, InCopy does not have a layout grid or named grids.

  • Frame grids appear only in Layout View when Show Frame Grid is selected. Show Frame Grid is turned on by default.

Document setup options for frame grids

When Frame Grid is selected for Text Area in the New Document or Document Setupdialog box, the following options are available:

Vertical and Horizontal Grid Scaling

Specify the grid scaling for full-width Japanese characters in percentage.

Char Aki

Specify the spacing between characters. This value is used for the grid mesh spacing.

Line Aki

Enter a value to specify the grid line spacing. The value used here is the distance between the bottom (or left) edge of the character embox for the first line to the top (or right) edge of the character embox for the next line.

View frame grids

Frame grids are shown by default.

  1. Choose View > Layout View.
  2. Choose View > Grids & Guides > Show Frame Grid.

If the frame grid still does not appear, choose File >Document Setup, and make sure that Frame Grid is selected from theWork Area menu.

Convert text frames and frame grids

In stand-alone documents, you can convert plain text frames into grid frames or frame grids into text frames. When plain text frames are converted into frame grids, for text that has not had a character style or paragraph style applied in the story, the frame grid's document defaults are applied. (See About frame grids in InCopy documents.)

You cannot apply grid format directly to documents that don’t have frame grids. After converting the text area into a frame grid, you can apply grid format attributes by applying a predetermined grid format to a frame grid using text that has not been given a paragraph style. (See Apply grid format to text.)


Since character attributes are not set for text frames, changing a frame grid with character attributes into a plain text frame may cause reformatting. For example, when a frame grid with Character Aki set to ‑1H is converted into a plain text frame, character spacing becomes 0H, and the characters will be slightly spread out. Since the frame grid settings are preserved, converting back to a frame grid will display character spacing at the original value of ‑1H.

Convert a text frame into a frame grid

  1. Choose File > Document Setup.

    The Document Setup option is dimmed if you’re working with content that is linked to InDesign. For linked content, change the settings in InDesign.

  2. From the Text Area menu, choose Frame Grid.
  3. Specify the frame grid attributes. (See Document setup options for frame grids.)
  4. Click OK.

To reformat the text according to grid attributes, select the text, and choose Edit > Apply Grid Format.

Convert a frame grid to a plain text frame

  1. Choose File > Document Setup.

    The Document Setup option is dimmed if you’re working with content that is linked to InDesign. For linked content, change the settings in InDesign.

  2. From the Text Area menu, choose Text Frame.
  3. Click OK.

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