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In InDesign, I have some filled text boxes, sized by columns, with the one on the left being three columns wide. text boxes

The wide text box is most likely to contain the most text (it's an invoice template). I will use the 'Fit frame to content' button on the Selection Tool toolbar for automatically vertically resize it to fit the containing text.

How do I make the other three smaller text frames automatically adjust to the same height as the big (and longer) text box?

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Not sure if you can do this automatically, but if you have snaps on and the large box is aligned to the grid you could easily select all of them and then drag the bottom border (re-size) you should be able to "snap" the height/length to the size of the main box. – Phlume Jan 14 '14 at 16:31
@Phlume: Okay, thanks. I'll do that for now, but I have quite a few invoices to send out, so that will be a bit of a chore. If there is no built-in functionality, hopefully there is a script or something. – paradroid Jan 14 '14 at 17:06
Can you cheat and put the text into a table? – Lauren Ipsum Jan 14 '14 at 19:02
@LaurenIpsum: That's what I did in the end. Thanks. If you make that into an answer, I'll accept it. – paradroid Nov 18 '14 at 1:19
How much do you know about the placed content? Will it always fit into a certain number of frames and be more or less the same length? Or could it be 5 lines or 5,000 lines (i.e., one frame or 25 pages of auto-flowed frames) depending on variables beyond your control? – Janus Bahs Jacquet Sep 25 at 18:52

2 Answers 2

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I would cheat and put the text into a table. ID tables are surprisingly useful for certain kinds of layouts where you need to force things to align.

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There's a command specifically for aligning to the bottom of a text box in InDesign. If you change your Workspace to Advanced you'll be able to find the command a bit easier. See the screenshot. Then you can just allow the text to flow up which seems to be what you're after:

Align to bottom of text box

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