Overset Text

How to Deal With Overset Text

In page layout applications, text frames and table cells hold the text. When there is more text than will fit in the frame or cell, the unseen text is called overset text. Overset text occurs when the text frame or table cell is too small to hold all the text at the prescribed font size.

Overset text is indicated by a special icon at the bottom of a text frame in most professional page layout software programs.

It indicates that there is additional text in the file that cannot be displayed in the text frame. The document could be hiding a few words, several paragraphs or entire pages of text. Some preflight software programs generate reports indicating where overset text occurs throughout the document.

Ways to Deal With Overset Text

  • Resize the table cell or text frame
  • Set the text in a smaller font size
  • Link or thread the overset text into a new text frame or table cell
  • Edit the text so that it is shorter
  • Choose a font that is more condensed than the chosen font
  • Adjust the letterspacing throughout the block to squeeze the characters closer together (not recommended).

Why Does This Happen?

It most often happens when the text is set in a word processing program and then is imported or copied and pasted into the page layout program. The vigilant graphic designer should always be watching for the possibility of overset when importing text into a page layout program.

The text may also register as overset if a long string of characters has a "no break" setting that doesn't allow the page layout program to hyphenate the string or if the text has been set to snap to a baseline grid.